Non-voice business process outsourcing (BPO) is a subsection of BPO in which employees do not work not in call centers or other areas where they would talk with customers, but are placed in jobs performing back-office tasks; thus, they do not use their voice. Most BPO in the United States is not domestic, so voice BPO applicants will be stringently tested on their language acumen for whatever country is sponsoring the job. Non-voice BPO does not test vocal skills; it instead tests writing skills, because these employees often will be answering emails or filling out forms for customers. Unlike voice BPO, in which employees just need to be able to speak, non-voice BPO employees commonly need formal training in their particular field to fulfill their job duties.
When a business outsources work, it commonly needs both voice and non-voice BPO. Voice BPO will be in charge of answering calls and speaking directly to customers, while non-voice is more about sitting behind a desk and fulfilling duties the customer may not see. Some non-voice employees may never interact with customers, while some will do so via email but not by phone.
Before a non-voice BPO applicant gets a job, he or she will be tested on language acumen. While the applicant will never need to speak to customers, he or she must still be able to write in the primary language of the company sponsoring the job. This allows the applicant to answer emails and to fill out forms and documents in a way that allows the main company's employees to read the information in their native language.
The common duties of a non-voice BPO employee are computer-based. He or she will perform data processing, database work, research or financial services in this arena. These employees may perform any jobs that are done away from the customer’s eye and behind a desk. Some jobs will require that the employee have limited interaction with the customer. Unlike voice BPO, where each day is different based on the person calling, non-voice BPO workers have a more stable workday.
A non-voice BPO employee typically needs to perform a specialized task, so he or she will typically need formal training for that task. For example, if hired to perform database maintenance, the employee will need to have training and experience in handling databases before he or she will be assigned to the task. This is in contrast to voice BPO, in which employees just need to have a clear voice and the ability to speak the company’s native language fluently.