With the availability of advanced software tools such as virtual customer service representatives (V-Reps), some people have started getting overly optimistic about the potential downfall of the BPO India industry. However, the reality is quite different. It is certainly true that V-Reps are increasingly being deployed by businesses worldwide, but they still cannot be considered as a threat to the outsourcing Industry in India, because the type of processes they handle are completely different from the processes handled by the Indian call-center industry. V-Reps are meant for handling pre-defined inquiries and perform most of the jobs based on numerical inputs provided by the end-user. As such, it is all but impossible for them to carry out highly complex jobs such as telemarketing, technical support, records retrieval, financial and accounting services, content development, web promotion, legal services etc.
Far from being a threat, V-Reps are actually a blessing in disguise for the Indian BPO industry because they help in augmenting the efficiency of those who work in the industry. Deploying V-Reps as a part of the centralized customer service hub can help outsourcing firms reduce the work pressure on customer service representatives. Generic calls and requests can be identified and transferred to V-Reps, thereby reducing the work load of customer service professionals. This will benefit all of the involved parties, namely the clients, the end-users, the outsourcing firms, and of course the Indian BPO industry.