Contact Centers in Asia
Asia has long been a destination of choice for organizations looking to offshore their contact centers. Yet, the phenomenal economic growth seen within the Asian market, and in particular India and China, in the past few years mean that domestic markets are also investing within their own contact centers.
CyberTech International, the third largest call recording provider in the world, recently announced it has opened a new facility in Mumbai, India to cope with demand for such services.
The company said the opening of its new office, which is the company's 11th in the world, highlighted its "commitment to serving the Asian Pacific marketplace", adding that the service would sit well alongside existing operations within Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Phil Riseley, managing director for CyberTech Asia Pacific Ltd, said: "Over the coming months, we will be announcing new customer contracts in India as part of our global strategy for growth."
Outlook for Asian Contact Centre Industry
A report released by Frost & Sullivan last year suggested extremely bright prospects for the contact center industry in the Asia Pacific region.
By the year 2014, the industry is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of more than ten percent. This growth means an increase from 1.7 million seats in 2008 to three million just six years later.
Speaking at an event in Kuala Lumpur, Shivanu Shukla, industry manager for ICT at Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, said: "Fuelled by rising domestic demand as well as steady growth in outsourcing, the contact center market in Malaysia is expected to see good growth over the next three to five years."
However, this growth is by no means unaccompanied by challenges. Businesses must ensure that they maintain the ethos of the customer being at the center of the equation in the face of budget constraints, increasing customer expectations and integration with multi-channel approaches.
The contact center in Asia was also predicted to take a hit from the economic downturn, which raised the possibility of companies slashing their IT budgets.
Kunal Kakodka and Shivanu Shukla noted in the Frost & Sullivan report about outsourcing trends in the region between 2008 and 2011 that small decline was likely to be seen in offshoring activity as a result of the downturn, but this should not affect mid or long-term growth.
Trends in the Asian Contact Centre Industry
Much like contact centers within western markets, those within the Asia Pacific region are expected to turn to automation and self-service in the coming years, according to Frost & Sullivan.
Australia was said to be leading the way with this development, but "Malaysia, India, the Philippines and China also experienced an increasing demand for IVR and speech technologies."
Tools to measure agent performance were also said to be increasing in popularity in the region, despite continuing elevated prices.
"There is a case to be made for employing these tools in spite of their added cost even in a down economy – the myopic goal of immediate cost savings may easily be achieved through reducing headcount, but optimum use of existing personnel is guaranteed to yield rich dividends in the future," the report stated.
Alongside the well founded markets in India and Philippines, which have long been favoured for their English speaking workers, other countries are not looking to get in on the growth of contact centers in Asia.
Among those identified are China, where Starwood Hotels opened a Greater China contact center last year, Malaysia and possibly Vietnam.
Indonesia is also planning an expansion of its call center industry. The Indonesian Contact Center Association recently held an event where it highlighted its investments in infrastructure and service delivery, Contact News Asia reported.
Dr Wallace, managing director of callcentres.net, said: "We will continue to see strong growth in this market as Indonesia emerges as another power house in this region alongside India, Philippines and China."