Outsourced Call Centers Cutting Back on Technology Investments

November 20, 2014

A on the Asia-Pacific Contact Center Applications Market found that in terms of employment and revenue numbers, the contact center industry in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has been pretty strong. There was growth in the number of contact center seats, and revenues are expected to grow the next few years.

In spite of these positive findings, the industry has shown some reluctance to invest in application technology and is putting more effort into improving customer experience. This will result in limited growth in revenue for vendors providing call center technology.

The APAC contact center applications market earned revenue of $676 million in 2013 and is expected to earn $1.1 billion in 2020, a CAGR of 7.2 percent. Revenue from core applications like call distribution, monitoring and IVR is declining.

The two factors that will have the greatest impact over the next few years are the move to an omni-channel system of customer interaction and analytics that track operations. According to research conducted by Ogilvy ( – ) & Mather, the number of social media users in the APAC region is expected to increase from $970 million this year to $1.23 billion in 2017.

This increase, along with a boost in mobile device use, will lead to a shift toward an . Customers will expect retailers and other businesses to communicate by text, email and social media as well as by phone or in person.

They will also expect that when they bring up an issue on one channel, they will seamlessly be able to resume the discussion on another channel seamlessly. Demand for self-service applications is also increasing as a growing number of customers prefer some autonomy over resolving issues. This suits the customer support centers just fine, since it reduces CSR labor costs per customer.

The results of Frost & Sullivan’s ( – ) report would seem to be a mixed bag of positive and negative news, but such a conclusion is too simplistic. It’s more accurate to say that what was previously a relatively untapped market for mobile devices and social media is growing in both these areas. The APAC region is following the same trends of other regions, and businesses that want to have lots of happy customers need to change the way they provide support if they want to remain competitive. 

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