Are you afraid of the dark? Ghosts? Clowns? Our childhood fears, although sometimes may seem irrational, can end up translating into our adult life, permeating the way we do things. One example is when fear influences the way we do business. Who isn’t afraid of risk? Or losing their investments? Or not meeting their KPIs? These are modern-day campfire horror stories that can end up affecting your business’s future.
In the spirit of campfires (and one of our favorite holidays), we want to express the spooky side of BPOs. Hello, Halloween! It’s time for some horror stories.
When you hire the wrong BPO company, you expose your company to all sorts of terrifying risks and terrible outcomes. Some of them are small and might not matter that much, but others could ruin your company. Here are the most horrific horror stories surrounding the BPO industry. Welcome to The Outsourcing Nightmare! Muahaha!
Once upon a time, there was a company. It matters not what they did, nor where they were located. What matters is that it was a company just like any other. It was, in fact, very similar to yours.
This company was growing at tremendous speeds, but quickly found itself struggling to deal with customer service support. The CEO decided to hire the services of The Scarecrow, a lovable, straw-filled character that promised to deal with all their in-field customer service needs. It seemed like the perfect partnership. Or so they thought.
In the beginning, everything seemed great. The Scarecrow planted itself in the middle of the company’s field, ready to deal with any support needed. The CEO would see it from his office window, always hard at work. He could look at the horizon at any hour of the day and discern the Scarecrow’s figure. He thought to himself, “This is true hard work. 24/7 service is just what we needed to keep our clients happy!”
But what he didn’t realize was that the nightmare was taking place right before his eyes.
Slowly, they started noticing creepy stuff happening. Loyal clients ran away screaming, never to come back. Their churn rate climbed through the roof. Their lead generation, always so healthy and high-converting, started to dissipate into nothing. And worst of all – their revenue started to slope downwards.
But the horror didn’t end there. A few brave souls ventured out into the field – now strewn, abandoned, and terrifying – to have a word with The Scarecrow.
Except the creature was nowhere to be seen. Leaves rustled. Someone scream in the distance. The men scattered, horror-stricken. The CEO ran until his lungs burned and his legs gave out. He collapsed in the middle of the field and realized with a start that he wasn’t alone. The Scarecrow was looking right at him.
“Why?”, asked the CEO.
“Because,” rasped the Scarecrow’s voice, “we scarecrows don’t do anything. We just stand there, listening to your clients complain about their petty problems. That’s our 24/7 service.”
“But we had an agreement. We paid you handsomely for your services.”
“Yes, and what pretty filling those dollars turned out to be… but not as satisfying as human flesh.”
The Scarecrow had promised to take care of their customer support. Instead, he ignored each and every client that came his way, acting much as scarecrows do. Loyal customers abandoned the company, frustrated with the lack of attention. New clients spread news of this incredibly inhuman treatment, ruining the company’s reputation irreparably. No one saw the CEO again.
A BPO that pays no mind to your customers when they’re in need of support is as helpful as a scarecrow. They may end up scaring away huge, ominous birds. But they will also end up scaring away your loyal customers.
‘Twas a dark, stormy night when Andrew, COO of Very Successful Company Inc., decided to check his corporation’s KPIs. They had just hired a BPO to help them with sales and marketing efforts, and the business seemed to be booming. He opened up his laptop and opened the shared folder whether the BPO company updated the reports. Except that the report was gone. It simply wasn’t there. It had vanished.
Andrew reached for the phone and dialed his BPO’s number. The line was disconnected. There was no one on the other side. Spooked and more than a little concerned, he resolved to investigate the matter further. He put on his coat and headed for his outsourcing partner’s office. It was late at night and the lighting in the street was somehow off. The lamps didn’t seem to carry the light for him to see clearly enough. “No matter,” he thought. “I’ll just press on, knock on their door, find out what’s going on and head straight back home.”
An eternity seemed to pass while he walked alone, in the dark. At last, he reached the BPO’s office building. Except that it hadn’t seemed abandoned when he had come here to sign the contracts a month ago… The door was splintered, the building’s façade deteriorating. He knocked once. Nothing. He knocked again. No answer. He went inside the office and found it in utter disarray. Papers were scattered everywhere, moldy desks strewn about. No sign of inhabitants, no indication that this was a working office just a month ago. It seemed as though the building had been abandoned for decades, if not longer.
Gulping, he stepped further into the offices. Something skittered in the ground nearby, and he jumped. A rat’s outline was visible along the wall. Breathing fast, he put a hand on his chest. Something moved on the same wall where the rat had passed, slowly growing larger and larger. A shadow. Andrew turned.
Far off in the city, someone heard the blood-curdling scream of a man.
Ghosting isn’t only for social media or dating apps. There are true horror stories regarding BPOs who are hired to perform a certain task and vanish into thin air. And they may end up with a missing CEO or two…
Count Greedcula and Emma, a successful CFO, shook hands. The deal was closed. Emma smiled at the count, happy with what they agreed to accomplish together. “What sharp canines,” she thought. “But maybe it means that he’s fang-tastic at what he does!”.
Their business agreement established that the Count’s company would handle all of Emma’s HR processes, from hiring and procurement to training and skill development. She left happy, not thinking twice about how odd it was that he had asked that they sign the contract at night instead of during the day.
Weeks followed, and Count Greedcula reported massive increases in successful hires, amazing candidates, courses for skill development, and even the procurement of state-of-the-art equipment. Emma smiled contentedly.
A few weeks passed and her supervisor asked to see her. “The numbers don’t match,” he said as soon as she walked through the door.
“What do you mean, they don’t match?” she answered.
“They don’t match. We’re spending huge amounts of money on Count Greedcula’s services, yet we’re not seeing any profit reflected in our revenue.” Shook by this, Emma assured him she would personally review this.
When she returned to her desk, her stomach dropped to the floor. A cold chill ran down her spine. A title flickered on her screen: Famous Count’s BPO Involved In A Multimillion-Dollar Scam? “It has to be a mistake,” she thought to herself.
But when she looked for the Count, she realized that none of the workers he had supposedly hired had shown up during the workday. She ran background checks, and these people didn’t seem to exist. She grabbed her keys and ran out the door, straight for the Count’s oddly castle-shaped home. Night had fallen by the time she reached the hillside of his home, and thunder rumbled in the distance.
When she reached the huge double doors, they opened of their own accord. She walked into the darkened foyer, and the door slammed behind her, shutting her in blackness. She heard a creepy laugh behind her and jumped.
“So, you have finally come. Have you realized what I’ve done?” said Count Greedcula, his sharp canines the only thing she could make out in the shadows.
“Yes! I can’t believe you would do this! We had an agreement. How dare you!” Emma exclaimed, angry and scared. She was met with another low, disconcerting chuckle. Her heartbeat raced.
“Have you not figured it out yet?” he asked, still amused. Emma stared back, confused.
“I am a vampire. And while you were looking the other way, I have sucked your company dry of all its revenue.”
“But-but we had a signed contract,” stumbled Emma.
“And yet, it goes against my nature. I feed on others’ successes and take their revenue for my own.”
“You can’t do this. I won’t let you!” Emma screamed.
“Oh, my dear. What makes you think you will ever be able to leave these premises?”
Emma found herself unable to breathe. She was suddenly wrapped in utter, inscrutable darkness. The last thing she heard was that creepy, hair-raising chuckle.
Many BPOs can act as “vampires”, sucking your business dry of its hard-earned revenue. They are nowhere to be found during the day’s working hours and work never seems to be done. But they are quick to cash in the checks and run away with your money. The worst part of it is that these vampires don’t even sparkle! Talk about Halloween unfairness.
A few weeks ago, the life of an unnamed CTO was blissfully normal. The city had started changing to the beautiful autumn colors and his company, AmazingTech, was the leader in the technology industry thanks to their exclusive designs. Nothing was wrong with the world. Except maybe, his customer service. It wasn’t bad, per se, but it could use a professional pick-me-up.
The CTO decided to hire an outsourcing company to help them with customer support: calls, email, chat, the works. He chose VeryShady Outsourcing Services, a company that had average reviews but that had been recommended by a former colleague.
At first, everything went smoothly. VeryShady had state of the art equipment in order to guarantee the best possible service. The only odd thing was that the support agents sent to AmazingTech offices were… odd. Their skin was gray and green looking, and pieces of flesh seemed to be missing from random places. They also smelled as if they hadn’t washed in ages. To top it off, they moved slowly, with their teeth bared and their arms always stretched out before them. The CTO decided to place them near the basement, where they could work without bothering the rest of his employees. He was concerned about whether these individuals would affect his company’s overall image, but VeryShady assured him that these were the best customer support experts in town. And it certainly seemed so: client calls and emails were answered according to SLA standards, churn was dropping, and customer loyalty was increasing. Business was good.
But then… his competitors started launching the same products he had. His exclusive technology was no longer exclusive. Stocks dropped, revenue dropped, everything dropped. Within three weeks, his company was bankrupt. His exclusive technology was now part of the public domain, and competitors from all over the world were popping up, each selling it cheaper than the last.
The reality dawned on him. His technology had been stolen. AmazingTech was no longer the leader. Confused, bewildered, and angry, the CTO began to investigate, determined to find what had caused this. As it turns out, it wasn’t hard to find the culprit. It was VeryShady. When they let the corporate zombies in, their exclusive information was leaked. And it went to the highest bidder.
In the world of BPOs, zombies don’t eat your brains. They eat your most valuable data. Make sure that your outsourcing partner values your privacy and can ensure that your company’s most valuable assets are protected at all times.
Once upon a time, there was a mad CFO scientist. He didn’t start off mad, of course. He went mad because of everything he needed to get done in his lab. Too many tests to be done, a surplus of reports to finish, a massive amount of backlog. All topped with an evident lack of help.
To get things moving, he decided to hire Monster Management Inc. to implement a project management system and take care of his lab processes. The very next day, a Monster Management representative named Frank E. Stein arrived at his doorstep. He was odd looking, with scars along his joints and across his face. His skin had a greenish, sickly tint to it. When he walked, it was as though his limbs were sized differently, making every movement awkward. Although he observed these anomalies, the scientist only cared about getting his lab’s processes in order. And Mr. Stein was supposed to be quite brilliant, so he should have no problem getting the place straightened out.
Mr. Stein presented charts, plans, and structural changes that could revive and reorganize the laboratory. His only request was to be left alone in the lab so he could implement everything without any distractions. The mad scientist agreed with everything and signed off on the implementations. He proceeded to go home and await any news from Mr. Stein’s progress.
At first, the time off was a welcome respite. The scientist went to the gym after who knows how long, took walks in the park, read through some studies that had been buried in his home for ages, and even watched TV. But then the days turned into weeks. The weeks into months. And he had received no notice from Mr. Stein other than “things are going well”, “we’re almost finished with everything”, and “rest assured, we have everything covered”. He decided to trust Mr. Stein’s word and wait a little longer.
But time kept passing by, and still, nothing seemed to be done. Impatient and jittery, the mad scientist decided to go back to his laboratory for a surprise visit. By the time he reached the lab, night had fallen and darkness crept around every corner. When he reached the lab, he found that his key no longer fit into the door. The locks had been changed. He knocked on the door, but no answer came. He screamed, but still, no one came. Hearing noises coming from inside, he decided to investigate further. Moving in the darkness, one hand on the building to guide him, he walked to the laboratory’s window. A disturbing greenish light outlined the window’s frame, and he could hear odd drilling noises and hushed screams. The scientist began breathing hard. What in Schrodinger’s name was going on? A shrill screech chilled his blood as he slowly crept towards the window. One step, then two. Terrified, the scientist reached the frame. He slowly looked inside what had been his office.
Blood. Chaos. Utter mayhem. His laboratory was no more. Everything was upended and crammed around the corners. His experiments lay strewn about, priceless data forever lost. In the center of the room was a disturbing table with odd attachments. And a person was strapped to it, yelling and fighting against the bonds. Frank E. Stein appeared wearing the CFO’s lab coat, spattered with dark splotches that could only be blood. Laughing, he told the victim to calm down. That this was all in the name of science. And then he pulled down the lever. The world ignited, as if lighting had struck all around them, within them.
When you hire questionable BPO companies, you can end up suffering from Frankenstein management. Company leaders lose control of their “creation” and the business ends up concentrating on tasks that aren’t relevant to the core business.
On Halloween, horror stories are lots of fun. The warmth of the campfire, the smell of roasting marshmallows, and the tension in the storyteller’s voice all add up to an amazing (if somewhat spooky) experience. But if you encounter any of these scenarios in real life, run and don’t look back! Run, run, run!
Don’t get us wrong. We love Halloween and live for a good horror story. Just not when it comes to joint business ventures. These stories might have been a little too frightening, but not all BPO companies are the same. At Boldr, we have no tricks for you, only treats! We’re strictly against the hocus pocus a lot of BPOs try to sell as high-quality work. When you become our partner, you become our #1 priority. We won’t ghost you, sell you poison apples disguised as deliverables, or trick you into signing away your company’s soul.
The only thing spooky about us is how different we are. We will take your company’s KPIs, needs, and goals as our own, and work towards achieving them with you and for you. If you’re interested in hiring customer support, sales enablement, or data management services, you’ve come to the right place: the Boldr House of Horrors. Just kidding! Get your free, non-spooky business consultation right here.
Happy Halloween and Boo to you from our Boldr crew 👻🎃!