No one knows an industry better than the players involved in its ecosystem. That is just a fact of life. In the current contact center services space, this comprises various elements across the customer experience value chain, with each component contributing to the success of the others. When combined into a group that works collectively, the results more often than not help move a sector forward. This is the context in which industry associations formed out of the different segments of contact center services can make a big difference in advancing the needs of their members, in order to better compete and to drive strong operational quality levels.
Regardless of location, there are lots of moving pieces within a contact center sector. The obvious conclusion would be that this industry includes only the different providers that provide front-line support to consumers, either domestically or overseas. But, this only tells part of the story, and does not consider the agencies that provide recruitment services, contact center technologies, or consultative offerings to the sector’s players. What has become very clear over the past decade is that when these elements combine, the net result can be very positive for the jurisdictions in which they operate.
One of the most important outputs of an active contact center services industry body is the ability to share best practices among members. Any organization that actively promotes a frank exchange of ideas on how the sector’s players can do better by discussing their own experiences, both the positive and negative, will position members to improve their own respective performances as they fulfill contracts. Networking opportunities for existing players, as well as facilitating the entry of new providers into a jurisdiction, is also another important role that these associations play.
However, perhaps the most vital of functions that industry associations undertake is in the lobbying various levels of government. Ensuring favorable legislation and regulation is crucial in any onshore or offshore jurisdiction. Locations that have a vibrant customer experience services industry body will certainly be more effective in ensuring that elected officials recognize the needs of front-office players, and tailor a regulatory regime accordingly. Whether at the civic, state / provincial or national level, the ability to influence on behalf of the contact center ecosystem to provide the right competitive playing field cannot be understated as an advantage. With concerns abounding in various jurisdictions around topics that include changes to labor legislation, public transportation and tax rates, the need to keep dialogue open with governments is essential.
And, whether industry bodies are established to represent the needs of local, regional or country-wide players, the key in this discussion is that they are independent and objective. Any association representing organizations that are part of the front-line service community must have the autonomy that is required to act decisively when lobbying on behalf of its stakeholders. There can be no equivocating on who best represents the interests of front-office BPO players. This means that members of these industry bodies must play an active part in order to ensure relevance, both in terms of self-funding and active participation. One need only look to those locations that have seen their outsourcing sector grow with the help of independent, dynamic industry bodies to understand their importance.