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10 Contact Center Trends Affecting Agent Employment in India

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Author: Darrin Bird

Technavio, a global technology research and advisory company, predicts solid growth for the contact center. Worldwide, the contact center could reach $9.7 billion by 2019, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over nine percent. India and other Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries participate in that growth; Technavio forecasts the APAC contact center market could exceed $1 billion by 2019, or a CAGR of nearly 13 percent.

The numbers are good news, but several trends could enhance or impede them. Ten of them receive coverage below. Take a look and let us know what you think.

1. Customer Experience

According to the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), the customer — not the company — owns the contact center experience. The organization continues, “From choice of channel entry point to resolution, the customer will take full control of the journey to buy products, resolve issues, and seek technical help.” Indian contact centers that fail to address the evolution toward consumer-driven business will fall to the competition.

2. Cloud Architecture

Contact centers continue to invest in cloud architecture, or infrastructure, noting its ability to decrease costs and increase scalability. For India, the movement is a good one. The country already claims an edge in infrastructure and information technology (IT). Those elements could help Indian contact centers deliver multichannel communications and virtual agents.

3. Multichannel Communications

Contact centers that rely solely on telephone communications may go extinct. Consumers want to resolve questions quickly and on their terms. For consumers, this means self-service tools and multiple communication channels, such as online chat, text messages, and social media. India’s underlying infrastructure could enable such functions, allowing the country to seize a sizable lead in the contact center industry.

4. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence

Big data, business intelligence (BI), and artificial intelligence (AI) are game-changers, as well as growing trends in a number of industries. With them, contact centers better sync agents with customers, resulting in higher first call resolution (FCR) rates and customer satisfaction scores. India’s work in IT could aid the contact center in these three regards and create strong differentiators within the marketplace.

5. Workforce Optimization

Big data offers other benefits, namely, quality management (QM) and performance management (PM). As the two components mature, many contact centers could merge them into a singular workforce optimization (WO) suite. Workforce optimization isn’t a large trend yet, but it will be as cloud infrastructure costs decrease and demand for integrated solutions increases.

6. Global Competition

India competes directly with the Philippines in the customer service and contact center markets. The United States only adds to the competitiveness. Some companies are reshoring business operations, including call center ones, stateside to counter the economic downturn and concerns about poor customer satisfaction scores.

7. Cultural Competence and Fit

Cultural competence and fit stands as a challenge in the Indian contact center market. Many agents speak the Queen’s English and lack familiarity with American culture. As a result, agents sometimes struggle to relate and build rapport with consumers who call in. Bridging the cultural and communication gap will become critical as Indian contact centers compete with those based in the Philippines.

8. Home Agent Model

Virtual, sometimes called “home” or “remote,” agents, are a global trend in the call center. Remote agents offer opportunities to streamline operations and increase productivity. They can also decrease commercial real estate costs, which have grown exponentially the past few years. India could manage those costs by relying on its infrastructure to power virtual contact center jobs.

9. Geopolitical Uncertainty

Two entities hold primary responsibility for global call center market volatility: the United States (US) and the European Union (EU). In the United States, the current administration could affect not only compliance standards but also legislation. The European Union is increasing oversight and regulation; it requires companies interacting with consumers in the EU to adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

10. Merger and Acquisition Activity

Global merger and acquisition activity continues to escalate. As companies integrate operations, they may or may not continue outsourcing business processes, such as customer service. The uncertainty makes it hard to predict how Indian contact centers and agents will fare in 2017.

Which trend interests or concerns you the most? And, how can we help your contact center? Let us know by getting in touch today.

About the Author: Darrin Bird

Darrin is the Chief Operating Officer at TCN Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based call center technology for enterprises, contact centers, BPOs and collection agencies worldwide. Within this role, Darrin is responsible for overseeing all business operations, establishing best practices across sales and account management teams and driving execution. With more than 17 years of experience in the IT and software industry, Darrin has a proven track record of building and mentoring high performing teams, increasing capital, creating strategic plans and implementing organizational structure.

Darrin began his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) through the California Board of Accountancy. He received his bacheloräó»s degree in accounting and finance from Brigham Young University. A family man that enjoys spending time with loved ones and participating in outdoor recreation, Darrin is also very involved in philanthropic activities such as working to mentor youth in his community.