For OneLink BPO CEO and co-founder Eduardo Salazar, there is also an opportunity for those governments to support the critical goals of firms like OneLink, by introducing mandatory English courses in public education. “Our industry is considered one of the main job creators in the countries where we operate. I believe that there are opportunities within government policies to provide more support to the service export sector in general, not just the BPO space,” Salazar says.
He adds that in addition to ensuring there is adequate English language skills in each country, there is a need for greater flexibility in labor laws to allow for hiring hourly employees.
Salazar points out that local and federal governments of the countries in which OneLink BPO operate offer a variety of tax incentives to attract companies that generate significant employment opportunities. “The majority of our operations are protected by free trade zone laws or service export laws that allow us access to these financial incentives,” he says.
Salazar has been a part of the OneLink team since June of 2013, when they launched their operations in Colombia and El Salvador. “Thanks to the team’s 18+ years of experience in the industry, our points of focus were clear; digital support channels, robot process automation (RPA), and self-service,” he says.
“Consumer trends and the ways in which consumers interact with their product or service provider have changed, and digital support channels are now more attractive when in need of assistance. Voice support channels are no longer as relevant as they were in years past. Self-service is growing at an exponential rate as well, leading to a shift in consumer support trends,” he adds.
Leveraging the benefits of the nearshore, OneLink BPO has grown to over 10,000 employees, providing support in six languages, and operating in five countries in Latin America. More than 60% of its rendered services are exported to North American and European clients, and the remainder of the work is from companies in Latin America. “The majority of our services are delivered through digital support channels, allowing us to transition from a traditional call center model to a BPO model,” Salazar says.
He lists the introduction of robot process automation and ‘self-service’, the growing relevance of the nearshore market versus traditional offshore options, and the need to differentiate their service offering as the key influencers in the market that have shaped their strategy.
“Due to the rapid geographic growth we’ve had as an organization, one of the largest challenges has been replicating our culture and values. This is one of our main differentiators. Maintaining a fast pace of development for our leaders allows us to properly manage the aforementioned growth. Agility in adapting to emerging technology is another challenge, since automation has brought along with it a different approach at building pricing models for current and potential partners,” Salazar explains.
While growing the North American client base is core to the growth strategy, Salazar describes Europe as an interesting growth market due to the time differences.
“Although there’s a trend of BPO consolidation in the industry, the client market is still very fragmented which leads to continued availability of many opportunities. Our employment market is a wonderful one, in which we find a very engaged and skilled workforce that’s eager to learn and grow professionally and personally,” he says.