Demand for CX services is disrupting the Contact Center Outsourcing market, pitting traditional models based on labor arbitrage and scale with digital-first strategies.
Customer experience (CX) is king, dominating the strategic focus of a growing number of enterprises seeking to build a loyal customer base. These enterprises are taking a digital-first approach, aggressively shopping for service providers with next-generation, digital capabilities that can help them gain in-depth customer understanding, deliver personalized CX and establish highly qualified talent pools for managing CX. According to new research from Everest Group, digital CX, which currently represents 4-6 percent of the overall contact center outsourcing (CCO) market, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20-25 percent for the next five years.
“Traditional CCO approaches are rapidly evolving to those focused on delivering customer experience services,” said Skand Bhargava, practice director of Business Process Services at Everest Group. “In fact, the digital outsourcing drivers for enterprises—such as CX consulting, omnichannel platforms and digital capabilities such as automation and analytics solutions—are increasingly becoming more important than in the past. Enterprise buyers expect their service providers to be customer-centric and to provide innovative solutions that can help them meet and exceed the expectations of digital-native customers.”
These findings and more are discussed in “Contact Center Outsourcing Annual Report 2018 – Transforming Customer Experience Through a Digital-First Approach.” This report provides an overview of the CCO market, evolving buyer expectations, market size, adoption trends, key solution characteristics, and the outlook for 2018-2019.
Other key findings:
- The global contact center spend stands at US$320-350 billion, of which third-party outsourcing accounts for approximately 26 percent. The global CCO market grew at approximately 4 percent in 2017 to reach US$81-83 billion, driven by the growing interest among new buyers for outsourcing and the emerging growth avenues for service providers around consulting and digital CX solutions. The CCO market is expected to grow further at a rate of 4-5 percent to reach US$91-93 billion by 2020.
- The adoption of chat and social media has increased significantly over the past two years, compared to email and voice; chat has become the most preferred channel among millennials.
- Robotic process automation (RPA) and rule-based chatbots are increasingly adopted across multiple use cases in contact centers to solve key business problems such as longer average handle time (AHT), average waiting times, and navigating through multiple systems and applications. Artificial intelligence (AI) is largely leveraged to unlock customer insights, predict customer actions, and make personalized recommendations.
- The operational analytics solutions such as desktop analytics and agent performance analytics have witnessed high adoption in contact centers. The adoption of business analytics solutions that include customer analytics, sentiment analytics, and Voice of Customer Analytics (VoCA) is expected to increase over the next few years.
- The delivery model for customer service management (CXM) services is evolving with a balanced mix of onshore, offshore, and nearshore agents, augmented with the Work-at-Home Agent (WAHA) model and next-generation technology solutions. The WAHA model continues to grow in CXM services, with around 93 percent of the total WAHA agents based out of the United States.
CCO market: scale-first versus digital-first models
The rise of digital CCO has created two broad market segments: scale-first CCO and digital-first CCO. The models are not mutually exclusive; regardless of model focus, there will be elements of both, and each will remain viable for providers in the next three to five years.
Everest Group is once again the featured Knowledge Partner of the 2018 Contact Islands conference, “Leading with CX in a Digital World,” presented by the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP).
Eric will lead a session titled, “The Empowered Customer in the Age of Digital Care”
Session summary: Industries across the globe are facing profound paradigm shifts driven by new business models, supported by innovative, disruptive innovations. Amidst the changing business landscape, the focus on customers has become even more critical than ever before. This session aims to build a better understanding of the “new-age” customer and their expectations, focusing on both existing customer segments as well as millennials. The session re-inforces the importance of staying focused on customers while in the midst of adopting new models and undergoing transformation.
Karthik will moderate a session titled, “Gearing Up for the Hybrid Workforce: Humans + Machines”
Session summary: Next gen technologies such as AI, automation, and advanced analytics is changing the way companies operates. As humans and machines work more closely and collaborate, processes can become more fluid and adaptive and help organizations become more innovative and profitable. This session brings in the views of the leading industry voices on how they are getting ready for this shift and the kind of the steps they are taking, including the changes coming to the overall CX approach. Further, it explores how the collaborative Human + Machine service delivery model will enhance outcomes and result in more impact than ever before.
July 25-26, 2018
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa
There’s no shortage of market discussion around a wide range of customer experience (CX) opportunities and challenges. It’s what everyone in your organization, from IT, to HR, to actual customer care, are talking about. But while ideas about what you should be trying to achieve and why you should care abound, insight on how to actually execute and what delivery outcomes to target is hard to come by.
Use of CCO Services
One approach drawing attention involves the use of contact center outsourcing (CCO) services. The traditional “butts-in-seats” model is evolving to more of a customer experience management (CXM) service model, where outcomes are assessed for impact as much as for cost management. The traditional view has been that the primary value delivered by CCO providers is operational cost savings through efficiencies, labor arbitrage, and scale. But that’s no longer enough. An increasing number of enterprises are raising the bar and looking to their CCO providers for an expanded value proposition targeting digitally-enabled and differentiated CX capabilities. We refer to this engagement approach as Customer Experience Management (CXM) services.
CX Outsourcing Pinnacle EnterprisesTM
We believe that companies really serious about reshaping their brand through memorable CX are more often turning to this new model of CXM services. We call this breed of buyers CX Outsourcing Pinnacle EnterprisesTM. And we believe these enterprises are very intentionally leveraging these advanced CXM services to enhance their corporate-wide CX strategies, and to achieve results more quickly and at lower costs.
We’ve launched a unique study to dig deep and identify how these Pinnacle Enterprises engage CXM services to drive both operational and strategic imperatives for their overall CX strategy. How can this emerging model help enterprises tackle high-value CX objectives such as digital enablement, greater insights on and visibility into consumer wants and behaviors, increased wallet share, and reduced customer effort? What are the mechanisms in play around technology, governance, talent models, pricing models, and others?
This is an all-around different approach to CXM services – a rethinking of which outcomes to target, what to measure, the role of technology, and the new relationship model.
Curious to know what leading CX Outsourcing Pinnacle Enterprises are doing? Want to know where your organization stands compared to others? Everest Group invites you to become part of the research process and take our survey.
Service Delivery Automation (SDA) adoption can see positive results as quickly as 9-15 months for RDA and RPA and 18-24 months for chatbots
Customers have stopped thinking about channels. It’s the experience that matters to them now – regardless of the channel they choose at any point of time. Thus, it’s no surprise that 73 percent of buyers responding to Everest Group’s 2016/17 Contact Center Outsourcing (CCO) surveys and interviews rated omnichannel as their top priority for adoption, and that 23 percent of buyers want to integrate the face-to-face customer touchpoints with their contact centers.
Omnichannel is a Priority for Adoption among CCO Buyers
Regardless of this intention, very few enterprises have achieved delivering a true omnichannel experience or built competitive advantage through exceptional CX.
Six Challenges Enterprises are Facing in their Transition to Omnichannel CX
Challenge 1: Lack of strategic leadership support: Most omnichannel transition efforts lack direct involvement from senior leadership to prioritize investments, communicate urgency for transition, and mitigate any implementation roadblocks. This contributes to misplaced priorities and execution inefficiencies.
Solution: An internal transition team consisting of experienced senior leadership can be set up to manage and drive the organization-wide change towards omnichannel.
Challenge 2: Inadequate focus on human capital challenges: Omni-channel investment decisions are primarily focused on technologies and solutions. But even with sophisticated tools and technologies in place, lack of investment in human capital makes it difficult to practically achieve the desired outcomes.
Solution: Organizations need to place equal importance on investments in human capital and begin their omnichannel transition efforts by assessing the talent requirements to manage omnichannel CX.
Challenge 3: Organizational skills gap for omnichannel: IT teams often lack the necessary skills to support the integration of tools, channels, and databases. Contact center managers also require upskilling on sophisticated technologies, systems, and processes to effectively manage omnichannel contact centers. Agents, usually trained in supporting individual channels, have limited knowledge to work across multiple channels.
Solution: Enterprises should conduct a gap analysis to identify training requirements for the existing talent at all levels of the organization, with the necessary skills for omni-channel and hire for new profiles. They should also revise employee performance metrics and align the incentives with common omnichannel KPIs
Challenge 4: Historically siloed functions and channels: Lack of integrated front-office functions such as sales, marketing, and customer service with back-office functions such as business intelligence, reporting, procurement, inventory management, etc., makes it impossible to create a unified view about customers.
Solution: Back-to-front office integration is crucial for a great end-to-end customer journey. The first step to achieving this is through customer journey mapping for all end-to-end processes to identify changing behaviors, capture unmet expectations, optimize processes, and encourage cross-functional collaboration.
Challenge 5: Lack of clarity on requirements for data integration from all channels: Enterprises are not clear about the business and operational needs to support data integration across all channels. Management of disparate CRM, voice and other technology systems also hinder integration.
Solution: Enterprises need to assess the implications of data standardization and integration across channels and identify an appropriate mix of tools to achieve integration of disparate datasets and applications.
Challenge 6: Incompatible legacy systems: Most legacy systems in enterprises, especially CRM systems and voice technologies, are incompatible with omnichannel platforms and solutions. This leads to inconsistency in capturing and transferring data to achieve a unified view of customers in a single platform.
Solution: Enterprises should adopt non-invasive omnichannel platforms and solutions that can seamlessly communicate with their legacy systems.
To learn more, check out Everest Group’s two-part study on omnichannel customer experience: “From Multi-Channel to Omni-Channel Customer Experience,” and “Delivering Omni-Channel Customer Experience.” Both include checklists to help enterprises successfully plan and execute their transition to omnichannel. And, please feel free to share your omnichannel experiences with us: Katrina Menzigian ([email protected]) and Jayapriya K ([email protected].)
Enterprises’ expectations of their service providers are shifting from traditional arbitrage-based drivers to next-generation digital-based drivers
Digital is driving dramatic changes to the contact center outsourcing (CCO) industry. Indeed, our recently completed buyer study – conducted over three years via surveys with more than 140 organizations and a large number of executive interviews – made it abundantly clear that outsourcing drivers are shifting away from the traditional (such as cost savings) to a digital orientation for capabilities such as analytics, access to better technology, and multi-channel solutions. Buyers now expect a lot more from their CCO engagements to delight their digitally-savvy customers.
While the importance of digital drivers has risen, service provider performance has remained below par on the new-age KPIs such as innovation, better insights, and proactiveness. As enterprises are now looking to associate with providers that are customer-centric, innovative, flexible, and able to serve as long-term strategic partners in their growth, providers must differentiate themselves by focusing their attention on improving their performance in these areas.
So, what do providers need to do to cater to these changes in buyer expectations and, in turn, survive in the fast-evolving contact center outsourcing industry? Here are our three key action steps:
- Invest in new-age digital offerings – First, they should invest in new-age technologies and the required processes, roadmaps, and consulting capabilities to support buyers along their adoption paths of these tools. These investments will go a long way in ensuring that they are well placed to meet the expectations of prospective clients.
- Be proactive in solutioning – Buyers have highlighted proactiveness as an area of improvement for providers, irrespective of their size. Strong focuses on prescribing and implementing innovative solutions that help buyers achieve their overall business goals can create differentiation and improve buyer satisfaction levels.
- Adopt a consultative approach – With innovation and better insights among the top capabilities buyers are seeking from their providers, a consultative engagement approach is critical. As discussed in our previous CCO blog, adopting this type of partnership will assist in providing a seamless customer experience across multiple touchpoints.
To learn more about the evolving contact center buyer expectations and the corresponding provider performance, please read our recently released CCO Market Report 2017: “How Good are CCO Providers in Providing Digital Customer Experience.”