The BPO industry has witnessed a surge in the past few years. In fact, over the past decade, it has grown more than tenfold, from USD 8 billion in 2000 to USD 88 billion in 2010. This rapid spurt in the industry is slowly giving way to a steadier pace of growth – driven by an increased customer-focus.
Traditionally, companies have recognized two broad growth drivers in the industry: ‘linear’ and ‘non-linear’. Linear growth is a stable revenue growth proportional to a company’s rate of growth in manpower. In contrast, non-linear growth is achieved when a company increases its revenue and operating income by a higher rate than the rate of growth in manpower. Non-linear growth itself encompasses a number of drivers (KPMG has identified seven) including cloud computing, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, and branding.
Today’s customers expect and appreciate superior, personalized experiences across every interaction with a brand. This has led to the emergence of customer engagement and customer experience as equally strong drivers for growth, as much as the linear and non-linear aspects. With the growing popularity of social media, micro blogs and a host of other networking platforms, delighted customers today have instant access to hundreds of friends and followers. They express opinions, share views and serve as critics or ambassadors for a brand – making it all the more critical for organizations to effectively engage with them and offer them the right customer experiences.
Organizations are increasingly leveraging the whole ‘customer experience’ paradigm to build competitive advantage and grow their business. They are exploring multiple engagement models, each of which firmly places the customer at the centre stage. With an “outside in” approach, many of these models are focused on improving the entire brand experience from the end customer’s perspective. Organizations are also investing in the right People, Processes and Technologies to optimize the customer experience they offer across every touch point of customer interaction.
With organizations considering customer experience as a key growth driver, besides the traditional linear and non-linear methods, there is a fundamental shift in business outlook. Businesses are focused on aligning their solutions to meet customer needs today and on keeping their offerings relevant tomorrow.
Naturally, there is a need for companies to partner with the right customer experience partners and R&D houses to achieve this. They need to gain better insights and customer focus to drive growth in future. At the end of the day, superior customer engagement has proved itself to be a factor that organizations have to sit up and take note of. Brands now have only one choice to make – which customer engagement model best suits their business?