US businesses are increasingly leaning toward onshore or nearshore service delivery from their contact center partners, according to a new study by advisory firm Information Services Group (ISG).
Onshore is a particular preference because businesses are anticipating tweaks to government regulations that will favor American job seekers in the contact center space.
The report also confirms that enterprise buyers now value customer experience (CX) over cost savings, regarding their contact centers as revenue generators and embracing digital technologies to enhance CX.
As a result, service providers are bulking up operations in key US cities. Some of them are setting up new facilities, while others are buying out their smaller rivals.
There has been an uptick in the number of mergers and acquisitions in this space in recent years, says the report, citing Alorica’s acquisition of Expert Global Solutions (EGS) in 2016 following its purchase of West Corporation’s agent services business in 2015, and Paris-based Teleperformance’s acquisition of Aegis USA in 2014.
The report also stresses that the volume of voice calls is decreasing, saying that about 30% of customer interactions are now being resolved through non-voice channels, such as web chat. ISG expects this trend to accelerate, although it emphasized that voice will remain the channel of preference for handling complex issues.
Many call center services are today automated. “Most basic-level queries now are being handled completely by virtual agents, or bots,” the report added. “Adoption of intelligent automation, powered by cognitive tools and artificial intelligence, while still at a nascent stage, will continue to increase.”
“To meet customer demands and create new opportunities for engagement, enterprises are discovering they must enrich the entire customer experience journey with digital technology,” said Esteban Herrera, partner and global head of ISG Research.