More than ever, European enterprises and governments understand the benefits of partnering with business process outsourcing (BPO) providers for their customer contact needs, and today there is an array of pan-European and regional providers to choose from. Decision-makers need to assess BPO providers carefully in order to make optimal investments that best address their specific needs.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “2015 Europe Contact Center Outsourcin Buyer’s Guide”, finds that the market earned revenues of €14,04-billion in 2014 and estimates this to reach €16,48-billion in 2019.
Even though Europe’s contact centre outsourcing market experienced challenges over the past few years, the technology-based services segment will see relatively vigorous growth going forward. The segment’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will surpass 12% over the forecast period, while traditional, agent-based services experience a CAGR of just over 2%.
“The proliferation of automated and non-voice channels is proof of the importance of technology-based customer engagement,” says Frost & Sullivan digital transformation programme director Stephen Loynd. “Over the next five years, contact centre providers that differentiate and compete on multichannel capabilities and value-added technology solutions will have an edge over providers that insist on competing simply on cost and labour arbitrage.”
In other words, in a connected world, it is important for BPO providers to appreciate that both existing and potential clients expect to see innovation, agility, and best practice implementation in their BPO partnerships. This is perhaps even more true in a region as vast and differentiated as Europe.
Although the market for outsourced services is often counter-cyclical, benefitting from the cost-cutting of enterprises, a lack of demand in some cases can present challenges to BPO providers in Europe. There also have been a host of mergers, acquisitions, and reorganisations across the region.
“Staying up-to-date on the changing nature of the BPO market is easier said than done,” noted Loynd. “Consider the dizzying number of recent mergers, acquisitions and reorganisations, involving players as diverse as Acticall, Sitel, Comdata, Atento, Arvato, Webhelp, SNT Deutschland, Walter Services, Serco, SYKES, TeleTech and Teleperformance.”
Finally, BPO providers also may want to look to expand into new markets, perhaps leveraging existing client relationships to do so. And in today’s world, in some cases, it might also be wise for BPOs to push for organisational change whenever necessary to promote increased focus and accountability.