How well do you understand the technology you’re using in your call center? We can’t deny that globalization and the latest trends in call center technology have not only revolutionized the entire customer service industry but also maximized the customer satisfaction ratio.
Globalization shrunk the world, but it also has expanded the market, triggering a never ending competition between global businesses to compete with each other. It led them to invest more money to seek better customization and save money. The development also forced global firms to outsource their work offshore to minimize their expenses, earn more profit, and achieve at par quality by leveraging the services of experts.
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.
What is Call Center Technology?
The term “Call Center Technology” refers to the set of tools used by the call centers to manage inbound and outbound phone calls. These tools are designed in a way to leverage a blend of human intervention and convenience in the form of technology while interacting with the callers. Features like call routing, call recording, call distribution, etc. come as a part of these tools.
Several years back when call centers and customer support were in their infancy, business organizations were desperately on the lookout for an alternative to local phone providers since calls outside local areas were expensive. This constant search for advanced calling capabilities at minimal costs brought about some truly revolutionary solutions like VOIP, CRM, IVR, Call queueing and CRMs.
India on top
Since India offers the cheapest and the most efficient labor, it remains one of the most sought after outsourcing destinations. Government support, round-the-clock service and language skills through all communication modes further make it worth the investment.
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. To deliver unparalleled services and meet customer expectations, organizations need to have an understanding of the latest call center outsourcing trends to build up a loyal customer base. What else can you expect from this vibrant industry in the very near future?
Some of the latest call center trends worth knowing include:
Call center outsourcing trends
As technology becomes increasingly accessible, more and more new and innovative call center trends continue to crop up to offer the best customer service.
Unified Communication – The New Talk of the Town
The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced all organizations to incorporate work-from-culture and with its onset, there’s a constant demand for robust communication channels. By setting up a unified communication channel, it’s easier for the organizations & the workforce to serve the customers seamlessly.
The merger of the official phone system, CRM, helpdesk, team chat apps into one unified solution not only improves productivity but also allows every member of your team to focus on their work without tech becoming a hindrance. Further, dealing with one provider for all your communication needs is much easier.
Trend 1:The Emergence of Newer Technologies
The latest advancements in technology are enforcing the leaders of the BPO sector to allow technologies like robotic process automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning (ML) be a part of their standard client-servicing portfolio. The emergence of newer technologies, increased focus on social media tools, major shift towards cloud computing, and the need to automate key processes are reasons outsourcing is becoming a sought after market.
Trend 2: Increased Focus on Data
It’s expected that with the change in how customers perceive the call-center industry, businesses and organizations will start relying on data more vigorously. They will have to analyze the existing data meticulously to cater to the demands of the customers on social media.
By studying their customer journey, social media analytics, it’s easier for organizations to predict customer behavior, offer better help, and product recommendations to maximize their revenue. With the advancement of technology, customer experience is a key decision influencing brand affinity, and BPOs understand this fact and thus will start analyzing user data to increase customer loyalty, drive sales, and most importantly offer a memorable customer experience.
Trend 3: Customized & Tailored BPO Solutions
Today, consumers are becoming smarter and demand tailor-made solutions to everything from clothing and accessories to even business solutions. So, providing customized solutions is one of the leading customer service outsourcing trends in 2020.
One-size fits all approach no longer works since every business and organization is different from each other and has their set of needs and resources. Especially with the outbreak of COVID-19, template-driven scripts will no longer cut ice when it comes to making cold calls, for example. Processes and workflows need to be customized and laced with empathy and mindfulness right from greeting a customer to providing value-added support to enhance their lives.
Applying the same solution to every problem not only jeopardizes the business deliverables but also mars the reputation of the organization giving its competitors an easy advantage. Thus, businesses must optimize their operation cycle to provide successful solutions to achieve efficiency, reduce operational expenses, and understand their client needs and values.
Trend 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 2020.
With an addition of nearly 130,000 new jobs and a staggering growth rate of 7-8% for export revenues by 2020, 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 7: New Outsourcing Destinations to Emerge in 2020
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
The reasons what makes Egypt one of the most desirable outsourcing locations for BPOs is:
- Outsourcing businesses get the support of the government in the form of tax incentives
- Highly-skilled individuals are proficient in French, German, and English languages
- A considerable boom in the infrastructure
Trend 8: 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 9: 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 2020.
By the looks of it, call center outsourcing industry is geared for positive growth in 2020. 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.