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Best Contact Center Outsourcing: The 2019 CRM Service Leaders Awards

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THE MARKET

When it comes to contact center outsourcing, many service providers have bolstered their digital capabilities with analytics, automation, and artificial intelligence and invested in consulting and customer journey mapping with an eye on meeting demand from buyers for end-to-end customer experience management (CXM), according to research firm the Everest Group. The research dubs contact center outsourcing a crucial part of CXM strategies, which also include technologies such as automation and AI. It also identifies a trend toward an “omnishore” approach that offers a mix of locations in response to changing concepts of work. Furthermore, it notes that many first-time buyers have found outsourcing attractive on account of its value-add and cost benefits.

THE LEADERS

Although it posted strong scores in breadth of services offered (3.8) and company direction (3.7), Sitel Group struggled in customer satisfaction and cost, with a pair of 3.2 scores. Nevertheless, Ian Jacobs, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, notes that the company “has a notable inventory of technologies it has developed to support its outsourcing clients, including an analytics platform and voice-focused services.”

Last year’s winner, Teleperformance, earned a category-leading 4.1 in reputation for breadth of services offered, and Jacobs even observed that it “has unrivaled breadth.” But otherwise, the company struggled a bit. It posted a 3.4 score in customer satisfaction, and its scores of 3.3 and 2.9 in company direction and cost, respectively, were category lows. Rebecca Wettemann, vice president at Nucleus Research, warns that “customers should be concerned about Teleperformance’s push toward offshoring and a potential quality impact.”

TTEC had a strong performance in breadth of services offered and company direction, with a pair of 3.7 scores in those areas. It fell short, however, in the remaining two criteria, earning a 3.3 in customer satisfaction and a 3.2 in cost. Nevertheless, Jacobs says that the company “has moved faster than most to expand its footprint into technology and non-contact center services, something that sets it up for success in a world of heavy automation.”

Although it had a low score of 3.4 in breadth of services offered, Working Solutions otherwise turned in a strong performance, earning a 4.2 in company direction, a 3.8 in customer satisfaction, and a 3.7 in cost. Wettemann notes that the company “leverages remote agents to drive consistent quality and breadth.” Jacobs agrees, adding that “as demand for higher-skilled workers rises, Working Solutions’ work-at-home model will be able to provide such talent.”

THE WINNER

Despite a low score of 3.4 in breadth of services offered, Alorica otherwise turned in a stellar performance, earning a 4.2 score in company direction, a category-leading 4.0 score in customer satisfaction, and a category-leading 3.8 score in cost. According to Jacobs, the company “has a healthy mix of verticals,” including telecommunications, healthcare, financial services, and retail, “without being over-reliant on any single one. Its nearshore strength is growing right when demand for such services is rising.” Wettemann agrees, adding that the company “is experiencing strong growth based on its effective cost model and investments in U.S. contact centers.”

ONE TO WATCH

Synnex acquired Convergys, last year’s One to Watch, in October and merged with its other outsourcing businesses under the Concentrix brand. The company posted respectable scores in cost (3.6) and company direction (3.5), but it struggled in the other two areas, with a category-low 3.3 in breadth of services offered and a 3.2 in customer satisfaction. Nevertheless, Jacobs thinks the vendor’s future is bright, saying that “the combination of Concentrix and Convergys has created another giant in the omnichannel customer support world, except that this giant also has real skills in customer acquisition and retention.”

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