The global CxOutsourcers Mindshare Event from March 25 – 26, 2019, attracted more than 50 industry representatives, senior executives, analysts, and journalists from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
Held in the historic royal town of Windsor in the UK, the event included a panel discussion with 7 analysts, consultants and influencers to discuss how emerging verticals are seeing a gap in CX delivery that service providers should be filling. Below is a summary of some of their predictions and vertical industry trends.
Steve Weston, Managing Partner at SKWeston & Company, sees that the healthcare industry has shifted to a more proactive approach by getting ahead of individuals’ health problems. This means that healthcare companies are looking for predictive analytics from BPOs to determine potential issues before they happen. “They want CX service providers to coach them on the value of customer loyalty,” he explained.
Stu Ravens, Principal Research Analyst at Navigant, highlighted how the utility industry is going through a huge amount of disruption, despite having a low prioritization of CX overall. This disruption is creating an opportunity for BPOs to help determine utility providers’ differentiation in the market. “There is a shift from supply- to service-based business models which is a huge trend for the utilities industry,” says Ravens. “The decentralization of service delivery is shifting the whole value chain to be more customer focused. There are lots of new entrants that are cash-rich and eager to corner new markets. Innovation is critical and incumbents are not best placed to do this.”
Ravens went on to say that there will be no ‘uber of the energy world’ as the industry is heavily regulated. “But lost of new business models are being developed around distributed generation and electrication of transport.”
Banking and Insurance CX
For those of us placing bets, Alistair Niederer from Praxidia suggested that CX outsourcers bet big on the insurance industry. “Empathy and emotion cannot be replicated, and you cannot automate the human ability to deal with complaints or confusion,” he said. Everest Group Vice President Julian Herbert, however, says that banking is still a safe bet. “All of the emphasis is on making things easier for the customer and dealing with fast-moving regulatory changes. If you can do those things you’re in a good position,” he explained.
Chris Warburton, Practice Lead at Arum, agreed and said the he sees plenty of digitization and increased focus on automation in the collections and recoveries sector, so BPOs with the right digital expertise can more easily partner up.
For retailers, the approach for CX is already very mature, so the need in the retail sector is for CX providers to refine what already exists. “Retailers are drowning in data,” says Miya Knights, Head of Industry Insight at Eagle Eye Solutions. “For CX companies there is equal risk and reward of taking on the risks of retailers in that situation, without the ability to improve the data or find new value.”
Knights says that retailers are increasingly under pressure to have a single, omnichannel view of each customer, sales and stock item. “Experiential retail (including augmented reality) is another trend and retailers are deploying digital content distribution, specialist query processing and analysis of distributed datasets and data lake aggregation for GDPR-compliant customer insights.”
This specialization may impact the ability of outsourcers to deliver strategic value to retailers. “Faced with growing competition, retailers are insourcing strategic quality assurance, testing and development work,” says Knights who referred to John Lewis insourcing key e-commerce areas as being one example of this.
Shifting gears a little, Luke Bujarski, Founder and CEO of LUFT, says that the travel industry is facing various challenges such as Google’s push down funnel into all segments of transport and local disccovery which has compromised long-run competitiveness of the big online travel agencies. “This has resulted in a race to bottom on commissions and travel agencies will look to cut costs wherever they can,” says Bujarski whose company also publishes The LiveWork Report that demonstrates the impact workers in flexible real estate have on captive travel spend.
“The likes of WeWork and other flexible space operators have the potential to disrupt managed and corporate travel as they become more integrated into the enterprise DNA,” says Bujarski who suggested that CX providers look to co-working spaces to leverage new talent or locations. “Through these satellite offices and the work-at-home model, companies can easily scale and experiment with geographies without investing in costly brick-and-mortar operations.”