The Top BPO Trends of 2017

Outsourcing your business processes is a dynamic business decision with countless factors weighing in simultaneously. Every year there are some major technological advancements that can cause a complete shift in BPO trends.

Last year, some of the biggest mergers involved tech companies. Cloud services have also shown a lot of promise shifting the focus from call centers to contact centers. With political changes abound in the largest markets, let’s take a look at what you can expect in 2017.

The causes and effects on global BPO markets

  1. Shifting political trends:
    The far reaching consequences of Brexit and election of President Donald Trump, have impacted, among other things, trade agreements, visa and tax policies. These changes have had a profound impact on offshore outsourcing and will continue to do so this year.
  2. Increase in data security:
    Data breaches such as the one concerning the Democratic National Convention in the 2016 elections, and of Equifax systems more recently, have resulted in heightened distrust among people. Business Process Outsourcing vendors with the best security features will see the most growth this year.
  3. Robotic Process Automation:
    With RPA being included in most processes, costs to enterprise buyers will continue to decrease as the year progresses.
  4. Quality over quantity:
    Cloud services have seen an increase in deployment with various players entering the market over the last few years. However, this year, shifting trends indicate a greater focus on quality of service than features. The message to solutions providers is loud and clear: get with the program or get out.
  5. Growth and learning:
    Offshore BPO havens such as India are beginning to equip themselves technologically to be able to meet the demands of the changing global landscape, and to be able to take on the long-standing BPO giants.
  6. Efficiency fueled by innovation:
    Introducing cognitive functions to basic RPA is expected to greatly improve the quality of BPOs. Ideas like computer vision and Natural Language Processing are bringing out the technological advantages of intelligent systems. New features can now be added quickly and seamlessly.
  7. Self-help is the best help: 
    Customer interactions with support teams has seen a gradual shift towards a more self-help approach. Chatbots and virtual assistants have seen great success where introduced. This change will take the traditional call center out of the equation and instead hand over the baton to a contact center run on leaner support staff, with virtual agents handling a greater volume of interactions.
  8. Connected devices and the internet of things:
    With a cellphone or tablet in every hand, and Amazon Echos and Google Homes in many houses, customer care has to tackle new channels in their multi-channel approach. Agents have so far remotely accessed traditional technology to troubleshoot, monitor usage and configure settings. Now they can leverage IoT for a more proactive approach to customer service.

The final word

Customer care has to evolve with the customer to be truly effective. Living in the digital age, customers are increasingly well informed and seeking new levels of service from support agents. The exponential increase can only be handled by embracing technology and developing innovative solutions.

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