The future of customer service outsourcing – Predictions and emerging innovations
Customer service is the key to driving higher sales, brand loyalty, lower cost of acquisition, and excellent market reputation. Business decision-makers understand the importance of the right mix of automation and agent-based customer service in driving growth.
Outsourcing is set to play a significant role in the years to come. According to research, 58% of leaders outsource their customer services, which is expected to rise to 64% by 2025. Several trends, from generative AI and robotic process automation to data science, will dominate the future of customer service.
This article discusses the current problems, innovations, predictions, and emerging trends in customer service management.
Current problems in the customer service industry
Customer services, even though a strategic business function, are plagued with several problems. From underinvestment to missed opportunities to under-valued employees, here is the list of current problems –
- Prioritising customer acquisition over retention.
- Employers see employees as short-term assets, not long-term investments.
- Low investment in service improvement initiatives.
- Hiring of unskilled employees.
- Employees see little potential for growth in customer service jobs.
- Trainings are limited to only the product and people skills.
Businesses put little emphasis on seeing employees as long-term assets who add value to the customer experience. By looking at each customer interaction as an opportunity to add value, businesses stand to lower their acquisition cost and increase loyalty.
Future trends in customer service outsourcing
Global customer service outsourcing is expected to reach $525.5 billion by 2023 and expand at a compounded rate till 2030. Here is a list of future predictions and emerging innovations in the industry –
Focus on data security and privacy
As customer service outsourcing increases, the parties must prioritise data protection and privacy. Businesses expect service providers to own the risk of data security and provide value through analytics. According to a study, 96% of businesses expect outsourcing service providers to give data development and analytics capabilities.
Post-Covid, many businesses are operating remotely for customer services and need to strengthen their existing data privacy policies to deal with online threats.
Automation and artificial intelligence
Several outsourcing service providers are already using AI and process automation (PA) for repetitive tasks that require better efficiency. To deliver cost-efficiency and faster turnaround time, AI and PA are key technologies that will drive the future of the customer service industry.
The repetitive, labour-intensive tasks include data entry and customer service through answers from the repository. AI and PA also analyse large data sets quickly and accurately for businesses to make better decisions.
The pandemic has shifted the focus of businesses on a cloud-first approach. According to a survey, 90% of businesses consider cloud computing as a critical component in customer service outsourcing. While security is still the top priority for 68% of businesses looking to adopt cloud computing, the right customer services vendor will help you resolve this concern.
Forming strategic partnerships
Instead of taking it as a transactional relationship, businesses see customer service outsourcing as a strategic collaboration to achieve shared goals. To achieve this, the service providers must become more agile and innovative. It is important to set realistic expectations, consensus, and trust between the two parties, without which 60 – 65% of strategic partnerships fail.
Omnichannel customer service
What was once a privilege for large businesses is now easily accessible to all. Omnichannel customer service gives you unprecedented speed, accessibility, and convenience. However, businesses must not dive into omnichannel solutions without knowing which one would align with their business needs and client base.
According to research, 33% of businesses with weak omnichannel systems have a lower retention rate than 89% of those with a robust omnichannel strategy. The right omnichannel strategy provides excellent customer service at every touchpoint in the customer journey.
Shift from transactional to value-driven interactions
Dealing with high call volumes and demand for customer support can lead to the conversation becoming purely transactional. Customer service teams that shift their focus on proactively providing solutions that add value and build relationships stand out in providing excellent experiences. Meaningful conversations that add value, respect customer’s time, and avoid repetitive touchpoints result in customer delight even in complex situations. This is achievable through the right blend of technology and skilled staff.
How can Infosys BPM help?
Handle all customer touchpoints across the customers’ journey and address their expectations comprehensively and sustainably. Redefine end-to-end customer service through enhanced transparency, analytics, and new-age technologies.
Read more about the customer service outsourcing process at Infosys BPM.