As an owner of a BPO firm which has a large part of its operation being processing orders for preservation companies, I like to keep tabs on my competitors as well as be aware of the mindset of the people working in the preservation industry. This often leads me to browse through the internet and social media, trying to find new competitors in the market and read people's posts and comments to understand where the industry is heading to. Just the other day, my co-partner John came to find a video that got me worried. Its from Charles King, who in his video, depicts, how frustrated he feels about all the marketing emails and calls he gets from the work order processing companies from India/Bangladesh asking whether they could process his orders. What worried me as an owner of a BPO Firm that provided the same service as these unsolicited solicitations marketed for was that a person had to make a video to make a point; that is to STOP spamming him.
So what has caused such volatile situation to occur? Where these owners of preservation companies has to post status updates, on social media, asking for people to stop soliciting or make a video, that mockingly shows Indians with bad accent try to solicit over a phone call, to make a point? I mean marketing is part of business, and companies all over the world do tons and tons of ads to promote their products and services. So what exactly is being done wrong here, that's somehow crossing the line?
To answer this, I would have to first rewind time a little bit and tell you how the processing companies came into being in Bangladesh and how I was involved with it. Around the end of 2009, I joined a virtual assistant firm, the one that-shall-not-be-named in my blog. Prior to this, I already had 3 years of experience working in the BPO sector and so my talent was well noticed as soon as I joined them. Within the second month of my joining, I got to handle a client with a very big prospect, a company by the name of Miken Construction that wanted to trial whether, they could outsource their work order processing, wanted to hire a VA from the firm and if successful they would transfer their whole department to us. After months of training from Miken, and me doing overtime, they decided to move forward and have 30 people team in Bangladesh processing their work. Needless to say, I was appointed the manager of the whole team. And that was how, the first time a preservation company outsourced their work order processing team to Bangladesh. Soon there after, through intense marketing and my hard work, other preservation companies soon followed suit and hired the firm.
As great as this started out to be, there was something greatly a miss here, the VA firm had a great employee turnover rate, almost every month someone left or got fired. There was a general consensus among the employees of job dissatisfaction, the way the upper management and the CEO, treated some employees didn't help either. Around the second year that I was working there some of the VAs working in my team decided that not only would they leave the firm but they would start their own processing company, thus the for the first time, other such entities, mostly consisting of 3/4 people or individuals, started to emerge in Bangladesh that processed orders for preservation companies. By then, the firm that I was working for, the-one-that-shall-not-be-named, had a total of 120 people working under my belt, a whole department, solely for the purpose of processing orders for preservation companies. But as it turned out, I would also not stay in the firm, my aspirations had always been to be an entrepreneur, and since I was already working in the BPO sector for 6 years, I wanted to start my own BPO firm, where we would be providing, Virtual Assistance, Online and Social Media Marketing, Data Entry services, and yes, we would also process orders as well.
But the leaving of the few individuals that started their own processing company, and ultimately my own resignation to the firm had a butterfly effect, one that none of us may have anticipated. The overnight success of these few individuals at starting their own processing company, became very well renowned within the firm. And many starting to leave there after, either taking away the firms clients or marketing for their own. But there was a stark difference between the ones that left prior, and the ones that left after. The few individuals that left prior, were talented individuals, all of whom were trained personally (apart by me) by people, from US, who had been working with the property preservation companies and were very much experienced in this sector. But the ones that left after, were people who barely worked in that firm for more than 3 to 4 months or got fired soon after they joined. They, in the hopes of making some quick bucks, and better opportunities started to market for themselves. many of these so called "processors" have substandard understanding of English, as well as knows little more than cold calling and spam emailing people to oblivion, and hence why as Charles pointed out in his video, you get people who cross the line of marketing and start spamming, to the point where it gets absolutely unbearable and a plane annoyance.
Just to understand, how many people are there right now on the market, to process orders, searching in google, you could find at least 40/45 websites of processing companies, almost all of which are from Bangladesh. And these are the ones you could find in Google because they had websites and/or social media presence. There a lot many individuals, freelancers , who work home based.
Admittedly, some blame lies in me to for all the spam marketing property preservation companies get to which they are so much annoyed sometimes. Every year, just before the grass season starts, I do setup a one-time email marketing campaign in hopes that with with increased work flow that comes every season some preservation companies will need our services. Although, such campaigns are made as such as to leave out the DNCs, ones that in the past has already shown no interest and asked to be not solicited, there is always a slight chance that the email may land on a person's inbox who may already have been spammed to oblivion by the other "processing companies". Also, if you have read till this point you would also understand that Yes, I was the individual who was part of the whole thing when it started in Bangladesh and thus am indirectly responsible for all that happened after.
Zayed Uddin Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of ASL BPO, a startup BPO firm that provides Outsourcing Solutions to small and medium sized companies. To know more about him and his firm go to https://www.aslpreservationsolutions.com/