- October 12, 2017
- Posted by: Ryan Strategic Advisory
- Category: Industry commentary
To say that competition is intense in customer experience management today would be an understatement. The ability to differentiate in what many see as a commoditized sector is a challenge. But, U.S.-based provider STARTEK has ambitions to present itself as a disruptor in the contact center services sphere, leveraging what is already working well for the company while taking into account new customer management realities. To date, STARTEK has demonstrated a great deal of adaptability, and its growth plans should not be underestimated.
STARTEK has been on the move the past few years. Since he assumed the reins of the company in 2011, CEO Chad Carlson has successfully grown revenues. The topline numbers speak for themselves, with revenue increasing from just under $200m in 2012 to nearly $310m at the end of 2016. Granted, this includes a number of targeted acquisitions (such as Ideal Dialogue in 2013 and ACCENT Marketing Services in 2015), but it also considers new client wins and existing contract expansions.
This ambition was showcased at STARTEK’s annual Client Advisory Board, held recently at the New York Stock Exchange (to commemorate the company’s twenty-year anniversary of membership in that institution). At the event, a number of key themes were laid out in the context of what’s next for the Denver-based outsourcer. An important element of discussion was STARTEK’s willingness to look beyond traditional geographic confines toward what may be next in regard to nearshore / offshore delivery. This is essential for any firm looking to ensure the right level of geographic diversification.
However, STARTEK’s emphasis on technology is also a very important differentiator in the current market, and one that its leadership underlined with its clients in New York. In terms of managing the increased demand for automation and artificial intelligence into its value proposition, STARTEK has articulated a realistic balance needed to complement its human agent pool (known as Brand Warriors). Equally, its efforts to focus on security management and data protection are crucial in an environment where threats of cybercrime are all too real.
Yet, what has truly emerged as a differentiator for STARTEK is its application of communication science toward better customer experience delivery. The acquisition of Ideal Dialogue facilitates this effort, as it places STARTEK in a unique position relative to many competitors. This set of capabilities provides a link that optimizes front-line service delivery, the processes required to support customer experience and the requisite technologies that tie them together.
From a competitive perspective, STARTEK is one of the mid-size players that is distinguishing itself in an otherwise crowded marketplace, and for this the company’s leadership deserves a great deal of credit. A willingness to take calculated risks has proven an effective strategy in recent years, and such entrepreneurial spirit is essential in winning more business across verticals. The aims that STARTEK laid out for 2017 and beyond place customer experience at the heart of a value proposition that focuses on delivery model pragmatism.