Consumers have raised their service expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many enterprises are turning to contact center providers to keep customers coming back, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.
The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services Archetype Report finds many enterprises across the globe seeking help from contact center providers with customer analytics, conversational AI tools and customer data security.
The contact center industry is evolving to address future consumers, and its enterprise clients are beginning to realize they need to embrace new technologies, said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Brands face challenges in delivering the best customer experience with more personalization to ensure brand loyalty and high retention rates,” he said.
The report sees several contact center and customer experience trends: Conversational AI adoption is growing, stringent security is increasingly important, and customer analytics is the new lifeline for business survival.
The contact center industry is increasingly using both AI and machine learning, along with automated personas, in customer-facing roles, the report adds. Many enterprises are using chatbots to serve customers for basic queries.
In addition, providers are investing in real-time performance dashboards that create a direct connection between managers and agents. These dashboards include automated coaching for performance improvement, sentiment scoring, analytics scoring for agent performance, and gamification with performance comparisons and customized avatars, which can keep agents motivated and focused in remote working or gig-worker situations.
Enterprises and contact center providers continue to allow customer service representatives to work from home, because of ongoing challenges created by the pandemic, the report says. In response, the contact center industry is hiring remote agents and transitioning to a remote working model.
Enterprises are embracing asynchronous messaging to engage with customers, because of work-from-home-related connectivity issues, the report says. Contact center providers are also taking steps to deal with the security, background noise and other challenges created by the work-from-home model. Some contact center providers are adopting facial recognition, auto screen locks, voice biometrics and virtual private networks to strengthen security for work-at-home customer service agents.
In addition to traditional contact center services, many enterprises are also focusing on social media as an important channel for communication with customers, the report adds. Customers are leveraging social media to raise complaints and make purchases. Companies must be agile to manage social media channels, because brand damage can happen quickly.
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 27 providers to deliver services to the three archetypes:
Automation Embracers: These enterprise buyers are still low on the digital maturity curve but are looking to embark on an automation journey. Full-time equivalent employees will continue to play an important role. Channel adoption has matured to chatbots that go beyond regular voice, email and text options. Buyers in this archetype have made digital solutions a priority and are seeking a healthy shoring mix. Cost savings are a priority, and these clients use automation to reduce overhead costs.
Digital Connoisseurs: These buyers are digitally mature or have made digital tools their top priority. They 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. They have leveraged multiple channels to enable better connectivity and communication.
CX Evangelists: For these buyers, 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.
Among the providers ISG evaluated, Conduent, HGS, Sitel Group, Teleperformance, and TTEC were named Leaders across all three archetypes. Alorica, Cognizant, Concentrix, CSS Corp., Genpact, Sutherland, Webhelp and Wipro were named Leaders in two archetypes, and 7.ai, Hexaware, Tech Mahindra, Transcom and WNS were named Leaders in one.
A customized version of the report is available from Sitel Group.
The ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services Archetype Report is available to subscribers or for immediate, one-time purchase on this webpage.
About ISG Provider Lens™ Research
The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG's global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG's enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.
A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.
ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit www.isg-one.com.