Category: Customer Experience

Decoding the Organization DNA: How to Prevent Application Modernization Failure | Blog

Application modernization initiatives implemented in the wrong environment are doomed to fail. But these strategies can be transformed to success by starting with the right organizational makeup. Discover why having the right DNA of Dedicated product teams, Next-generation talent, and an A3 culture make all the difference.

With applications increasingly becoming integral to enterprise business strategy, mediocrity has no place when it comes to application modernization. Today’s applications are expected to be ultra-fast (millisecond response rate), scalable to millions of users, available globally, and capable of handling petabytes of data. Legacy and monolithic applications are frequently cited as the key roadblocks in achieving these high standards. Accordingly, the race is on to migrate these applications to containerized workloads in the cloud to improve agility and customer experience (CX).

However, many of these proposed transformations don’t succeed. Research shows 78% of digital transformation initiatives fail to meet all intended objectives. Monoliths are broken down into microservices, on-premise to cloud migration is executed, and DevOps methodologies are implemented, yet the full expected results are never achieved. What could these transformations be missing?

Just as the healthiest seed may also fail if planted on infertile soil, transformations fail if implemented in unsuitable environments. A successful application modernization strategy needs the right structure, the right environment to support that structure, and the right people to be part of that environment.

How to unlock value in applications

We have identified three focus areas for organizations seeking to unlock value from their applications – team structure, culture, and talent strategy. To achieve best-in-class results, application modernization strategy needs to be backed by a solid organization DNA that has the following elements:

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Dedicated product teams – Persistent teams that remain intact over the product’s life cycle should replace traditional factory models with periodic talent rotation. By developing trust and expertise organically, these teams can then use their expertise to lay the right product roadmaps

Next-generation talent – A meticulous talent strategy focused on managing the entire talent lifecycle (upskilling, retention, acquisition) is vital to overcome the key challenges in scaling agile practices (such as lack of right talent and skills, cited by about 77% of executives)

A3 culture – High-performing generative cultures embrace novelty and avoid stagnation (Assertive); are open to introspection (Aware), and cut across silos by being highly cooperative (Associative)

Without these DNA components in place, application modernization initiatives run the risk of resulting in process change rather than outcomes change. Agile practices may sacrifice quality for speed, avoid documentation, and micromanage progress. The same practices in the right environment will deliver scalable, people-centric development with better business-IT alignment and systematic change management.

Application modernization transformation with the right DNA in place can make a world of difference. Innovation becomes faster. Employees can collaborate with increased synergy and achieve hyper-productivity. With the focus thoroughly shifted to outcomes, the end-customer realizes a significantly enhanced experience. Transformation without DNA backing is like driving a sports car in second gear where all the right technical components are in place, but they are not being utilized optimally.

Learn more about the many different aspects of ensuring transformation success in our recent report, Unlocking Business Value through DNA-backed Transformation. To share your thoughts on application modernization initiatives and discuss our research related to organizational DNA, please reach out to [email protected] and [email protected].

How to Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences | Blog

Customer experience is decidedly a top focus of company operations in 2022. As companies assess whether their digital-age investments achieve success, they increasingly look through the customer-experience lens. The goal in today’s digital platform world is to significantly improve customer, employee, and other stakeholder experiences. Platforms certainly have the capability of delivering exceptional customer experiences. So why are so many companies consistently providing disappointing customer experiences? We at Everest Group looked at the way companies apply the technologies and found the reason for the disappointing experiences.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Why HealthEdge’s Acquisition of Wellframe Looks Favorable for Member Experience | Blog

With member experience being critically important to healthcare enterprises, HealthEdge’s acquisition of Wellframe bodes positively for the merged enterprise and consumers. Read on to learn why we like this deal and the synergies between these two health services providers.

HealthEdge’s acquisition of Wellframe announced last month propels the provider of next-gen integrated solutions to health insurers into the high-growth digital member experience market. The deal will bring various benefits to HealthEdge, including Wellframe’s consumer-facing and user-friendly mobile application serving more than 33 million members that delivers personalized content and facilitates seamless connectivity to health plan staff.

The strategic intent behind the deal

In a recent (2020) survey by Everest Group, experience was identified as the most important strategic priority for enterprises. Member engagement has become an important area of investment for healthcare payers. Member experience as a theme is so important that health plans have created a new position, the Chief Experience Officer (CXO), to use their organizational muscle for prioritizing experience.

Healthcare payers realize that great member experience will not only help insurers in smoother acquisition and retention of clients but will also improve their financial performance by reducing the churn rate, improving health outcomes, and saving administrative costs. The industry is also witnessing a shift in the definition of “engagement” from being focused solely on sales and marketing to becoming a holistic approach across the three areas of sales and marketing, services management, and care management.

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The acquisition of Wellframe propels HealthEdge into the large and fast-growing digital member engagement market. Coupled with its existing products, this creates a highly differentiated end-to-end solution for customers.

Unpacking the companies’ synergies

Wellframe’s Digital Health Management platform enables health plans to modernize member-facing services, including care management and advocacy. Wellframe’s Digital Care Management (DCM) solution serves as a digital front door for health plans seeking to engage high-risk members. Wellframe leverages real-time member-generated data and artificial intelligence to identify intervention opportunities across its solution suite.

Wellframe’s data sets of 33 million members combined with HealthEdge’s existing data sets will enable HealthEdge to focus on improving the quality of its insights, helping it not only in care management and member engagement but also in other areas where HealthEdge has traditionally offered services.

The Wellframe acquisition strengthens HealthEdge’s portfolio of SaaS solutions across payer workflow operations. The addition of Wellframe to its portfolio of care management solutions coupled with its existing GuidingCare® solution will enable a full spectrum of services spanning member identification, prioritization, targeting, and member engagement. Additionally, seamless and real-time integration between HealthRules Payor® and Wellframe will generate actionable insights that can lead to real-time member interventions and features that enhance a member’s health plan experience.

Things to watch out for

The acquisition of Wellframe is a strategic fit for HealthEdge to enter the high-growth member engagement market and compete with incumbents in this space, such as Salesforce and Pegasystems.

We are positive about this deal, particularly for what it means to the market and current market demand. However, it remains to be seen if HealthEdge also makes an entry in the other areas of member engagement, such as sales and marketing and services management, which would deliver even greater value.

Reach out to me at [email protected] with your thoughts on this acquisition or the member engagement market in general.

The Contact Center Upgraded: Everything You Need to Know About Contact Center as a Service (CCaas) | Blog

While organizations are certainly familiar with on-premise technologies in contact centers, today’s enhancement on the premise-based technology model is delivering an exceptional digital customer experience, innovation, flexibility, and lower cost. Meet the Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) operated on the cloud. To learn more about this fast-growing omnichannel cloud contact center solution being adopted across all industries and geographies, read on. 

Contact centers are becoming an area of strategic focus for organizations as they strive to deliver business impact through superior Customer Experience (CX). Traditionally, contact centers have run on technologies hosted on-premise with physical hardware such as servers, storage systems, security systems, dialers, and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) hosted in premises or in-house data centers. But that is changing.

Most organizations are now opting for cloud-based contact center solutions by migrating their existing premise-based applications to cloud and/or deploying cloud-native applications as they look to digitally transform their CX operations. In the past few years, the growing need to quickly deploy contact center technology and the increasing use of digital solutions such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, and analytics has paved the way for a flexible cloud contact center offering called Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS).

With COVID-19 pushing the boundaries of innovation and demand for digitally-infused customer experience increasing, CCaaS is poised to be at the forefront of the digital transformation of contact centers. In this blog, we will explore CCaaS, its impact on customer experience, and the financial benefits from leveraging these solutions.

Understanding CCaaS and what it brings to the table

CCaaS (also known as hosted contact center) is a contact center solution that allows organizations to utilize third-party contact center software hosted on cloud. It provides all the essential components that comprise a conventional contact center such as PBX, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), voice and non-voice channels, along with other digital solutions such as omnichannel platform, workforce management, automation, and quality management. It is usually offered as a subscription-based (per seat, per user, per month, per transaction) model, and the CCaaS vendor is responsible for regular maintenance and upgrades.

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How CCaaS impacts customer experience?

With increasing customer expectations of service and support, improved contact center technology has been a key enabler of seamless service delivery. CCaaS brings together all the essential tools and technologies required by contact centers to deliver a superior customer experience. Here are three possible ways CCaaS can positively impact customer experience:

  • Less customer effort: Customers expect to connect with brands through multiple communication channels round the clock. Omnichannel solutions provided by CCaaS enable customers to easily connect across any channel at any point in time. Additionally, self-service solutions offered by CCaaS ensure customers’ queries can be solved without human intervention with low customer effort
  • Consistent quality of services: Enterprises and service providers are under greater pressure to deliver consistent customer experiences in each interaction. Intelligent routing and agent assist solutions in CCaaS ensure customers are connected to the appropriate agents equipped to handle customers’ issues. It enables organizations to resolve queries as quickly as possible, thus, keeping high customer satisfaction levels
  • Personalized experience: Customers these days expect brands to anticipate their needs and make personalized suggestions. CCaaS solutions enable organizations to collect historical data from multiple touchpoints, generate insights, and offer real-time tailor-made solutions to customers. Access to historical data also enables agents to understand the context of customer queries and solve them more easily

Does CCaaS adoption make financial sense?

A key benefit of CCaaS adoption is long-term cost savings. The business case depends on the size of the contact center, existing investments, the propensity to drive value through next-generational technologies, and the nature of the partnership with the CCaaS vendor to drive a successful transformation effort. Let us explore the potential cost savings that contact centers of different sizes can achieve practically:

  • Small contact centers with fewer than 300 FTEs can potentially realize 10-25% cost savings after CCaaS adoption. These smaller centers start driving cost benefits by leveraging digital solutions such as omnichannel platform, intelligent routing, workforce management solution, automation, AI/Machine Learning (ML)-based solutions, and advanced analytics along with CCaaS
  • Mid-sized contact centers with 300 to 1,500 FTEs can potentially realize 25-40% cost saving after CCaaS adoption. They can achieve economies of scale and drive value through the benefits provided by digital solutions. These contact centers can achieve additional costs savings by sharing IT assets across multiple locations, setting up analytics and automation hubs, and adopting unified operations
  • Large contact centers with more than 1500 FTEs can achieve 15-30% cost savings through levers available for small and mid-sized contact centers. However, significant existing investments in software and hardware, disjointed legacy solutions, and rigid operating models often hinder them from making greater savings

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Our recent research shows that as companies accelerate their cloud adoption journeys and scale their contact center operations, leveraging an agile and holistic CCaaS solution will increase many-fold. With many companies moving towards flexible business models, the future of CCaaS looks promising.

Do you foresee adopting CCaaS as part of your cloud adoption journey? Read our report Demystifying Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS): Customer Experience Management (CXM) Market Report 2021 and share your thoughts by emailing [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Outsourcing Your CXM Operations for the First Time – Here Are 10 Things to Consider | Blog

Over 70% of all Customer Experience Management (CXM) services are delivered by in-house teams, making this a huge potential market ripe for outsourcing. With our estimates pegging the global market at $325 to $350 billion a year, less than 30% ($89-$91 billion) is currently outsourced. Outsourcing can deliver numerous benefits for enterprises. But before jumping in, there are many planning, strategic, and tactical considerations to understand and address. To learn more, read on.   

Driven by COVID-19, outsourcing of CXM grew last year after a long period of remaining stable at about a 25% share of the market as the pandemic disruption led many enterprises to seek additional support to continue servicing their customers when their teams were unavailable or to respond to increased demand.

Another contributing factor to the growth was increased government spending on COVID-19 related services such as tracking and tracing vaccination programs, which were predominantly outsourced operations. Our blog CXM Market’s Dream Run – What’s Driving It And Will It Last? explores this in more detail.

We predict the outsourcing trend will continue to grow as enterprises realize that outsourcing of CXM can deliver the same positive results as in-house teams – helping to remove cost from the business and simply allowing them to focus on their core business by having a third party manage the complexities of large customer-facing operations.

If you are a new or less experienced customer of these services, many factors must be considered to ensure the transition to an outsourced environment goes as smoothly as possible. Here are 10 critical elements to think about:

Business requirements
  • Understand what you need a service provider to deliver. Be clear on your business requirements and required Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) at the outset of any discussion
Documented processes
  • Document processes that a service provider can follow and use to train agents
    • If you don’t have your processes documented, be clear with service providers that this is the case and you may either need to build this in parallel to running the Request for Proposals (RFPs) or ask the service provider to build them before go-live
Sourcing strategy
  • Develop a strategy that specifies where you want support to be delivered from (onshore, nearshore, offshore or no preference) and determine if you are going to go with a sole supplier or multi-supplier strategy. This will be key before starting any procurement process as it will influence service provider selection
Technology strategy
  • Understand the digital transformation strategy for the business to ensure the service provider can support the changes required
  • Develop a clear technology strategy for the “run” business – are you going to dictate what technology is used for activities such as CRM or are you happy to leverage a supplier’s offerings?
    • This may be further complicated if you want to have multiple suppliers within your ecosystem as you need to be clear on where ownership of each technology will lie
Understand the supplier landscape
  • Understand the supplier landscape and the strengths and weaknesses of all the possible suppliers, including their footprint as well as their investments in technology and agent engagement. If you have unique or niche needs, are there suppliers in the market that can meet your requirements?

 

Understand the difference between procurement of goods versus services
  • Realize that the procurement of services is very different from the procurement of goods. While internal procurement teams are very effective at buying products, they may be less used to procuring services of this type and require additional support
Clear baseline of cost and performance
  • Understand the starting position in terms of cost and performance to baseline the value that is delivered through outsourcing as part of the business case
Business continuity planning
  • Factor in the use of service providers to existing business continuity plans for the current operation and plan for any potential impact or changes required
Stakeholder alignment
  • Align key business stakeholders with the use of outsourced service providers to ensure their support throughout the journey. Surprised stakeholders are much harder to placate than those that have been involved in the process from the start
Future expansion plans
  • Understand the expansion (or contraction) plans of the business to ensure any service provider selected can support future as well as current demand

While outsourcing can achieve many transformational business outcomes, know it is not a fit for every organization or in every context. Taking these right first steps and addressing the key issues above, will help set the foundation for a successful solution and prevent potential problems from transpiring at a later date.

To discuss embarking on outsourcing, please contact Sharang Sharma, Practice Director, [email protected]; David Rickard, Vice President, [email protected];  or Shirley Hung, Vice President: [email protected].

Learn how Everest Group helps CX managers deliver greater business value through CXM strategy optimization here.

CXM Market’s Dream Run – What’s Driving It and Will It Last? | Blog

During a global pandemic with a dire economic outlook, one surprising segment experienced its fastest growth in recent years – Customer Experience Management (CXM) services. Driven by increased demand for digital and other factors, this market seems to have long enough legs to extend into the coming years. But what’s behind this unexpected growth in CXM in an otherwise subdued economy, and will it last? For more on our analysis of this promising area, read on.

COVID-19 impact

As most major economies were shut down partially or almost completely in the first half of the year to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across the globe were adversely impacted in 2020. And while some industries such as high-tech or Fast Growth Tech (FGT) fared comparatively better than others like travel and hospitality, overall, the economy looked grim.

With such a dire economic outlook, it was largely assumed that the same would hold for the Customer Experience Management (CXM) services market, given the segment’s dependence on overall economic health for its growth. Gauged by the slow first half of the year, the downcast business outlook, and the huge challenge facing CXM service providers to shift to a Work from Home (WFH) model to continue running their businesses, Everest Group projected the market would shrink by 4-5 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

Market stunner

However, in a complete reversal of early trends, the CXM market managed to grow at one of the highest paces in recent years, recording 3-5 percent growth in 2020 to stand at around US$90 billion. And it doesn’t look like growth is coming to an end for this sector, as the numbers reported by some of the largest publicly-listed CXM service providers in 2021 look robust and point towards an optimistic future for this market.

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This begs the question: Why hasn’t the CXM market been impacted as severely as was widely expected during the early phase of the pandemic spread? We see several underlying factors that have been at work. In our upcoming CXM State of the Market Report slated for release later this year, these factors will be explored in greater depth. Below we discuss some of the factors that contributed to the segment’s growth and raise questions that need to be addressed further.

The following factors are playing a role in CXM services growth:

  1. Increasing demand for digital: It is no secret that businesses have come to terms with the importance of digital Customer Experience (CX) after the events of 2020. They understand the need for digital CX, not only to create superior customer experience but also to ensure continuity of services in adverse times when traditional methods no longer work. Additionally, customers are increasingly leveraging digital channels to communicate with brands, further fueling the pace of change. Enterprises are exhibiting a new wave of urgency to adopt digital technologies such as automation, analytics, self-service technologies, and digital channels to better prepare for the future and reduce dependence on a human workforce. This new demand is helping the digital segment of the CXM market to post an annual growth of over 40 percent
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  2. Exceptional performance by certain sectors of the market: While most traditional businesses were severely hit as businesses moved to an online model, those that were already strong in this space did well. Industries such as high-tech and FGT fared exceptionally, and their success also translated into more demand for CXM services from this industry
  3. Demand due to COVID-19 response: Even mature markets such as North America and Western Europe saw good growth in 2020 driven by demand for government support in these regions. The massive push to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to vaccinate the masses fueled demand for CXM services. Programs such as contact tracing and vaccination support are expected to drive new growth for CXM service providers. However, these demand drivers are expected to wind down once the pandemic is controlled and the vaccination programs cover a large portion of the population

 

Here are some of the issues we see that need further exploration:

  1. Is market consolidation hiding within the growth numbers? Given the challenges that 2020 posed around the changing business model, not everyone could thrive and survive in this market. The CXM services market has a very long tail with thousands, if not a magnitude more, of small service providers catering to enterprises globally. It is highly possible that a lot of these small (typically under 50 seats) providers were not prepared to handle the challenges thrown by the pandemic and saw their clients migrate to larger, more organized service providers. Given that a lot of these small players go untracked, a large part of this growth could well be just moving business from one player to another, which, in true essence, wouldn’t be actual growth. That said, it does not mean that the market did not see new growth at all. Based on our research, several providers have been successful in bringing new business to the table. While it may be difficult to determine full impact of the consolidation of smaller service providers on the overall market, our view is that the market is still experiencing net growth
  2. Is CXM growth being driven by new demand or a shift from in-house to outsourcing? With major economies globally under pressure, a lot of new demand for CXM services seems unlikely, barring, of course, certain sectors that were highlighted above.  A lot of the work that was previously being done internally through in-house centers could have moved to an outsourced model, given enterprises’ inability and inflexibility to adapt to new working models. Our research pegged the size of the total CXM services market (including in-house and outsourced) to be around US$350 billion at the end of 2019, with outsourcing accounting for ~25 percent of that spend. While a strong possibility exists that the overall CXM services spend declined in 2020 due to the challenging economic conditions, we believe the share of outsourcing is increasing, thus, resulting in net growth for the outsourced portion of the market

Positive outlook

Despite these factors, the long-term prospects for the CXM services market look favorable, especially with a heightened awareness around the need for superior CX to build differentiation in the market. This change will be hinged around digital CX, where most enterprises lack enough experience and require third-party support to execute the vision they have for their business. Along with green shoots of economic recovery emerging in several regions after a difficult year, service providers who possess CX capabilities have plenty of opportunities to look forward to.

Sharang Sharma, Practice Director: [email protected]

David Rickard, Vice President: [email protected]

Shirley Hung, Vice President: [email protected]

Sitel Group’s Acquisition of SYKES Makes a Big Statement – What Does It Mean for the CXM Industry? | Blog

With one of the largest acquisitions in the contact center outsourcing market in recent years, Sitel Group is poised to become a powerhouse with its acquisition of SYKES Enterprises, Inc. This union will likely set off greater investment in customer experience management services (CXM) and more industry consolidation. Read on to find out what this big deal will mean. 

Giant scope gets attention

The contact center outsourcing market is huge, about 90 billion dollars in annual revenues, and the industry is seeing more attention and growth than ever. So, the announcement of the agreement of Sitel Group acquiring all of SYKES’ outstanding shares in a transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion is another in a growing list of investments in this space, albeit a large one.

Over the last two to three years, most acquisitions by large contact center providers have focused on bringing new capabilities and technologies to an existing footprint, whereas the Sitel Group / SYKES deal calls out gaining additional global presence as one of the main reasons for the acquisition. We have not seen something of this scale for a few years, probably not since the Concentrix acquisition of Convergys.

Ripple effects of the acquisition

This acquisition forms a $4 billion customer experience management services (CXM) organization with over 150,000 agents, making Sitel Group one of the three largest organizations in the industry alongside Teleperformance and Concentrix. In this blog, we’ll explore what this acquisition means for Sitel Group, its existing and potential customers, as well as the CXM industry as a whole.

Here are a few of the key impacts we expect:

  • The pace of change within Sitel Group: Existing customers of both companies should be mindful as to the speed and effectiveness of the integration and changes to the senior leadership team. Moving too quickly on an integration of this type can cause delivery capability issues, but moving too slowly can lead to service degradation as people are distracted by impending changes and, thereby, lose focus on immediate priorities. Potential clients will also want a clear view of available offerings, service delivery models, and innovation roadmaps
  • Sitel Group scaling up: Sitel Group’s acquisition of SYKES opens up a plethora of new delivery locations, including in Australia, EMEA, and Central America. However, we can expect to see a consolidation of sites and locations over time, especially where both have strong presences. The global footprint will also reduce as locations begin to provide service in the same languages. We also expect that Sitel Group’s considerable work on improving profitability in recent years will benefit SYKES’ business, whose current operating margins are on the lower side in the industry.

In terms of vertical expertise, Sitel Group and SYKES have complementary strengths, with Sitel Group bringing presence in the retail, insurance, and public sector spaces and SYKES bringing strength in the technology and healthcare industries.

  • Client volume drop: While Sitel Group and SYKES share complementary capabilities and mindsets, one natural overlap is that they have many of the same clients, making it probable that they will lose some client volume. Clients will not want to aggregate their contact center outsourcing into one place, they will naturally want to diversify
  • Delays in fully leveraging new capabilities: Many CXM service providers are developing digital CXM capabilities as the industry moves at pace away from traditional “people in seats” models and focuses on delivering better customer experiences through digital interactions to drive better business outcomes. SYKES has a strong focus on digital marketing and automation capabilities which benefits Sitel Group, which has leveraged partnerships in those areas

While Sitel Group’s acquisition of SYKES will bring additional and much-needed digital capabilities to the new combined business, a company the size of the new organization cannot deliver change and adjust to new offerings and skills overnight. It may take some time to fully deliver new digital capabilities at scale.

Increased investments in the contact center industry

As the contact center industry aims to better understand the customer and improve customer experience, we’re seeing many investments in the market.

Service providers across the board are investing in technologies and skillsets to become more digital and get ahead of the curve to offer better customer experiences. They are finding organizations more willing to spend money to improve customer service, an area where in the past, they treated simply as a cost base that needed to be reduced, but are now recognizing its potential strategic and topline business impact. Smaller service providers are taking advantage of their agility and are quickly adapting to a digital-first CXM business, and larger providers are having to work hard to keep pace with the rate of digital adoption.

Watch for more deals in the future

Expect to see more public and non-public deals happening. With the size of this market and everyone working towards digital transformation, a trend that has further accelerated due to vulnerabilities exposed by COVID-19, the contact center outsourcing industry is really ripe for investment.

These deals will result in a consolidation in the marketplace but with bigger market growth. Penetration of contact center outsourcing could increase from roughly 30 percent to upwards of 35 percent in the next few years – resulting in a faster rate of growth than we’ve seen in the past decade.

It will not only be due to big service providers getting even larger. Smaller service providers will need to rapidly articulate their differentiation to remain relevant in a crowded marketplace, such as in a process area or industry domain; otherwise, they run the risk of being in a race towards the bottom.

Which Call Center Agent Model Is Right for Your Business during and after COVID-19? | Blog

Today, most companies have staff working from home due to the pandemic. Although customer experience management (CXM) agents aren’t essential workers in the truest sense, consumers sheltering in the safety of their homes for months on end have relied on them so heavily for wide-ranging reasons that they might as well have considered them so. What those consumers probably don’t know is that the call center agents assisting them are most likely working from home. In fact, our recent research report, Customer Experience Management (CXM) State of the Market Report 2021, found that the percentage of CXM FTEs working at home grew from less than 10 percent in 2019 to as much as 80 percent during the health crisis. While we expect that there will be some movement back towards the brick and mortar model in the coming months and years, many service providers and in-house contact centers will continue to utilize Work at Home Agents (WAHA) as a key component of their service delivery strategy.

Two WAHA models are currently in use. One is employee-based (E-WAHA), wherein the agents are on the service provider’s or company’s payroll. The other is contract-based (C-WAHA), wherein contractors are leveraged and only paid for the time they work for the organization.

In recent years, GigCX has emerged as an alternate approach to CXM staffing and is being utilized by the likes of organizations such as eBay and Microsoft. GigCX includes the use of freelance or self-employed workers to handle specific interaction types, leveraging an AI-powered technology platform. They are recruited for their existing knowledge and passion for the product and service.

Initially, GigCX was utilized for very simple work; however, those interactions are increasingly being eliminated or automated. Now, growing use of this model is for more complex query types that require a level of brand affinity and awareness, which can be a differentiator many GigCX providers are publicizing.

GigCX, which is often seen as another strain of the WAHA model, should not be confused with WAHA, as there are some fundamental differences in how the models operate.

When considering which approach is best to meet a set of business requirements, organizations should understand the following differences in the two models:

GigCX

While we have seen both WAHA and GigCX being effective models for handling customer interactions, there are some stark differences in their operation. Any company considering using either model should assess the positives and negatives of the approaches and factor them into their operating model design. Both models are highly effective when utilized appropriately to handle the right interaction types, especially if all the limitations and dependencies are considered early in the design process.

For more information, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

 

Integrating Customer Support Call Centers With Artificial Intelligence | Blog

Companies currently invest a lot of money in target markets to generate potential customers’ interest in products and services. But after they achieve a sale, they often frustrate customers by not providing effective customer service support. A poor customer experience can erode the company’s brand and reputation and destroy the company’s opportunities to increase revenue through new purchases by those existing customers. Obviously, these are significant problems, especially in today’s highly competitive environment with customers’ quick pace in buying decisions. Let us now explore the solution.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

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