Customer Experience, Service & Success

Hybrid Work, AI tools Shake Up Australian Contact Centers

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Hybrid Work

Changes in contact center management and consumer behavior since the COVID-19 pandemic have led many Australian enterprises to adopt new customer experience strategies and technologies, according to a new research report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2023 ISG Provider Lens™ Customer Experience Services report for Australia finds that, as in other regions, the rise of remote work and other factors have significantly changed the way enterprises interact with their customers, all while customer experience (CX) becomes a more closely watched measure of company performance. Contact centers are now strategic assets, and organizations are adopting new technologies, including AI and analytics, to address contact center challenges, ISG says.

“Contact centers in Australia are evolving into intelligent CX centers,” said Jarrod Magill, director, ISG Australia. “Despite many disruptions to the way Australian companies operate, digital technology is now generating insights and predictions that help contact centers better respond to customers.”

Many organizations in Australia are embracing home-based and hybrid work modes for roles involved in delivering CX, making the work-from-home concept an accepted norm, the report says. This has made workforce management, including the task of ensuring infrastructure is secure, more challenging. Digital solutions are helping companies measure productivity, streamline agent management to save time and costs.

In the wake of the pandemic, Australian enterprises are moving to cloud-based contact center solutions to ensure business continuity during crises, ISG says. At the same time, increasing reliance on low-cost, digital self-service channels, such as smartphone apps, asynchronous messaging and chatbots, is leading more organizations to shift from captive contact centers to third-party providers that bundle these technologies with their services.

During the pandemic, some clients repatriated voice services in an effort to improve CX. This has broadly been unsuccessful, with little evidence to show onshore teams outperform offshore teams. The significant cost increase has not been offset by gains, causing many clients to begin moving work offshore to third parties, Magill said.

Analytics tools based on AI and ML expand the possibilities for using data from multiple sources to understand customer needs and provide better CX, the report says. This includes both structured data, such as transactions, and unstructured data, including from social media and web browsing. In addition, contact center managers can use information from customer interactions to improve poor agent performance before it affects the company’s reputation. A growing number of service providers in Australia and elsewhere are incorporating AI into their CX strategies, ISG says.

“Enterprises see a rising flood of unstructured data that could help inform customer interactions but is hard to process and interpret,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Australian contact center consultants can help them develop and optimize AI systems.”

The report also examines other Australian contact center trends, including staffing and retention challenges and the growing focus on social media content moderation.

The 2023 ISG Provider Lens™ Customer Experience Services report for Australia evaluates the capabilities of 29 providers across three quadrants: Digital Operations, Hybrid Working Solutions and Social Media CX Services.

The report names Concentrix, Datacom, Probe CX, TSA and Wipro as Leaders in all three quadrants. It names Foundever, Genpact and TTEC as Leaders in two quadrants each. AcquireBPO, Startek, Tech Mahindra, Teleperformance and Telstra are named as Leaders in one quadrant each.

In addition, Foundever, Teleperformance and WNS are named as Rising Stars — companies with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition — in one quadrant each.

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