APAC remains fastest growing region for contact centre services: Frost

  • Upswing in domestic markets to propel next phase of growth
  • Preferred outsourcing destination was good news, some concerns remain

APAC remains fastest growing region for contact centre services: FrostCONTACT centre seats grew by 8.4% in Asia Pacific in 2012, relatively higher than in other regions, Frost & Sullivan said in a statement.
A strongly performing domestic contact centre outsourcing industry represents the next stage of growth in the region and is poised to keep the market buoyant, the market research and consulting firm said.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Assessment of Asia Pacific Contact Center Markets CY 2012, found that the market had over 3.7 million agents employed in 2012 and is expected to employ over six million agents in 2019.
Asia Pacific will continue to experience the highest growth in the global contact centre outsourcing industry, driven by booming domestic markets that are bolstered by increasing demand from the telecommunications and banking and finance (BFS) sectors.

“Historically, offshore revenue has been the key driver of the Asia Pacific contact centre market, and in 2012 contributed 39.6% of the total market,” said Frost & Sullivan research manager Krishna Baidya.
“Cost savings, a large and relatively low cost labour pool, strong infrastructure, language proficiency and experience of serving western world customers make many Asia Pacific locations preferred offshore destinations for contact centre outsourcing for American and European companies.
“A growing focus on quality customer service is, at the same time, resulting in domestic contact centre outsourcing escalating in the region as well.
“Demand from local Asian economies is expected to have a high impact during the entire forecast period. Rural BPO (business process outsourcing) is getting attention and offering a viable option to pursue, especially while serving domestic customers,” he added.

Customer service enhancement received greater attention in 2012, Frost & Sullivan said in its statement.
Contact centres across the region have increasingly started to leverage available technology and new business models to gain better operational efficiency and cost advantages. Capital investments on improving agents’ interpersonal skills and domain knowledge registered an increase in recognition of the fact that professionally skilled and experienced agents are valuable assets for enterprises.

“The contact center service segment, including consulting, implementation, management and agents’ training services, has become important for vendors and system integrators,” said Krishna.

“More professional agents are set to be recruited and trained in the future to enhance the overall service quality of contact centres,” he added.
While being the preferred contact centre outsourcing destination meant good news, some concerns still remain.
These include market saturation; an anti-offshoring outlook in many countries; the emergence of alternative locations; an increasing attrition rate resulting in swelling costs as well as concerns of quality of services.
“Traditional third-party outsourcing relationships based on cost and labour arbitrages have become passé,” said Krishna.
“Providing customer service at a lower cost simply won’t win more wallet share or new customers anymore. End-to-end support and overall value proposition to customer’s business will be key in nurturing customer and provider relationship going forward,” he added.
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