In the past 20 years, any number of offshore CX delivery locations have burst onto the scene only to quickly fizzle out.   That cannot be said for the Caribbean’s leading CX destination Jamaica. Over a decade and a half, the island has delivered both digital and voice interactions for end-users in the English-speaking world.  However, it is also clear that BPO stakeholders in this location recognize that the future of this space depends on embracing higher-value customer management functions that are delivered in a quality environment.

This forward-looking attitude was evident as home-grown Jamaican outsourcer itel opened its new state-of-the-art facility in Kingston this week. It easily rivals domestic sites in the US or leading offshore centers in terms of look, feel and atmosphere.  Attracting BPO clients that want a higher level of engagement will define BPO moving forward, and Jamaica is poised to ride this wave.

Jamaica is among the most sought-after destinations for BPO services geared toward the English-speaking world. In fact, the 2022 Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office CX Omnibus Survey of almost 700 enterprise CX buyers placed Jamaica among the most popular delivery points in the Americas.  This should come as no surprise, considering the legacy of work that Jamaican agents have been doing to support American and Canadian consumers since the early 2000s.

However, where the picture of Jamaica becomes more interesting (and international) is in the growing interest of British enterprises and service providers.  In fact, this year’s survey places Jamaica in the UK’s top ten most favored offshore CX delivery points. This shift in interest toward Caribbean-based delivery for British consumers relates to the island’s reputation for quality, native English, cultural alignment with UK end-users, a familiar Common Law system, and shorter flight times compared to offshore destinations such as the Philippines and South Africa.

Increasingly, outsourcers are choosing to promote Jamaican CX services in the UK.  Last year, Ventrica became the first British operator to set up shop in Jamaica for the purposes of supporting UK end-users.  And, with Jamaica now being considered not just a nearshore destination for English, but a legitimate offshore player in the global context, the country’s outsourcing stakeholders are now openly discussing the potential of attracting contracts supporting consumers in Australia and New Zealand.

Still, Jamaica’s future in CX BPO will depend on the ability to embrace higher-margin work that supports clients in sectors that are actively embracing third-party services.  And, to do so in a world-class atmosphere.  This is where the activities of leading operators like itel come into play.  Its new facility in Kingston’s St Andrew district immediately strikes visitors with a contemporary design that is both warm and conducive to productivity.

For those attending the site’s inauguration, it was clear that a high standard has been set for Jamaica’s competitive outsourcing sector to meet.  This is a good thing – competition breeds innovation, excellence of execution, and great CX outcomes.

As Jamaica’s Prime Minister stated during his speech at the itel facility’s inauguration, the key to long-term success for this country’s sector will be significant efforts on streamlining education and training.  Among local observers at the itel launch, confidence is high that there remains ample room for expansion of existing BPO providers in Jamaica, and the possibility of luring new ones.  However, in order to support more complex interaction types, including those that involve greater amounts of critical thinking and problem-solving (not to mention an emphasis on technology capabilities), the process of reforming existing skills development needs to begin in earnest.

Unlike many offshore destinations, Jamaica’s BPO space has been renowned for its alignment between individual outsourcing operators, its industry bodies, and the government.  History shows that if there is one location that can make the shift to a more complex, higher-value CX BPO future, it is Jamaica.