With the rapid evolution of technology and communication, fields such as the outsourcing industry have had to adapt to changing technologies. Outsourcing companies have had to innovate as well as invest in newer and better solutions, in order to keep up with our changing world. But one of outsourcing’s sectors most influenced by the evolution of technology, and perhaps one that has also been most challenged by it, is contact center outsourcing. Given that the way people communicate has rapidly evolved from snail mail, to email to texting to tweets, it is unsurprising that companies are having a hard time to adapt, especially considering that give or take forty years ago, there was no email, twenty years ago, there was no texting and five years ago, there was no Twitter.
In an attempt to keep up with changing technologies, communication solutions providers and contact center outsourcing companies alike, are starting to refocus on this key area once again, with the global recovery.
A recent study by Frost & Sullivan released on the 8th of December highlighted the impact that the global economic slowdown had on the contact center applications market. The study noted that the slowdown had adversely affected spending by companies for the advancement of technologies. But while this is also so, it further highlighted as well that with the lessons learned from the slowdown, technologies will now be refocusing on cost-saving and production-boosting technologies among the outsourcing sector.
Meanwhile a report by Pelorus Associates, estimates that the contact center recording systems market will grow by 55% by 2015, with the total worldwide market hitting $1.24 billion. In 2009, the contact center recording systems market was at $800 million, up from the $795 million in 2007.
Companies such as the Hawaiian Electric Company are continuing efforts to integrate newer technologies into their processes. The company announced on the 15th of November that it has partnered with HCL Technologies (NSE:HCLTECH) division, HCL Axon, for the installation and integration of a SAP Utilities Customer Information System (CIS), which would help the company manage customer accounts, as well as service, call center and billing processes. Call center outsourcing company Stellar on the other hand, is investing on newer technologies for its clients. Stellar signed on with Panviva Inc on the 29th of November to avail of guidance systems which would streamline their call center agents’ processes.
Other companies such as the Italian call center outsourcing services provider, Call & Call are looking towards the cloud. The company announced on the 19th of November that it is expanding its cloud computing initiative with software giant and fellow outsourcing services provider, IBM (NYSE:IBM). According to Fabio Mattaboni, Call & Call’s CIO, “The reduction in energy costs and additional savings due to the longer life of each end device and reduced support costs will make us even more competitive in our customer-focused industry.”
Outsourcing company Sykes (NASDAQ:SYKE), on the other hand, won an award as a Recognized Innovator on the 29th of November for its innovative approach in technical support by utilizing traditional forums to enhance the customer experience. According to Dan Hernandez, EVP of Global Strategy for Sykes, “Blending SYKES’ Online Support Communities with traditional support channels allows us to broaden the reach for customer interactions while also capitalizing on community knowledge and meeting consumers’ needs for readily available and easily understood answers to their questions.”
More and more companies are realizing the benefit of, and are looking for more solutions to, the rapid changes in technology and communication that we are experiencing today. With contact centers starting to catch up with the technology, let’s hope that improved customer service will follow as well.
Author: Audrey B.