Contact centre operators around the world have been in hot demand over the last half-year, with business process outsourcing (BPO) providers raking in nearly an extra 50 per cent in contract value.
According to research firm Information Services Group (ISG)’s 2021 Provider Lens Contact Centre – Customer Experience Services Global report, working from home policies instigated by the ongoing pandemic have “changed contact centre operations for good”.
“The changes that have swept the business world over the past 18 months have made companies recognise the need for new technologies and business models,” said Jim Kane, director at ISG. “Many are transforming their customer care in partnership with outsourcing providers.”
As a result, BPO providers have seen a 47 per cent year-on-year increase in annual contract value during the first half of 2021, ISG claimed.
The firm said that the remote working changes for contact centres focus on “positive employ experiences”, which includes engagement hubs — both physical and virtual spaces where employees can get together for meetings, training and activities.
An increased reliance on virtual points of contact during the pandemic has also highlighted the use of social media as a communication tool for contact centres.
“More companies are now using social media both to find new customers and to serve their existing customer base,” the firm said. “The benefits of a social media presence come with a risk of brand damage, so content moderation, community management, web crawling and other tasks have become essential services.”
Other communication methods rising in popularity during the pandemic, ISG continued, include asynchronous messaging tools like chat, conversational artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics tools.
In addition, the pandemic heightened the demand for cloud-based contact centres, with partners looking to do more with cloud providers.
“Service providers are expanding their partnerships with cloud platform companies and investing in proprietary cloud solutions, helping their enterprise customers maintain business continuity and accelerate their digital transformations,” the firm added.
ISG's report comes months after fellow industry research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan said back in January that demand for analytics tech is set to surge in the contact centre applications market across the Asia Pacific in the coming years.