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Pandemic Shakes Up Contact Centers With New Demands

As more consumers use digital channels, enterprises turn to service providers for cloud-based contact centers with advanced technologies, ISG Provider Lens™ report says

Enterprises worldwide are partnering with service providers to adapt contact center operations to new work modes and customer behaviors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new research report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center — Customer Experience Services global report finds the pandemic has increased demand for digital customer experience (CX), leading to significant growth in contact center services outsourcing. Companies are moving contact center operations to the cloud, adopting new technologies and making better use of data to remain competitive as requirements change.

“The online shift during the pandemic shook up how consumers engage with brands and how contact centers work,” said Scott Furlong, partner and leader of ISG Global Business Services. “Once consumers experience and like a different engagement model, they are unlikely to want to go back. This creates new demands on the entire CX ecosystem.”

Enterprises are taking a cloud-first approach for many reasons, including having the agility to respond to future crises, the report says. AI is playing a growing role in contact centers, especially in the form of bots for automated customer service. Analytics tools are transforming both employee and customer experience, making more knowledge available as customers talk with agents. Companies are even finding use cases for the metaverse, which ISG predicts will cause a major change in customer and employee experiences.

As more consumers reach out to enterprises digitally, companies are finding they need to engage with customers on a growing range of platforms, the report says. For example, while some generations still prefer voice calls, many younger consumers call out brands on social media and expect quick responses.

“Enterprises need to offer omnichannel experiences that follow customers from one channel to the next,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Service providers can help them turn social media into a platform for support and engagement, with analytics to gauge customer sentiment.”

After being disrupted by the pandemic, contact center operating models have changed for good, ISG says. Providers are offering more flexible working conditions, including remote and hybrid work modes, contracting and gig work, to attract and retain talent in a tight labor market with high attrition. The new flexibility is expected to help contact centers scale operations up or down based on current needs and maintain business continuity in the event of disruptions.

The report also explores other global trends in contact center customer experience, including the rise in nearshore centers and the growing need for security measures with remote work.

For more insights on contact center challenges facing enterprises, including integration of new technologies, and advice on how to carry out contact center transformation, see the ISG Provider Lens™ Focal Points briefing here.

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center — Customer Experience Services global report evaluates the capabilities of 30 providers across four quadrants: Digital Operations, AI & Analytics, Work From Home Services and Social Media CX Services.

The report names HGS, Sitel Group and Teleperformance as Leaders in all four quadrants. It names Concentrix, Conduent, Sutherland and TTEC as Leaders in three quadrants each. Alorica, Atento, Cognizant, Genpact, Movate, Startek, Tech Mahindra, Transcom and WNS are named as Leaders in two quadrants each. [24] and Webhelp are named as Leaders in one quadrant each.

In addition, Genpact is named as a Rising Star — a company with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition — in two quadrants. [24], Hexaware and Tech Mahindra are named as Rising Stars in one quadrant each.

Customized versions of the report are available from Movate, Sitel Group, Startek, Transcom and WNS.

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center — Customer Experience Services global report is available to subscribers or for 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, as well as in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the U.K., France, Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, the Nordics, Australia and Singapore/Malaysia, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 800 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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