One of the best annual contact center conferences takes place this week in Istanbul in the form of The Turkey Call Center Expo. This gathering consistently highlights not only some of the more important global trends related to best practices in CRM, but it also showcases one of the world’s most dynamic domestic contact center markets. This year, the challenge for Turkish contact center leaders is to position their industry as the offshore delivery point that it has the potential to be. With multiple factors challenging the country, both in terms of political turmoil and uncertain economics, Turkey’s contact center stakeholders will need to innovate their approach in order to attract more front office BPO investment.
Turkey as an offshore delivery point has many advantages. Not only is the country’s prospective contact center workforce well positioned in terms of education levels and familiarity with western products / services, it is relatively abundant in volume. In addition, secondary language skills are strong especially in English, German as well as Dutch, and from the nearshore perspective it is easy to access Turkey from practically all major European commercial centers. These factors have not been lost on a small number of international outsourcers, which have successfully situated operations in Turkey. The question remains, what will it take to attract more global vendors, willing to use that country as an offshore hub.
One immediate step that Turkey’s contact center industry could do as a means of bringing in new front office BPO investment is familiarization. While Turkey can compete against many other European nearshore locations on the basis of quality, price and ease of access, there is still limited global awareness of the Turkish CRM value proposition. Thus, efforts among all sector stakeholders to promote the Turkey as a logical foil to increasingly pricey locations in Central Europe and North Africa would go far in regard to generating familiarity with the country. It would also do much to introduce foreign enterprises and vendors to the domestic Turkish outsourcing community, which could be great targets for partnering or acquisition.
However, what will be more difficult is overcoming the omnipresent concerns related to the Turkish political atmosphere, which have become more apparent in recent months. News of unsuccessful coup d’etats and the ongoing threat of terrorism in the country’s main commercial centers will do little to instill confidence among front office BPO players not yet on the ground in Turkey. Economically, Turkey has also suffered downgrades in bond ratings and its currency has fluctuated heavily over the past twelve months, factors that will also do little to reassure outsourcers and their clients.
Coming out of the 2016 Turkish Call Center Expo, what will be key for industry stakeholders must be to provide a united front ready to sell the country’s CRM sector to a global audience of outsourcers and enterprises eager for a new quality point of offshore delivery. If Turkey is to establish its rightful place as a center of international contact center excellence, this step is essential and there is no margin for error.