Industry Commentary

Enterprises are Prioritizing Diversity in CX – Outsourcers Should Follow Suit

By June 3, 2021February 14th, 2024No Comments

One of the most important changes in CX delivery is a recognition that organizations can do more when they focus on being as inclusive as possible.  This trend has become even more important in the past year, with many executives in contact center management actively promoting more social diversity in their operations.  Captive customer management deployments in particular are actively looking for ways to create more inclusive work environments.

Pressure is building on third-party outsourcers to follow this important school of thought.  Ensuring that people regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, economic background or religion can find an open and accepting work atmosphere is morally right and it needs to be a hallmark of any provider’s service delivery credo.  Beyond that, it will also become an operational facet that enterprises look for when choosing a CX partner.

The reality is that today’s CX decision-makers are socially progressive, and they are looking for the opportunity to make their workplaces as inclusive as possible.  This was quantified in the recently published Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office Omnibus Survey of 628 enterprise CX decision-makers. In fact, this community of executives indicated that the implementation of programs that promote an inclusive and diverse contact center workplace constitutes a top-5 investment priority in 2021.  And this emphasis on ensuring such an atmosphere makes a great deal of sense, not only for in-house deployments but for outsourcers as well.

Looking at this from a BPO perspective, there are several compelling reasons for developing a diverse workplace.  Good corporate citizenship stands out as an obvious one.  Ensuring that agents from all walks of life, especially those from communities that have faced challenges advancing in the workplace have the chance to fulfill career ambitions in a positive, open atmosphere needs to be a priority.  The modern CX workplace cannot tolerate discriminatory practices, full stop.  With so many outsourcing operators emphasizing positivity and inclusiveness for all employees, going the next step to formalize diversity promotion only makes sense.

When visiting a CX delivery facility with individuals that have not been in such an environment previously, it is interesting the number who comment on the diversity of those supporting consumers on the front lines. Customer management operations are built on teams of people from many backgrounds working together, supporting each other, and succeeding in a positive atmosphere. It should be front of mind for outsourcers to ensure that those responsible for delivering the best results for customers can work in an environment that is empowering and free of discrimination of any sort.

A diverse workplace makes good business sense, too.  Agents from all communities and backgrounds are certain to appreciate the opportunity of working for a provider that emphasizes social inclusion and career advancement opportunities for all.  They are also more likely to want to remain under the employ such a CX operator.  Happier, more engaged agents will perform better, meaning superior outcomes for consumers and the outsourcer’s clients.

The outsourcing community needs to be clear that moving forward, enterprises will prioritize working with providers that are serious about delivering on the promise of diversity. Given that buyers have made inclusion a key area of investment over other operational dynamics this year should not be taken lightly.  BPOs that have already implemented diversity into their operations should continue looking for ways to meaningfully expand these programs. Those that have yet to do so have no time to waste in developing their own. The reality is that working toward a more inclusive, diverse workplace is increasingly being prioritized by both private sector organizations and public bodies.  Moving into H2 2021 and beyond, the ability of an outsourcer to embrace diversity and social inclusion in a meaningful, substantial way will be a structural requirement.