BPO providers that specialize in front-office delivery have long been in agreement that they are participating in an evolving industry. Whether it be where work is being delivered from, how processes are being used to drive quality, or the interface that end-users interact with—contact center support in 2019 is very different than it was even a few years ago. What were traditional ways of doing business are antiquated, and any outsourcer aiming to expand market share needs to adapt. This reality, along with many other trends, formed the basis for discussion at the recent CxOutsourcers global mindshare summit. The CxOutsourcers 2019 summit, held in Windsor, UK on March 25 – 26 highlighted the need for BPO players to rethink how they compete to win business among an ever-discerning enterprise prospect base.
CxOutsourcers 2019 brought together leading representatives from the contact center services ecosystem, with attendees traveling to the event from locations that included the UK, North America, Africa, Continental Europe and Russia, among other locales. And, while the spectre of Brexit hung over the deliberations — and was forensically dissected from a customer experience perspective in an opening address by Mike Havard several regionally-agnostic topics made for heady debate.
Among the most strategically important was the role of front-office outsourcing in customer management going forward. The topline results of the 2019 Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office Omnibus Survey laid this out starkly: the proportion of enterprises not currently using contact center third party services, but that would be willing to consider this business model, is abysmally low. For a sector that aims to grow through new client wins, the mindset of the buyer must change—and appealing to the buy-side with the same marketing messages just will not cut it.
What cannot be understated is the importance of demonstrating an understanding of enterprise pain points at the vertical level. Broadly speaking, there will be challenges that all contact centers face, regardless of sector, and industry experts at CxOutsourcers confirmed that investing in the right vertical intelligence will help any provider better navigate the path toward new client wins.
Technology offerings also cannot be underestimated in the context of today’s contact center services market. As noted by experts speaking at CxOutsourcers, in order to maintain existing clients and gain new ones service providers must meet data security requirements, balance the right channels, and have the correct analytics platforms in place. All these are essential. This is where the challenge becomes more intense. Over the past several years, more enterprises than ever have stated that they possess a greater degree of in-house contact center budget flexibility. Given this, the need to source third-party assistance to handle some or all customer experience management is almost certain to decline. Target buyers have more resources at their disposal, so appealing to them means that they must be offered a different narrative if they are going to choose to work with a front-office outsourcer.
The key for outsourcing firms as they shore up their customer experience management strategies will be to determine what differentiates their own firm’s offering in a crowded market, and why their solutions will be an improvement over what can be done by an in-house operator. Taking a verticalized approach, and providing the right technology solutions, are key components to such planning. But, these planning efforts must come soon—uncomfortably soon for some. One key message laid out at CxOutsourcers was that there is no time to waste in this rapidly changing market.