The global contact centre outsourcing market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Company Annual Growth Rate) of 4% between 2021-2028*. Gartner predicted growth in this sector as contact centre operations look to reduce their costs.  

Outsourcers are able to deliver contact centre services at a lower cost because they can benefit from the economies of scale in technology. The challenge has been perceived to be delivering a quality customer experience that is on brand and whether this is better when delivered in-house or by an outsourcing partner.  

We invited TTEC to join us for an hour to answer your questions, and the recording of this session can be watched below, as well as a short blog from TTEC.

On a recent online seminar with  TTEC EMEA there were a number of topics discussed from how outsourcing is changing to the post-pandemic recruitment challenges.

TTEC’s EMEA team of experts were; Alistair Niederer, Head of EMEA for TTEC, Sean Canning, Senior Vice President, Engage EMEA at TTEC and Tony Chambers VP and EMEA Lead for TTEC Digital.

How has the outsourcing industry changed and what are the current challenges?

  • Recruitment is now being done at a national level as we are no longer confined by bricks and mortar contact centres.
  • There is increased demand across multiple channels as demand grows, particularly in retail and fintech supporting inbound sales and customer service. Also, we are offering recruitment contact centre support to hypergrowth industries – digital CX drives outcomes for clients.
  • Customers should be encouraged to self-serve and not forced to. Voice agents were unable to work in centres, so to some extent organisations forced self-serve on their customers, and some have kept it. Airlines are a good example as recently they had a massive spike of enquiries to deal with as many countries came off the red list.
  • Customer behaviour is changing. Once the travel industry wanted to self-serve and avoid speaking with a travel agent, but now the demand for voice is there – showing agility and flexibility to change depending on circumstances is key.

What advice would TTEC give as a leading global outsourcing company?

  • CX is no longer one size fits all.
  • Constant improvement and better management are key. There are CX strategies and technology that are now able to support these brand ambitions.
  • Understand the true voice of the customer. Market research is fine, but it is always after the event. A good contact strategy can decide what to automate and what not to – where you know the right questions to ask to get the right information.
  • Use insight to drive improvement. Listen to the customer as they have already told you and they should not have to tell you again.
  • We invest hugely in our people and all our people are dedicated – we find this allows them to become brand advocates and they drive better outcomes for our clients.

What can be done about the present recruitment challenges?

  • At TTEC we have developed internally a chatbot called “Louis” who can help with recruitment and onboarding by answering many questions and analysing feedback.
  • Retaining your people is key. Teams and Zoom are great technologies but there are others that can nudge an agent, perhaps on a longer than usual call, to ask if they need support – use the right technology to support people.
  • Automation can also take away some of the mundane repetitive tasks, so the work is more interesting and meaningful.
  • People are our assets, and we want people to build a career with us. Most importantly we want to help build their career path.

What is TTEC doing about wellbeing and mental health?

  • This is a priority for TTEC, and our approach is to ensure it is centre of mind for TTEC and our clients. We have all had an awakening of mental health and for many people it can define who they work with or buy from. We are looking at what works best for our employees – flexible working hybrid, and work-from-home.
  • We have a team of mental health first aiders who support the wellbeing and mental health of our employees – such as being aware that they may need support after an abusive call. Sentiment analysis ensures we do not miss any abusive calls.
  • Listen to your employees – the voice of the employee is just as important as voice of the customer.

Finally, what are the top tips to any manager exploring outsourcing or already working with an outsourcing partner?

  • Is it believable/achievable and repeatable? This is what should be asked of any CX strategy or transformation programme.
  • Treat your outsourcer as a genuine partner. Share the pain points and work together to improve outcomes. Listen to advice. Outsourcers work with many brands and can advise what worked elsewhere.
  • We all want a stakeholder relationship and to be involved and immersed in the business, understanding what is your north star and the financial impact of that focus. Let us look at outcome-based models, building a model with the best fit for you.

This article is just a short summary of the complete discussion, but CCMA members can watch the recording above.