Top Call Center Outsourcing Trends to Expect in 2018
Call center outsourcing industry’s expansion is driven by innovation and global competition. In the last few years, the industry has witnessed a 4.4% growth with revenues crossing $140 billion.
However, 2017 augured poorly for call center outsourcing industry that was met by concerns like scarcity of skilled resources, political holdups and heightened trade protectionism. Even though this has been the trend in the last few months, the industry is showing promising trends with regards to market growth and abridged policies.
At the same time, technological innovation such as process automation, cloud computing etc. have encouraged businesses to show an upward progression.
For the call center outsourcing companies to profit from trade in current times, they are expected to integrate new technologies to overcome obstacles, improve products and services, fill the skill gap, while controlling the operational costs. What else can you expect from this vibrant industry in the very near future? Here is a detailed overview-
Trend 1: Increased Transparency in Policies, Pricing and Contracts
When large MNCs dominated the call center outsourcing sector, it was challenging to get information about contracts and policies. Most employees on either side on client side and supplier side were ill-informed about the inside workings. However, with the introduction of startups, the call center industry has no choice but to be open about its pricing, policies and contracts.
Since the outsourcing environment is extremely competitive, the vendors have to tweak their policies from time to time to avoid losing business with dependable clients. Transparency is also crucial to develop better partnerships between suppliers and clients which is crucial for innovation and expansion.
With evolving business environment and government involvement, there has been an increased demand for clarity in the business processes and policies for the outsourcing industry.
Trend 2: Geopolitics will Impact the Industry & Investments
With the change in government in many countries, many companies waited in anticipation for the policies change brought on by new administration that will impact the business. Industry experts were skeptical of call center outsourcing industry’s fate after President Trump’s call for “Buy American, Hire American.”
However, despite Trump’s “America First” stance and new policy claims, call center outsourcing industry is expected to grow unfettered.
Trend 3: Continued Growth in Top Call Center Outsourcing Destinations
Established inbound and outbound call center outsourcing destinations such as India, the Philippines and Malaysia will continue to rule the roost and witness incremental growth in 2018.
With an addition of nearly 130,000 new jobs and a staggering growth rate of 7-8% for export revenues by 2018, India is all set to be the hub of digital adoption that will in all probability help increase the sub-sectors in the outsourcing industry.
Malaysia’s outsourcing market is projected to grow at a monstrous rate of 7.9% and reach 1.4 billion by 2021.
As per experts, call center outsourcing services will be the primary source of revenue for the country in the next few years. The outsourcing industry is of this vibrant country is expected to perform better than the other two heavyweights and reach a growth rate of 9% per annum over the next five years.
Trend 4: New Outsourcing Destinations to Emerge in 2018
New emerging markets are all set to give tough competition to established call center outsourcing destination in the very near future.
Here are a few countries that will lead this change:
Thanks to the growth of internet usage in the region which has seen a jump of about 1644.3% over the last 15 years, Mexico has uncovered a huge talent pool for outsourcing and has grown to become the 8th most desirable outsourcing location in the world.
Some of the major reasons for its growth include:
- Political and economic stability
- Proximity to Silicon Valley
- Huge pool of talent
Bulgaria is presently the 12th most desirable outsourcing location in the world. Some of the reasons for this include:
- Large pool of talent with deep technical expertise
- Ability of the workforce to speak all major European languages
- Lowest salary amongst EU nations (235.62 Euros per month)
Romania the currently the 13th most desirable outsourcing location in the world and is also the fastest growing economy in the EU with a projected growth rate of 5.7%. As a result, many outsourcing companies including some of the leading outbound and inbound call center service providers have their sights on this country for their future expansion.
Romania’s growth as a top outsourcing nation is owed to:
- second lowest salary in EU (approximately 321.17 Euros per month)
- 54% of graduates have a background in science and technology
- Fastest internet connection amongst the European Union
Trend 5: Resources Should Multitask to Overcome the Shortage of Skilled Staff
Call center outsourcing industry has come a long way in the last 10 years. Large multinational giants are currently financing innovative technologies in the countries of their suppliers, like India and Philippines, to make up for skilled workforce shortage which has plagued these contractors for sometime. India is already struggling with lack of expert workforce that can provide high-end service requirements of reputed international clients.
Due to increased completion, the call centers had to replace their proficient staff with cost-lowering alternatives, such as artificial intelligence and automation. The growing threat of losing low skilled jobs to machines, the governments and businesses are forced to retrain their employees and impart them more skills. Call center outsourcing industry will have to invest heavily in training and development of their existing employees to inhibit loss of jobs due to automation.
Trend 6: Startups Hiring Offshore Support Providers
More and more startups are coming up these days and face intense performance anxiety. They are under a lot of pressure to show results with limited resources and very less time. With fewer budget to hire local resources, they often look towards outsourcing options to get low-cost support from offshore call centers to undertake tedious jobs like providing support, generating leads, etc. As a result, offshore call centers and startups have become dependent on each other, a trend which will be more apparent in 2018.
By the looks of it, call center outsourcing industry is geared for positive growth in 2018. The industry’s growth will be fueled by new entrants and continued pressure on businesses to keep operational costs down.
Industry experts also see automation as one of the biggest threat to the tedious jobs in call centers. Many companies are planning to invest as much as 43% in robotics in the next two years.
At the same time, governments of call center outsourcing supplier nations will focus on educating their workforce to meet the growing demand. To meet the industry requirements, call center staff will have to expand their skills.
Startups are also going to play an instrumental role in call center outsourcing sector this year. The industry will benefit from transparency in their policies and is expected to reach $262 billion by 2020.