Digital CX Adoption to Boost Customer Service Outsourcing, Research Finds

While it has been widely suggested that the rise in digital channels and the decline in voice-based customer service will lead to reduced outsourcing and the transition of services to onshore, a recent study by analyst firm NelsonHall suggests otherwise, with digital channels leading to greater adoption of customer service outsourcing.

More specifically, shoring patterns will remain largely unaffected by next-generation customer service models, and increased automation/digitalization will lead to increased offshore activity, especially in areas such as analytics, the firm noted in its "The Client Vision for Next-Generation Customer Service" report.

The rationale is that customer service organizations will increasingly seek help in designing new digital services, in implementing digital channels and technologies, and in applying analytics. And offshore locations, such as India, tend to excel in these areas, with agents who are highly technically savvy. Hence, the CX outsourcing and offshoring value proposition will increase, from one based on agent availability and scalability to one of high-skill digital CX capability.

Other key findings include the following:

  • Service innovation will remain highly important to 85 percent of organizations over the next three years, especially in the high-tech and telecoms sectors;
  • Eliminating voice interactions and optimizing the channel mix are high priorities;
  • Organizations are seeking to implement new digital customer service process models led by techniques such as customer journey mapping and improved user experience design;
  • Organizations expect to drive their CX transformations with new technologies, such as cloud-based platforms, natural language processing, analytics, robotic process automation, and machine learning, and new channels, such as cognitive chatbots;
  • Despite high levels of satisfaction with customer support processes, there is significant scope for improvement in customer retention and outbound sales, where only about half of organizations express high satisfaction; and
  • Organizations require potential suppliers to have the technology expertise, user experience design capability, and agent skills necessary to help them create new ways of delivering customer service.