Enterprises worldwide are reevaluating their contact center services and customer experience strategies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many reconsidering their in-house customer service operations, according to a new report published by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a global technology research and advisory firm.
The ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center - Customer Experience Services Archetype Report finds that many outsourced contact center services were in a better position to respond to the pandemic than in-house services were. In many cases, in-house enterprise contact center services were hit hard because they were generally concentrated in one country, instead of spread out in many.
The report sees many large companies moving quickly to adopt automation to handle basic queries from customers. Chat bots and conversational artificial intelligence will handle most low-level customer queries going forward, and many contact centers are actively working to scale up their automated services.
"The transformation of contact centers and the customer experience has been accelerated with COVID-19," said Jan Erik Aase, director and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. "Organizations are recognizing the need for technology to build resilient operations."
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The report sees several trends in the contact center space. Voice calls will see a drastic decline, but will remain an important means to resolve complex queries, and working from home is the new norm for contact center employees.
In addition, cloud-based contact centers (Contact-Centers-as-a-Service) are becoming a necessity, with many companies fast-tracking their adoption to enable seamless connectivity. Finally, many companies are looking to personalize the customer experience, by using analytics to empower the agent.
The ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center - Customer Experience Services Archetype Report examines three different types of clients, or archetypes, that are looking for contact center services. The report evaluates the capabilities of 21 providers to deliver services to the three archetypes:
Automation embracers: These clients are still low on the digital maturity curve, but are a looking to embark on an automation journey. Full-time employees will continue to play an important role and channel adoption has matured to chatbots that go beyond regular voice, email, and text options. Buyers in this archetype have made digital a priority and are looking for a healthy shoring mix. Cost savings continue to be a priority, and they will use automation to reduce overhead costs.
Digital connoisseurs: These clients are digitally mature or have made digital their top priority. These enterprises have explored multiple channels and automation. Familiar with technology and its implications, enterprises in this archetype are looking to scale digital transformation (and automation) to have a larger impact on customer experience. Enterprises in this archetype have leveraged multiple channels to enable better connectivity and communication.
CX evangelists: For these companies, transformation is the highest priority. Driving superior customer experience by leveraging technology-driven insights is the prime focus. These buyers are looking to leverage analytics services to bring about improvements at every stage of the customer service lifecycle. Having highly skilled, domain experts as agents is critical for these buyers. Their transformation goal is long term and strategic and steers clear of point solutions or quick fixes. These clients are looking for strategic business partners as they outsource, and are keen on partnering with service providers that bring industry experience, implementation experience, technological offerings and domain expertise to deploy the right solutions.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
ISG supports private and public sector organizations to transform and optimize their operational environments through research, benchmarking, consulting and managed services, with a focus on information technology, business process transformation, program management services and enterprise resource planning
Published: Monday, October 19, 2020
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