MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Telcos are showing a penchant towards bringing the customer services function closer to home, but will have limited flexibility in their contact center budgets over the coming year, according to global analyst firm, Ovum.
A new CRM Outsourcing Business Trends Survey from the global analyst firm,found that themajority of telcos interviewed anticipated that their budgets for CRM outsourcing were likely to stay flat or decrease between 2012 and 2015.
Clare McCarthy, practice leader of Telco Operations at Ovum and co-author of the survey said: "Telco respondents were emphatic that reducing costs was a major priority for the coming 12 months. This sector has come under margin pressure due to increasingly price-conscious consumers and increased competition among telcos. However, outsourcers should not ignore the need to provide top-flight customer service to telco clients and prospects, considering that increasing customer satisfaction ranked as a top-three priority."
One of the biggest competitive challenges for CRM outsourcers is the telcos themselves. Many are developing online channels and self-service applications so that customers can handle some of the more straight-forward issues for themselves. In addition, telcos have shown some willingness to take CEM functions back in-house if they feel outsourcers are not delivering the expected service and value for money.
The location of outsourced CRM functions is also important to telcos. According to McCarthy: "The cross-industry pattern of this year's survey was that quality and security can better be ensured when closer to home. Telco contact center respondents stated a preference for working with outsourcers that are based in relatively close proximity. This could lead to telcos pushing their end users to self-service solutions."
"Although local delivery is preferable, it is not always possible due to price and scalability considerations. In this case, outsourcers should suggest suitable nearshore/offshore alternatives or virtualized solutions," concludes McCarthy.