Lockdowns have ended and the ‘new normal’ for business has arrived. Consequently, both outsourcers and their clients are seeking out new terrains, including places that even a few years ago may have been outside of consideration.
This enthusiasm to sample new territories was highlighted at Nearshore Americas’ CrossConnect Forum event, held recently in London. It was the first of its kind, premised on the concept of showcasing the best on offer BPO-wise in the American nearshore positioned for UK businesses. But, based on the alignment felt between British investors and those firms particularly from the Caribbean, CrossConnect Forum clearly resonated.
The reality is, organizations that contract for business services will be desperate to realign their delivery destinations in 2023—and beyond. Companies and BPOs are no longer satisfied with sticking with one or two countries where front-line CX has traditionally been provided. The desire to diversify their geographic risk has never been higher. This is providing notable opportunities for outsourcers (and their clients) and for locations that are emerging as BPO delivery points.
In the UK, the last Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office CX Omnibus Survey validated this point. Based on the views of enterprise outsourced service buyers, it found that business continuity is a top priority. Hence, the chance to explore new geographic delivery options at CrossConnect Forum in London was one not to be missed.
Certainly, as an event CrossConnect Forum did not disappoint. A strong grouping of enterprise decision-makers, outsourcing executives and influencers mixed seamlessly with investment promotion professionals from across the American nearshore to explore new possibilities in CX BPO delivery. Yet, where potentially the strongest alignment came through was between British businesses and countries in the Caribbean.
As a concept, this outsourcing pathway has been steadily gaining ground for the past couple of years. There are several reasons for this. Probably the most relevant among these is the incredible alignment between the UK and countries in the Caribbean from a cultural and commercial perspective. Native English delivery from the Caribbean is only the most obvious driver. Caribbean locations have attracted greater foreign investment thanks to their common law systems that are familiar to global businesses. All the while, they have maintained warm, strong ties with the UK. Travel between peoples of both regions has only grown over time. This familiarity helps ensure strong outcomes between Caribbean-based agents and UK consumers.
And, as pointed out by Yoni Epstein of itelCX during his opening keynote presentation at CrossConnect Forum, accessibility is an important consideration for British executives. The Caribbean is equally (if not more) straightforward to visit than other parts of the traditional English-speaking BPO delivery world. Epstein also noted solid time zone alignment: when UK businesses are ending the workday, it is still morning in Jamaica, Barbados and Saint Lucia. Working with Caribbean operators ensures that British businesses avoid higher labor costs associated with night delivery, either domestically or in countries aligned to the British time zone (such as South Africa or those in Central / Eastern Europe).
Let there be no illusion, this Caribbean CX BPO play for the UK is not a pie-in-the-sky concept – it has wheels and is rolling. This was validated by Scottish operator Ascensos’ announcement that it is opening a delivery site in Trinidad and Tobago, one that will be leveraged to provide support to UK customers (in addition to those in North America). Given the success to which CrossConnect Forum highlighted the potential of the Caribbean to support British enterprises and their customers, this deployment is likely to be one of many to come.