[CONTACT CENTER] Web-based Customer Interactions Unfold New Opportunities for Contact CentersSmita Vasudevan
After going through a relatively sluggish phase in 2009 and 2010, the customer care outsourcing industry is getting back on track.
On the other side of the world, Asia Pacific region continues to be a favored location. It has witnessed a significant growth in outsourcing in 2010, with an 8.5 per cent growth in agent seats. According to Krishna Baidya, Industry Manager, ICT, Frost & Sullivan “Agent seats are expected to grow at 9.5 per cent CAGR through the period till 2017.”
Digital Transformation is the Way to Go
The market is seeing transformation everywhere-in terms of technology, modes of communication, customer preferences and so on. Traditionally, customer care was considered equal to a call center, while this is not the case any more. Today, there is a huge difference in the way customers are interacting and their interactions are not just limited to phone calls. They have access to information and are much more aware about what services are available. In such a scenario, how can companies retain customers and maintain their competitive advantage. Animesh jain, Chief Delivery Officer, India, 24/7 Customer, says, “The only way to do this is through building customer engagement models and customer loyalty.”
Engaging customers once they are on the web either through self service or assistance service is very essential for customer retention. This type of a digital transformation is expected to the biggest trend this year and companies that are able to foresee and prepare for this change are most likely to gain. As web interactions are gaining preference, web retention and web conversions are going to be two big opportunity areas. When customers go online intending to buy something, service providers can increase the chances of converting it into a sale by offering some live support.
Sitel foresees humanization of technology to be an important change and is already moving in this direction. This involves a delicate balance of automation technology and the customer experience. The idea behind the change is to discover ways to reduce expenses through technology without sacrificing the human touch.
How Are Service Providers Making a Difference ?
Enterprises are eying at using social media platforms as an effective and relatively low-cost medium for understanding customer behavior and preferences. Data analytics is another area that is increasingly gaining more prominence. According to a Frost & Sullivan report 'Redefining Contact Center Analytics, 2011,' there is an increase in the portion of companies that are actively using analytics in their contact centers.
Preparing themselves for technology changes will be essential for companies across different sectors. “Customers are increasingly looking to interact using new channels. As social networks continue to expand, the quantity of new tools and solutions available is overwhelming. Publishers must look at ways to enhance their services through texting, social media, cell phone applications, and whatever emerges next or risk losing their subscribers” says Jeff Gossman, Senior Director of Technology Solutions, Convergys, in its recent press release, about the strategies required in publishing companies.
How are service providers preparing for the big change ? Web-based customer services seem to be becoming a common focus area for most players. 24/7 Customer is offering online predictive customer experience solution that is a combination of three things-software platform solutions, web-based analytics and contact center services. The company identifies web-based interactions as a major trend this year and finds its strategies to be a step taken in this direction.
According to Shankardass “ Sitel is helping to drive self-service and agent-assisted interactions across company websites, social networking sites (such as Twitter and Facebook) and mobile applications (for the iPad or iPhone).”
[INDUSTRY SPECIFIC] Industry-specific BPO Will Continue to Evolve
[HUMAN RESOURCES] Small, Shorter Term Deals Setting New Trends in HRO
[FINANCE & ACCOUNT OUTSOURCING] FAO Market Is on a Roll
[CONTACT CENTER] Web-based Customer Interactions Unfold New Opportunities for Contact Centers
[PROCUREMENT OUTSOURCING] Procurement Outsourcing: On the Rise, Flush with Deals
[ANALYTICS OUTSOURCING] Analytics Outsourcing: Gaining Ground
more . . .