As the operator of a global marketplace for contact center and other BPO services, ArenaCX enjoys close partnerships with dozens of boutique and mid-market BPOs spread across more than 50 sites around the world.
These relationships afford ArenaCX a unique vantage point for observing industry trends. While we do observe a continued march towards AI and chatbot maturity, I would like to highlight a few other noteworthy trends.
Top 2021 CX Trends include:
The pandemic was a global wake-up call for customer service programs that found themselves over-reliant on single-threaded resources. From now on, executives responsible for these programs can no longer be taken by surprise. We must embrace Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and connect these plans to real-world, practical actions.
One of the most important pillars of a mature resiliency program will be redundancy. Just as almost all of the world’s IT systems have redundant servers, customer service programs should develop redundant centers.
The best way to do this is with a multi-site model and, if you outsource, a multi-BPO model. If any node in your network goes down, you can rebalance traffic to the available resources. Don’t ever get caught again with a single-threaded solution.
Pandemics may be dramatic, but they are not the only factors that shake up the industry. Currently, we are witnessing rising wage rates and inflation risk in the United States, which predictably places OpEx pressure on business executives.
Historically, these factors trend towards increased outsourcing and increased geo-diversification. Combine rising wages with labor scarcity (due to both the pandemic and unemployment benefits) and the U.S. may be poised for a sizable redistribution of labor resources. And the U.S. is not alone: the cost of operating centers in India is increasing and the remote workforce is challenged by relatively weaker WiFi infrastructure.
This also suggests that we will witness a major migration of Indian labor resources towards greater geo-diversification.
If resiliency and geo-diversification matter, as we believe they do, then businesses will face the challenge of orchestrating multi-site, multi-BPO portfolios to power their customer service programs.
There are huge benefits to the portfolio strategy, such as better resiliency, better scalability, and higher performance. But this comes at the cost of managing the portfolio.
A recent Deloitte study cited the difficulties of orchestrating a diversified network as a reason to insource and simplify. However, another response is to make orchestration much, much easier.
With the advance of AI and machine learning, and the recent entry of software-powered BPO services marketplaces, orchestration may be less difficult in the very near future.