Pandemic & New Age Technologies drive rapid expansion of BPOs in India
India’s enterprise spending on business process outsourcing (BPO) services in India is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8 per cent to reach $8.8 billion by 2025. This growth is being propelled by the increasing demand for digital services, which is being driven by the growth of new technology-focused businesses and the explosion in data volumes. Verticals such as healthcare, life sciences, banking, insurance, legal processing, risk management, financial research, research and analytics, and digital marketing, are expected to drive growth during the forecast period. India is well-positioned to continue meeting the global market’s needs for IT services. This will only help the country develop a stronghold in the BPO service sectors for the foreseeable future.
There is an increasing shift by BPO companies to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities to reduce their business costs and also as majority of their workforce is hesitant to come back, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic to attract and retain local talent. It is more evident than ever that agent location is no longer a requisite to meet the service needs of clients sitting in any part of the world. BPOs are sensing a pickup in demand from semi- urban and rural areas, which will translate into an increase in volumes of customer enquiries, supply chain management and back office services.
The overall growth & demand for digital engagement, employee experience expectations and work-from-anywhere models are revolutionizing contact centres globally.
It is therefore, even more imperative for BPOs to stay competitive with an innovation platform that can support customers’ digital transformation journey. With Genesys, they can build a platform that helps their customers reimagine their journeys, leveraging the latest technologies from a global partner ecosystem, no matter where they are, Mr. Raja Lakshmipathy, Managing Director-India and SAARC, Genesys share more insights on the same
- How has the approach to customer experience changed in the past 2-3 years since the pandemic?
Businesses had to be agile and re-think their strategy to deliver customer experience as the world moved from ‘brick to click’ due to the pandemic. What that also meant was that ‘anything physical’ had to be ‘everything virtual’. Due to the business disruptions caused by covid, there was pent-up demand for products and services online across all sectors, be it travel, business, or technology. This resulted in a constant and significant shift in trends, and customer experience (CX) was no exception.
A substantial percentage of B2B and B2C companies changed course and preferred to engage virtually first as customers turned to the contact centre to seek help, guidance, and reassurance. With the future of CX evolving quickly, a vision for how to navigate technology decisions has clearly become critical for success. On the technology front, AI is now used strategically by CX leaders for providing personalised services to customers and delivering empathy at scale where a customer feels valued and understood. Many companies are also prioritising employee experience, leveraging workforce engagement management capabilities and other tools to streamline contact centre efficiency.
Businesses are increasingly seeing CX as the main driver of customer trust and loyalty. It has become a board-level priority for more than half (58%) of companies. As a result, we will also likely see this shift reflected in roles as well, as the head of CX continues to grow in value and importance within a business.
Growingly, customers expect to be treated uniquely as if they are the only customer the businesses have, hence the metric to measure customer experience today is moving from efficiency to empathy, which will drive trust and increase brand loyalty in return.
2. Over the years, how has the role of BPO evolved as customer expectations have reshaped with the advent of new technology?
Cost arbitrage was a major consideration for companies to outsource their CX to BPOs in the past. Most of the BPOs have created islands of technologies by way of organic and inorganic growth. As a result, more often than not, BPOs spent additional time managing technologies in their quest to manage customer experience.
However, customers today want more from companies than a simple interaction; they want to feel as though their favourite brands connect and have a relationship with them. This clearly indicates that companies need to re-evaluate their strategy and put in the necessary effort and resources to help revamp their client interaction, both offline and online, through relationship-building.
In recent years, BPOs have greatly embarked on innovation and digital transformation to not just help companies streamline business processes but deliver world-class customer experiences.
On the technology aspect BPOs are consolidating their technologies by moving to the cloud and providing omnichannel capabilities as customers take centre stage in the decision process.
3. Which technologies are empowering transformation and innovation in the BPO sector?
Digital, Cloud, Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have become key in helping BPOs to address the growing number of interactions at an optimal cost to serve.
Digital channels are growing at a much faster pace than voice. Having an integrated omnichannel solution provides a 360-degree view of the customer journey which in turn helps in a context-driven collaboration.
Today, BPOs realise the power of cloud and the benefits like agility, scalability and security that the cloud can offer. Cloud allows easy access to information which is central to competing in a data-driven world. For example, serverless computing, in a unique way develops and executes applications and services without having to worry about the infrastructure.
There has been a great shift in the role and implementation of AI as well. In the past, the emergence of AI was seen as a threat that could replace the jobs of professionals. However, it has proven to be more of a facilitator than a replacement for the BPO industry. Conversational AI is being used to make the customer journey feel more personalised and productive.
4. What is Genesys’ go-to-market BPO strategy to make the most out of 2022?
Genesys provides an integrated approach to BPOs in orchestrating experiences across the entire customer lifecycle, leveraging multiple channels, and a wide array of AI innovations. Genesys is the first global customer experience leader to offer enterprises an all-in-one public cloud contact centre platform with local region availability in India. It means that we are able to offer reliability and security across our Genesys Cloud CX platform to Indian enterprises and also in the other 12 core regions where our cloud services are deployed.
Our vision is to work with BPOs to build an ecosystem around Genesys Cloud CX and Genesys Multi-cloud CX platforms, where we can mutually leverage new client opportunities and provide seamless and secure services to our customers in over 100+ countries.
We are aligning with BPOs who are looking to standardise on a new Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) platform by leveraging Cloud, Omni-Channel, and Digital, and replacing their existing premise-based platform. We aim to embed ourselves deeper into the client’s business processes and unlock long-term economic value for all stakeholders.
Going forward, we have 3 major priorities:
- From a product standpoint, we will lead with Cloud on a subscription-based model
- We will pay a closer look at the install base and migrate large customers from the current premise to the cloud environment
- We also want to accelerate our momentum to get more customers to adopt digital and automation
5. What are the growth drivers for the BPO sector in the coming decade?
BPO’s that can establish their expertise in providing vertical-specific services are expected to drive huge growth in the future. The simplified “Work from Anywhere” guidelines announced by the government will help BPOs to branch out into Tier II and Tier III cities. In doing so, their operational costs will remain competitive and a skilled workforce existing beyond the Tier I cities can be tapped as well.
The client expectation from the BPO industry is increasingly changing. Instead of an outsourcing house, they are expected to operate at the forefront and provide end-to-end solutions, and their contact centres are tasked to deliver measurable outcomes that affect the client business directly.
BPOs have an incredible opportunity to be customer-centric and develop new value propositions as an industry. They will need to evolve into technology powerhouses and reimagine their business processes by integrating technology and automation to serve customers seamlessly. Cloud technology, in particular, will be a key enabler to integrate different applications in an efficient manner and impact employee productivity and experiences.