As executives prepare to attend Call Center Week in Las Vegas next week, one of the big topics on the minds of many will be how best to ensure top flight end-user experience while at the same time keeping operational costs as low as possible. And, despite the constant chatter in the marketplace about the increase in automated processes (which, to be clear, has been occurring in the contact center sector for some time), the ability to leverage capabilities using a multi-shore and virtual strategy has never been more important.

Over the course of the past fifteen years, the changes in the offshore dynamic have been pronounced. What was once a delivery play from India and the Philippines is now more diverse than ever before. Countries once unimaginable have become among the most sought-after by enterprises for both voice and non-voice service delivery. True, some locations have been flash-in-the pans, but others have molded raw talent and will to succeed into long-term offerings that continue to deliver value. Examples of this include South Africa, Malaysia and Mauritius, each of which has become a serious contender for work coming in from overseas. The ability to source qualified, customer-centric labor in more locations overseas has made this industry better and provided contact centers with the choice needed to drive site diversification.

Not to be outdone, the nearshore continues to provide contact center managers with some great delivery choices. In the case of North America, Mexico and Colombia remain the largest single Latin American points of delivery for the US and Canadian consumers; however there has been tremendous growth in both Central America and the Caribbean over the past decade in terms of their delivery capabilities. Now, locations such as the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador have competitive, skilled offshore contact center sectors. This has provided good diversification opportunities for both enterprises and service vendors.

A big point of discussion in today’s delivery mix remains the question of home-based agents. Clearly, it is a business model that is not going away, and is steadily gaining favor among enterprises across vertical markets that have previously not used agents working out of their homes. With more emphasis on quality, value and security, providers of home-based services continue to fill an ever-growing niche in the contact center delivery paradigm.

When considering the above business models in the context of customer care in 2016 and beyond, enterprise contact center managers are more often than not adopting a pragmatic approach. No longer are choosing one country or region for their deployments, rather they are looking at a hybrid that incorporates a combination of offshore, nearshore and, in a growing number of cases, home-based delivery, alongside existing domestic bricks-and-mortar operations. Obviously, this mix will depend greatly on the industry and the enterprise’s corporate culture, but in order to ensure seamless delivery as well as to insulate against security risks and outages, the strategy of placing capacity in a series of locations is logical. In today’s global business environment, a small hiccup can become a major fail very quickly, especially in contact center management, so to avoid such calamities, site diversification needs to be top of mind for CRM managers.

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