U.S. enterprise demand for contact center services is stronger than ever as customer experience becomes a major metric of business performance, according to a new research report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.
The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center — Customer Experience Services report for the U.S. finds new technologies play an increasingly important role in contact center operations, especially in the U.S., as enterprise digital transformation accelerates. New forms of customer engagement gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the tools to deliver those experiences are quickly advancing. A growing number of companies are shifting contact centers to external service providers to achieve technology and business objectives.
“Exceptional customer experience not only drives superior financial results, but it is imperative to attracting and retaining market share,” said Scott Furlong, partner, ISG Global Business Services. “Most companies are eager to adopt new technology and pro-active approaches to achieve this, often through working with service providers.”
Changing work modes and consumer habits triggered by the pandemic have led many enterprises to pursue cloud-based automation and modernization of customer experience, the report says. AI and analytics in particular are enabling better and more efficient customer engagement. For example, AI-enabled chatbots can now resolve many customer issues without an agent getting involved, and advanced analytics tools can detect consumer sentiment, gauge customer intent and predict behavior.
Enterprises and providers aiming to fulfill rising consumer expectations face a tight market for skilled contact center employees, the report says. Attrition soared during the pandemic, peaking last year, and strategies to attract and retain workers remain critical for continued customer experience success. One such strategy, using gamification to motivate employees, is growing especially popular in the U.S.
Customer experience is an increasingly public part of a company’s business, with many enterprises rated now on the quality of experiences, ISG says. At the same time, social media allows customers to report their dissatisfaction, and social platforms can quickly become overrun with negative posts. Emerging technologies and services help companies monitor social media conversations about them and intervene to try to shift perceptions.
“Customer experience and reputation go hand in hand,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “External service providers are helping many enterprises prevent damage to their brand image.”
The report also explores other contact center trends in the U.S., including gig employment, new nearshore contact centers and the prospects for customer experiences in the metaverse.
For more insights into the contact center challenges enterprises face, along with tips on how best to prepare for the changing world of customer experience, see the ISG Provider Lens™ Focal Points briefing here.
The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services report for the U.S. evaluates the capabilities of 26 providers across four quadrants: Digital Operations, AI & Analytics, Work From Home Services and Social Media CX Services.
The report names Conduent, HGS, Sitel Group, Sutherland and Teleperformance as Leaders in all four quadrants. Alorica, Atento and Concentrix are named as Leaders in three quadrants each, and Cognizant and Movate are named as Leaders in two quadrants each. The report names 7.ai, Startek, Tech Mahindra, Transcom, TTEC and Wipro as Leaders in one quadrant each.
In addition, Startek is named as a Rising Star – a company with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition – in two quadrants. The report names 7.ai and WNS as Rising Stars in one quadrant each.
A customized version of the report is available from Startek.
The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services report for the U.S. is available to subscribers or for one-time purchase on this webpage.