5 trends that will drive the contact center outsourcing industry in 2015 - TELUS International Europe

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  • 5 trends that will drive the contact center outsourcing industry in 2015

    January 26, 2015

    By Gregoire Vigroux

    five trends

    At the kickoff of 2015 it is time to look into the trends and innovations that will drive the evolution of the Contact Center Outsourcing (CCO) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sectors this year. From the standpoint of a multilingual contact center provider serving the customer care needs of some of the world’s largest brands here are our 5 predictions for key trends that will shape the CCO industry in 2015.

    1. Business Process Improvement as a must-have

    Although it is not completely new to the industry Business Process Improvement (BPI) will continue to shape the sector and be a driving factor in the evolvement of BPO and call center services this year. Why is that? It’s because more and more companies began to realize that it is not enough just to transfer their processes to a contact center supplier and consider customer service a done deal.

    BPI aims to deliver improvements in business processes in terms of speed, quality, cost and flexibility while building the capability required for continuous improvement. BPI analyzes existing client processes in order to identify opportunities for improvement in the quality or quantity of output. It then creates training aids to close any gaps in skill levels, implements any necessary technology enhancements, and then maps out the processes needed to achieve desired outcomes.

    2. Customer journey in the spotlight  

    In the past, outsourced contact center vendors were simply evaluated on their low-cost ability to provide basic customer service but today they are evaluated on their strategic ability to deliver on the customer journey and add-value to the overall customer experience. Therefore, contractors’ search for a low-cost service and immediate gain will progressively fade, giving way to a more strategic model of outsourcing.

    Based on the developments that are gradually taking place, the contact centres will no longer be a “sub-contractor”, much less a “mere executant”. They will act as a true strategic partner and an authentic brand ambassador, an extension of clients’ business, and most importantly, its brand.

    3. All paths lead to…multichannel

    Customers demand 24/7/365 support and they expect it anytime, anywhere and from any device. Consider this fact: contact channels other than phone now account for more than 30% of customer service engagements (CFI Group). Businesses following a multichannel customer care strategy achieve more than double (9.7% vs. 3.9%) year-over-year improvements in customer satisfaction (Aberdeen Group Inc.). While more and more companies experience the challenge of delivering a true multichannel strategy, contact centers on their part will focus on offering a holistic multichannel customer care strategy to their clients.

    In order to deliver the faster and better experience customers now demand in the digital space many are now seeing live chat and social media customer care as the answer. Certainly, as customers recognize the improved customer care offered by social and live chat, we expect to see ever more contact centers begin to offer it, and those that fail to do so will be left ever further behind.

    4. Capabilities to source and develop the right talent

    For contact centres the ability to source a ready supply of qualified people will continue to serve as a huge competitive advantage. This is because clients expect their new business lines to be launched with the right number of agents and the right skill sets ready to deliver exceptional customer experience.

    For example, except for being available on multiple channels, consumers now expect customer care to also be available in their native language. Consider this fact: a 2011 study from the European Commission found that 42% of consumers never purchase products and services in other languages. Therefore, a contact center with readiness and availability of large talent pool to cover the multichannel and the multilingual needs of clients will make it a preferred partner and ensure a sustainable high performing culture.

    5. Industry specialization  –  THE command variable in the partner selection equation

    A general pre-requisite will appear to be the expertise of the contact center in the specific industry the client is serving in the selection process of a provider. It is because the availability of this factor is likely to create better alignment between the partners, if the provider has extensive experience with common issues and client challenges.

    Finding a vendor with industry expertise will become far more important than just having a contact center provider. Clients now expect vendors to have deep expertise in providing great customer experiences, but if they don’t know their market or the challenges they face regularly, clients risk having their customers dissatisfied, loosing time, effort and money. Lacking industry expertise will limit the vendor’s ability to help their partners use their solutions to address critical business issues specific to client’s organization. Therefore, as companies increasingly understand that they risk ending up with a provider that can’t integrate with their existing business processes they will more and more put weight on the industry expertise of their partners. 

    BONUS trend – mature near-shore locations 

    For many years now, corporates have been torn between the high costs of outsourcing customer service to European countries, and the low service levels often prevalent in offshore locations. Yet this is changing rapidly, with many companies recognizing Eastern Europe as a viable location for customer service. Even though Central Europe offers mature industry and highly skilled players at around 50 percent of the cost of Western Europe that cost advantage increases even more in Eastern Europe.

    Indeed, the 2014 AT Kearney Global Services Location Index ranked Bulgaria 1st in Europe and amongst Top 10 worldwide most attractive outsourcing destinations for customer support. With its combination of multilingual skills, a highly educated and motivated workforce, and competitive pricing, we can expect to see Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries like Romania to become an increasingly attractive choice for companies serving various industries looking to outsource their customer service.

    Gregoire Vigroux

    Gregoire Vigroux is Marketing Director for TELUS International Europe.

    The contact center of the future starts today

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