Customer experience may save contact centre outsourcers in the U.S.
Contact center outsourcers (CCO) hoping to break into the North America market face considerable commercial pressures. While the United States holds the largest share in the contact center industry, with a steady 1.5 percent growth in 2016, CCOs account for less than 20% of the industry in the U.S., and not much more in Canada. More importantly, as Peter Ryan of Ryan Strategic Advisory observes, there is a trend in North America to resist outsourcing with third-party contact centres.
Can CX save the day for CCOs?
North American companies who are considering CCOs as a business model have high expectations. They are looking for CCO providers that can do more than provide bread-and-butter services. More than simple customer service, CCOs are expected to create compelling customer interactions that drive revenue on a consistent basis. And the most promising way for them to do that is to offer a unique and powerful customer experience (CX) for each and every interaction.
The imperative is not surprising. The customer experience is on its way to becoming the key brand differentiator across all verticals, rivaling price points and product quality. Different surveys report a range of statistics, but they all show an upward trend in the importance of CX. Nearly 70% of Americans, for instance, would recommend a company to others on the single basis of having a positive customer experience.
Some CCOs are hoping that high automation technologies by themselves will be the answer. However, they may be suffering from an inability to “see the forest for the trees.” In their case, the saying might go: They can’t see the customers for the technology.
CCOs need the right tech with the right vision
With the advance of increasingly sophisticated digital solutions for CCOs, it can be easy to lose sight of the customer experience.
Over the last decades, the digital landscape for contact centers has changed dramatically, and consumer expectations and marketplace competition have changed just as fast.
Simply put, CCOs today have to do a lot: provide consistent cross-channel support; customize automation; and personalising customer sales journeys by focusing on CX. The CX get lost in the shuffle too easily when CCOs focus too closely on technology for technology’s sake. Tech is necessary, of course, but it’s most effective when combined with a big-picture, forward-thinking view of how contact centers depend upon CX as foundational to an organisation’s mission.
In other words, technology is only part of the story. For CCOs to successfully break into the North American market, they must use the right digital solution to offer a unique CX.
CX = digital + human
The right digital solution can be the key differentiator for CCOs, if it focuses on CX by properly combining the digital and human.
“Digital channels could be more powerful if shown more of a ‘human touch’,” according to Dimension Data’s most recent survey of contact centers. The report showed that 82.5% of companies recognize CX as a competitive differentiator, but 79.4% of the organizations have “no big picture view” of how to integrate channels to provide personalized service via analytics.
Where is the disconnect? If CX is vital, why are contact centers unable to provide a quality CX with a big picture view? According to Dimension Data: “The [digital] solution’s design and effectiveness are the differentiators, and it’s here that people are often failing the technology.”
What then goes into a superior design and effective functionality? How can CCOs use design to help them gain greater share in the North American market, especially when it prefers an in-house contact center over an outsourcer?
Read on to learn more about effective design for digital solutions.
 JLL Research, “Technology, M&A and geopolitical uncertainty poised to disrupt contact center industry”, 2017.
 Ryan Strategic Advisory, “North American Contact Center BPO Trends”, Honeybee commissioned study, 2018.
 Walker, “Customers 2020: A Progress Report”, 2015.
 “2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report”, Dimension Data 2016.