Against a backdrop of stagnant economies and relatively rigid labor markets, the European contact center outsourcing market is pressing ahead, according to research released this week by Frost & Sullivan.
Powerful consumer trends, along with the expansion of automated and non-voice channels, are adding momentum to technology-based customer engagement, the firm found. This prompted it to predict that over the next five years, service providers that differentiate and compete on multichannel capabilities and value-added technology solutions will have an edge over providers that only compete on cost, location, and labor arbitrage.
The analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Europe Contact Center Outsourcing Market, finds that the market was worth $14.04 billion in 2014 and estimates this to reach $16.48 billion in 2019. Technology-based services will experience solid momentum, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 12 percent, compared to a CAGR of more than 2 percent for traditional, agent-based services.
"Europetoo is adjusting to a rapidly changing, ever-more influential consumer," noted Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Program Director Stephen Loynd, in a statement. "And when it comes to working with business process outsourcing (BPOs) in an ever-more-connected world, enterprises are expecting agility, innovation, and best-practice implementation — truly strategic partnerships, in other words."
The analysis also found the European market to be particularly complex. Although the market for outsourced services is counter-cyclical, benefitting from the cost-cutting of enterprises, in some cases in Europe it also has faced a lack of demand. Moreover, tech-savvy consumers are now using a variety of communication channels to express their opinions, and BPOs are aiming to offer improved multichannel solutions as a result, it noted.
Meanwhile, the outsourcing market continues to be characterised by mergers and acquisitions. In 2015, both large and small players, such as Atento, Arvato, Concentrix, Serco Global Services, Walter Services, and SNT Deutschland, were involved in M&As. BPOs would be wise to continue to push organizational change whenever necessary to promote greater focus and accountability and improved organizational alignment when it comes to company mission, vision, strategy, and execution, the firm concluded.