COVID-19 Pandemic Drives Reevaluation of Contact Center Services

ISG Provider Lens™ report sees many enterprises embracing contact center outsourcing vendors and automation to handle basic customer queries


STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Enterprises worldwide are reevaluating their contact center services and customer experience strategies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many reconsidering their in-house customer service operations, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The ISG Provider LensContact Center - Customer Experience Services Archetype Report finds that many outsourced contact center services were in a better position to respond to the pandemic than in-house services were. In many cases, in-house enterprise contact center services were hit hard because they were generally concentrated in one country, instead of spread out in many.

The report sees many large companies moving quickly to adopt automation to handle basic queries from customers. Chat bots and conversational artificial intelligence will handle most low-level customer queries going forward, and many contact centers are actively working to scale up their automated services.

“The transformation of contact centers and the customer experience has been accelerated with COVID-19,” said Jan Erik Aase, director and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Organizations are recognizing the need for technology to build resilient operations.”

The report sees several trends in the contact center space. Voice calls will see a drastic decline, but will remain an important means to resolve complex queries, and working from home is the new norm for contact center employees.

In addition, cloud-based contact centers (Contact-Centers-as-a-Service) are becoming a necessity, with many companies fast-tracking their adoption to enable seamless connectivity. Finally, many companies are looking to personalize the customer experience, by using analytics to empower the agent.

The ISG Provider LensContact Center - Customer Experience Services Archetype Report examines three different types of clients, or archetypes, that are looking for contact center services. The report evaluates the capabilities of 21 providers to deliver services to the three archetypes:

Automation embracers: These clients are still low on the digital maturity curve, but are a looking to embark on an automation journey. Full-time employees will continue to play an important role and channel adoption has matured to chatbots that go beyond regular voice, email, and text options. Buyers in this archetype have made digital a priority and are looking for a healthy shoring mix. Cost savings continue to be a priority, and they will use automation to reduce overhead costs.

Digital connoisseurs: These clients are digitally mature or have made digital their top priority. These enterprises have explored multiple channels and automation. Familiar with technology and its implications, enterprises in this archetype are looking to scale digital transformation (and automation) to have a larger impact on customer experience. Enterprises in this archetype have leveraged multiple channels to enable better connectivity and communication.

CX evangelists: For these companies, transformation is the highest priority. Driving superior customer experience by leveraging technology-driven insights is the prime focus. These buyers are looking to leverage analytics services to bring about improvements at every stage of the customer service lifecycle. Having highly skilled, domain experts as agents is critical for these buyers. Their transformation goal is long term and strategic and steers clear of point solutions or quick fixes. These clients are looking for strategic business partners as they outsource, and are keen on partnering with service providers that bring industry experience, implementation experience, technological offerings and domain expertise to deploy the right solutions.

Among the providers ISG evaluated, Conduent, HGS, Sitel Group and Sutherland were named leaders across all three archetypes. Cognizant, CSS Corp., Tech Mahindra, Teleperformance and TTEC were named leaders in two archetypes, and Alorica, Concentrix, Genpact, Hexaware and WNS were named leaders in one.

Customized versions of the report are available from Hexaware and Sitel Group.

The ISG Provider LensContact Center - Customer Experience Services Archetype Report  is available to subscribers or for immediate, one-time purchase on this webpage.

About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG's global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG's enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe and Latin America, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

The series is a complement to the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, which offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

Starting this year, each ISG Provider Lens™ study will include a Global Summary to help enterprise subscribers better understand provider capabilities across all geographic markets covered by that study. All ISG Provider Lens™ reports also will now include an Enterprise Context feature to help executives quickly identify key insights related to their roles and responsibilities.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit

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