Industry Commentary

Sitel Reboots Work-at-Home Program at Opportune Time

By December 18, 2019January 10th, 2024No Comments

The changes unfolding in customer experience delivery are as profound as they are far-reaching.  What has become clear of late is that enterprises are looking for front-line solutions that yield results, and they are more open to leveraging alternatives that otherwise would have been off the table even a few short years ago.  One of these options for front-line delivery is work-at-home agents, with many companies actively exploring the possibility of a more virtual workforce.  It is in this vein that Sitel has decided to re-double its efforts around this business model, concentrating on distinguishing itself in a crowded field of outsourcers, many of which have yet to truly embrace this way of delivering customer experience.

Since its acquisition by Groupe Acticall in 2015, Sitel has re-positioned itself on the contact center services map.  By focusing on a broader offering, one that takes into account the key elements of the customer experience value chain (including digital assistants, advanced analytics, automation / AI, recruitment and training), it comes to the market with services that are responsive to enterprises looking beyond the simple front-line delivery remit. Boosting its home-working offering is central to this effort.

In a recent analyst briefing conducted by Sitel’s work-at-home leadership, a number of welcome elements became apparent.  The first of these is a recognition by the company that it must lead with a focus on quality as a differentiator for this business model.  There is no question that work-at-home has been more cost effective than bricks and mortar historically—that is, when done on a like-for-like basis onshore.  However, Sitel’s emphasis on the best possible outcomes that drive consumer loyalty through recruitment of superior calibre home-agent talent is essential for this business model to thrive in the current commercial environment.  And because Sitel’s virtual offering will be augmented by way of the elements that Groupe Acticall brings to the table, this service line brings even more value to the broader market.

The decision by Sitel to re-focus on the work-at-home offering synchronizes well with enterprise interest in this business model.  The 2019 Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey indicated that outsourcers with a strong work-at-home offering are in a better position to win engagements than those that do not have such capabilities.  And this was not only in the US (the traditional work-at-home geographic bastion); the home-working alternative proved popular in Western Europe, Canada and Australia also proves the global value of this approach to customer experience delivery.  Interest was also strong among enterprises across various vertical markets.

To be frank, work-at-home is an area that the bricks-and mortar outsourcing community needs to do better on.  This delivery platform has proven itself as a means of driving strong value in the form of successful end-user interactions, which is a core driver for so many enterprises seeking to embrace its potential.  While there are a large number of success stories that are associated with the pure-play providers, there is still some degree of lag among third-party providers that have yet to truly embrace this way of delivering customer experience.  Sitel’s approach to augmenting the value of interactions with this business model will pay dividends.  In 2020, the key to success in customer experience services will be providing the solutions enterprises want to integrate into their contact center strategies. Sitel’s timing could not be better.