Industry Commentary

Czech Contact Center Sector Evolving With Local Market Realities

By November 14, 2019January 10th, 2024No Comments

Each national contact center market has its nuances.  And while commonalities can be found across different countries, the reality is that any customer experience provider that plans to succeed somewhere will need to recognize the distinctiveness of the field in which they are playing.  It the case of the Czech Republic, there has been a shift through the past decade in its contact center culture, one that has taken a much more innovative approach.  While much of this has been driven by cost factors, it also favors the domestic market, which is proving to be a growing portion of demand for Czech contact center activity.  Moving forward, this country’s customer experience market is likely to face many of the same opportunities as its West European neighbors, as well as the challenges that go with an increasingly sophisticated national market.

The recently-held Call Centra event in Prague, which was attended by over 200 of the country’s customer experience leaders, was a showcase of change in the Czech service industry.  After all, it was in the last two decades that the Czech Republic was one of a cadre of countries in Central Europe (including Poland, Hungary and Slovakia), positioning itself as a logical location to deliver multilingual support for consumers in major West European demand markets.  Positioning lower costs, great West European language skills and easy access in and out of Prague (as well as other secondary cities), the Czech Republic effectively cut its customer experience teeth by championing nearshore delivery.

However, what was also clear through discussions with local providers at the recent Prague event is that the nearshore delivery value proposition is no longer a mainstay for Czech customer experience.  As this country has embraced the tenets of free markets since the Velvet Revolution in late 1989, investment has flooded into the country.  This means that the opportunities for young, multilingual graduates are now more plentiful than ever, driving more competition for this demographic and higher labor prices.  This has led to many customer experience operators to look toward newer multilingual delivery points, further east or in southern Europe, which may be more affordable from an agent perspective.

But what cannot be ignored is that with ongoing investment, Czech consumers are rapidly increasing in their levels of sophistication.  This means more alignment with West European end-users in terms of buyer behavior, technology adoption and customer expectations.  These themes were on showcase at the recent Prague event, with significant discussion allocated to the expanding channel universe, advanced technologies (including analytics, automation and artificial intelligence) and the best processes to manage this ongoing evolution.

The Czech customer experience industry has not only incorporated some of the biggest names in services and CRM technology, it has also spawned a dynamic community of local providers, such as Go Digital!, which in its own right is disrupting domestic delivery.  This is essential in any contact center market, in order to ensure a strong level of competition that is able to respond to the shifting needs of local customer experience service buyers.

As the Czech contact center industry continues to move toward managing local demand, outsourced and captive executives alike will need to focus closely on how best to take advantage of this national opportunity.  It is unlikely that low-cost, low-value options will suffice in this ever-expanding economy.  One need only visit the gallerias of downtown Prague to understand that many of the customer experience lessons learned from the UK, France and Germany can be applied in the Czech context, and will be needed to drive great consumer interactions.