Understanding the Current State of the Customer Experience Sector in BPO

David Rickard serves as Vice President at Everest Group. He’s based in the UK and manages the customer experience management practice and sourcing and vendor management on a global scale. Before Everest, David spent a couple of years consulting and was at Microsoft for 18 years overseeing their contact center outsourcing business. 

Despite the pandemic, the BPO industry has bounced back considerably and more quickly than initially anticipated. David explained that the current state of the outsourced customer experience management (CXM) market is at approximately $89B to $91B in terms of spend. That number is expected to continue increasing over the coming years.

CXM Growth by Vertical 

Everest has found that there has been growth across all industries. Still, the most significant and fastest-growing verticals are in technology, including retail and online retail brands, due to increased demand. People are buying online more than ever. There’s also been a growth in government outsourcing. This growth has been consistent across all regions and geographies, except the Middle East and Africa regions, since they are experiencing significant growth as they introduce more outsourcing to these areas.

Major Trends in the CXM Sector of the BPO Industry 

The Everest Group found that there has been a significant push towards digital customer experience management (DXM). They consider DXM a combination of technology such as speech analytics or robotic process automation and the servicing around DXM. This includes customer journey mapping, design thinking, and consulting. Everest has seen DXM increase by $17B over the past year, driven by COVID and companies needing to accelerate their digital transformation to ensure business continuity. 

COVID wasn’t the only driver, however. Everest did a survey and found that there were four main reasons companies were accelerating their digital transformation. They found that 47 percent of respondents said it was due to their customers’ expectations; 57 percent said it was to reduce costs; 55 percent said it was due to their desire for market differentiation; 49 percent said it was because they were trying to achieve a 360-degree view of the customer. 

Where are CXM BPOs Investing Heavily?

BPOs invest in the technology and capabilities to bring in more DXM solutions and provide more than contact center labor. For example, providing Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions or an end-to-end solution while bringing in technology analytics and intelligent virtual agents. 

Impact on Consumers Who Need Support

Digital channels have a positive impact on consumers who want more choices for service. At iQor, we use our omnichannel customer care services to provide customer service to consumers where they want, when they want. David mentioned that the best customer service companies in the world, however, remember that not all consumers want to be digitally served. Some still want to chat on the phone with an agent. David mentions his mother, for example, who doesn’t have internet access. His mother still relies on a live agent on the phone line when she needs customer service. 

Most consumers, especially younger demographics, like the options of digital channels, but the best outsourced customer care providers keep in mind the inbound solution because not every customer wants to be served through one of those digital channels. And for certain types of calls, it’s better to talk to someone on the phone. With availability of all of these options, the consumer gets a better choice and a better experience over time.

CXM Sector Growth  

David expects that the CXM sector will continue to grow at a rapid rate. What will change, though, is the mix. The BPO providers with CXM solutions will grow quicker than traditional voice-centric contact centers. David quickly pointed out that traditional contact center needs will never disappear, but they will decline slowly as digital CXM offerings capture more and more of the market share. 

What David Does for Fun

David likes to take his boxer dogs on walks with his wife for fun. He also just started playing golf again. He used to play regularly with his three friends but took a 20-year hiatus due to raising children but is now picking it up again.

To learn more about the Everest Group, go to everestgrp.com.