Tue. May 21st, 2024

What is a Subject Matter Expert in BPO?

Irrespective of the industry SMEs or Subject Matter Experts are crucial for their specialized knowledge and experience. The importance of Subject Matter Experts becomes more significant when they are in the customer service industry, especially in a call center or BPO sector which is a manpower-driven sector and every day tons of new hires are onboarded.

What is a Subject Matter Expert in BPO
What is a Subject Matter Expert in BPO

In BPO, SME’s accountability is not only to support team members on the knowledge base but also they have to perform several other tasks simultaneously. So if you are an SME for your company or willing to be one, then this blog is worth reading.

Today’s blog will delve deep into the roles and responsibilities of SMEs under the article “What is a Subject Matter Expert in BPO”

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Without further ado, let’s start:

What is a Subject Matter Expert in BPO?

SME is an abbreviation for Subject Matter Expert. As the name refers SME is an individual with advanced knowledge of a specific subject, process, or domain. In other words, we can define SME as :

SMEs are individuals with specialized expertise  in various aspects of outsourcing operations, such as customer service, data entry and tech support.

SME plays a paramount role in optimizing operations, supporting new hires, and driving efficiency through their specialized expertise.

Read More about Roles and responsibilities for SME

Let’s discuss now the major responsibilities of SMEs in BPO :

SME roles and responsibilities in BPO

The responsibilities of SMEs in BPO are not limited to certain tasks. So in this blog, we will explore 5 major SME roles and responsibilities in BPO

1. Supporting Team members:

The primary role of an SME in  BPO is to support team members, whenever they get stuck into some scenarios. When new agents are in the learning phase, they often need immediate support in terms of product knowledge, so that they can respond to customers quickly and also meet the CSAT metrics, in such cases the go-to individual is SME ( Subject Matter Expert), who by his advance knowledge and handling skills guide agents how to handle or respond customers.

2. Handling Escalation  :

The other role of the SME is to handle escalation. SME in BPO acts as a Support desk expert or Escalation level -1 as well. In Call Center, an agent might have to face some good or bad customers. Handling irate customers can be a tough nut to crack, especially for new hire agents, to support them these agents may route the call to the next level. SME, Subject Matter Expert. 

SMEs can offer guidance on resolving issues effectively.

3. Onboarding and Training:

SMEs help ease the onboarding process for new hires. SMEs help in training and onboarding new team members. They can help develop training materials, and SOP , assist in conducting training sessions, and mentor new hires to ensure they understand the processes and standards required for the job.

While on the floor, SMEs are dedicated SPOC (single point of contact) for new hires to reach out to in case of any concerns related to product knowledge, assistance during daily tasks, training, or feedback.

4. Assist Team Leader :

One of the major roles of SMEs is to assist Team leaders during their daily tasks, such as agent monitoring, preparing recurring reports ( hourly, daily ) and sharing feedback with outliers. They can also guide team leaders on complex issues, answer queries, and offer insights for business reviews, client meetings, etc.

Additionally, SMEs assist team leaders in monitoring performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) through RTM or other monitoring tools.

SMEs serve as valuable resources for team leaders in BPO operations, offering expertise, guidance

5. Monitoring RTM :

SMEs are also responsible for monitoring RTM i.e. Real Time Monitoring. As mentioned above SMEs support Team leaders in day-to-day operational tasks and one of the key tasks includes monitoring performance metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs). They can help identify areas of improvement, monitor agents’ performance, and progress toward goals to ensure operational efficiency and client satisfaction.

Read more about RTM and its benefits in Call Center

In addition to the above-mentioned 5 major duties, depending on the nature of the process, SMEs are also responsible for the below activities:

  • Process Improvement
  • Improve Quality Assurance
  • Improve Call Center metrics.


In Conclusion, SMEs serve as valuable resources for team leaders in BPO operations, offering expertise, guidance, and support to enhance operational effectiveness and deliver high-quality services to clients.

Let’s now discuss FAQs and their answers to “What is a Subject Matter Expert in BPO?”

Q1. What is an SME for a call center?

Answer: An SME in a call center is an individual with specialized expertise in a specific subject, process, or domain.

Q2. What are the roles and responsibilities of SMEs?
Answer: Common roles and responsibilities of SMEs are:
  • Supporting Team Members
  • Assist Team Leaders
  • Monitoring RTM 

Q3. What does SME stand for in BPO?

Answer: SME stands for Subject Matter Expert.


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