Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? – A common but seemingly unnerving question from the interviewer. How can one correctly predict his future? And yet having a vision, a goal and prudence is essential. The same thing applies for outsourcing business. No one can predict what the future has in store for the global outsourcing industry, but one can surely have an idea –
As per the outsourcing experts, over the period next 5 years –
- Offshore vendors will differentiate themselves more depending on service offered and industry verticals served. To be in the market, they need to demonstrate specific skills and knowledge and not just cost arbitrage.
- Certain industries like retail, education and travel in continue to lean heavily on outsourcing while others may not significantly increase their offshore functions.
- Non-voice contact centers will increasingly be performed offshore and its great will be significantly higher than the low growth experienced in the total voice sector.
- Clients of outsourced vendors will have a better idea of what works offshore and what does not. This will reflect in their outsourcing pattern.
- Offshore remote – based agents will not rise significantly. But offshore call centers that focus on cold call sales, appointment setting, customer support and IT support will keep thriving.
- Offshore vendors will be the main beneficiary of non-voice contact center activity including email and chat support, order processing, social media communications, email marketing etc.
- India and The Philippines will continue to be the main benefactor of global outsourcing industry.
- Low-end outbound activity will continue to be a strong area of growth for offshore
In other words, as Rob O’Malley is right to point out, there is no longer a place for weak offshore vendors in the next 5 years. Only those who are able to differentiate services will remain in business in the long run. Having a track record of offering services specific to different industry verticals, Fusion strongly believes that to be in business, an outsourcing vendor needs to stress more on specialized services, agent training and cost handling.
Fusion is also of the opinion that in another 5 years, cloud-based systems will dominate the call center industry. Everything from customer data to telephony software will be available on cloud, giving call centers greater flexibility and savings. Since Fusion has contact centers in US, Canada, India and the Philippines, It will also be easy for them to manage the operations through cloud.
In other words, 5 years from now, intelligent call centers that can adapt to ever-changing technology, customized requirements of their clients and their customers (who will be reaching the call centers through various channels including telephone, chat, email, social network etc.), will continue to operate. This vision has lead Fusion to adapt some important changes in their operational strategies. It plans to give special attention on the following areas.
Intelligent call routing
As a matter of fact, social media and web 2.0 channels have over 50% penetration in different contact center operations while around 25% smartphone users use internet on phone, the role of a contact center is changing rapidly. And to adapt to such changes, every contact center needs a BYOD intelligent call routing based on the following –
- Type of request
- Communication channels or device
This will essentially reduce the call transfer by 1-2 minutes per call and thus will help offer better service.
Role of Agents
Owing to various needs of the customers, the role of agents will also change. They need to be
- Product or service specialist
- Expert in social engagement and response
- Expert in Conflict resolution and crisis resolution
- Specialist in cross selling and up selling
Training agents to handle all kind of issues and on specialized services can help clients to get better service for their customers. Having multilingual and French-speaking agents on board, Fusion will get the maximum benefit of an intelligent routing system.
Broadening Of Social Media, Web and Email Support
With customers using different communication channels, the contact centers too needs to broaden its social media and web support approach. As non-voice operations are going to have a bigger share of contact center operations, Fusion is stressing on the non-voice services as well.
Specialization to Cater to Different Industry Verticals
Fusion has a long experience in offering customize services specific to different industry verticals. Travel (including Timeshare), education, financial services and retail are some of the verticals that the company caters to.
Apart from these, Fusion also recommends maintaining a customer-centric approach in the work culture. To achieve this, one needs to-
- Adapt new technologies
- Create a proper data management ecosystem and use right person at the right place on right time.
- Empower agents to offer unique user experience
- Use new channels to offer a great customer service.
If a contact center can adapt these changes, they can emerge as the next-gen contact center that is here to stay.