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CEO Insights

How the Modern-Day Contact Center Is Transforming the Customer Experience

Robert T Dechant "Bob" Chief Executive Officer, IBEX Ltd

Customer experience is a top priority in today’s hyper-competitive digital economy. Companies are looking far and wide for disruptive technology providers and partners to better communicate with their customers and elevate their contact centers.

Yet the contact center industry remains fragmented. The 10 or so multibillion-dollar players represent only 30% of the market share. And most of those companies are operating the same way they did a decade ago, providing nonstrategic, commoditized support. It is business process outsourcing at a basic level: BPO 1.0.

To its credit, the contact center industry is now shifting toward a focus on the customer experience. This is BPO 2.0. Key attributes of BPO 2.0 are tech-led solutions, a highly connected culture and a superior level of employee engagement, along with a fast and effective path to operational proficiency.

BPO 2.0 is all about being quick, flexible and technology-driven to deliver great customer experiences. It’s about leveraging innovation to become a tech-led business rather than a labor-arbitrage business.

In the public markets, BPO 1.0 companies have lost their appeal with investors. They’re now synonymous with high capex and low margins. BPO 2.0 companies, meanwhile, are synonymous with rapid growth, high margins and tech-led innovation.

Powering BPO 2.0 with cutting-edge technology

Over the past five years, ibex has invested significant resources into building and implementing our proprietary technology, focusing on next-generation software deployed across the full customer lifecycle.

At the core of our technology innovation is Wave X. This is our secret sauce. It’s a custom-built technology center of excellence dedicated to improving customer interactions, contact center performance and client outcomes.

The Wave X platform powers enhanced agent interactions, superior customer experiences (CX) and overall better performance benchmarks. Wave X is a differentiated suite of digital and technology solutions that ensures our agents are best equipped to delight customers across all phases of the customer lifecycle.

This capability enables ibex to provide innovative, automated and customizable solutions to our clients more efficiently versus a pure labor-arbitrage-based delivery model. For instance, the use of AI technology is proving to be massively impactful. AI helps our agents tee up answers and suggestions in real time to better serve customers.

AI can also help anticipate when customers are about to get frustrated or lose their cool so agents can anticipate that moment and minimize it. Our AI automatically apprises agents based on customer indicators and behaviors, enabling agents to take action while a call is in progress to alter the course of an interaction and improve the outcome.

Building an employee-first culture

Employees are the lifeblood of any CX organization. But amid the ongoing Great Resignation, it is harder than ever for all companies to attract and retain great people.

At ibex, we’ve been on a journey to transform our culture and put our people first—to attract talented team members and keep those we have. This means offering our people the best tools to effectively interact with customers, while also providing them with benefits that enhance their own lives.

For instance, through our global philanthropic program, Ibex Cares, we are committed to meaningfully investing in the communities where we operate. Our employees choose the local charities they want to support and strive to make a difference in the lives of the people closest to them—including friends, family members and coworkers. We just celebrated the five-year anniversary of Ibex Cares with more than $250,000 in donations earmarked for local charities in 2022.

Recently, employees came together to raise more than $100,000 for storm victims affected by Super Typhoon Odette. ibex is matching that donation, providing an additional $100,000 to aid in the recovery. These funds will go to ibex team members in Bohol, Philippines, who bore the brunt of Odette. Many suffered catastrophic damage to their homes and loss of personal belongings.

Building a great culture also means providing employees with immediate opportunities for growth. Day one at ibex for employees begins with a view of what is possible at our organization, including information on our strong leadership-development program and our many opportunities for advancement.

We also empower our call center agents to make a difference in our company. Agents are on the front lines. They see the same issues over and over again. And they often have great suggestions to improve the customer experience. That’s why we empower them to raise their hand and volunteer their ideas to spark positive change.

By making a commitment to career enrichment, ibex enables employees to craft a path for their future. For instance, at ibex about 90% of our frontline leaders are former call center agents who were equipped and trained to be supervisors.

At the end of the day, when our people succeed, we succeed. Because happy, productive employees help to create a high level of customer satisfaction and loyalty that fuels new growth and client retention.

Reimagining the customer experience with BPO 3.0

At ibex, we’ve been at the forefront of BPO 2.0. But looking to the future, our vision is BPO 3.0. In this evolution, we will harness the power of technology and data to provide insights back to our clients that they can’t get anywhere else. These insights will allow them to take the customer experience to the next level by predicting future behavior and outcomes, identifying and solving service issues in real time and dramatically improving customer retention.

Consumer expectations are higher than ever. Customers want an experience that is quick, easy, frictionless and effective. At ibex, we are committed to delivering the right processes, the right systems and the right offerings to create a great customer experience end to end.

Written by Robert Dechant, CEO of ibex.
Have you read?
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Build a Better Company (and a Better You) by Implementing a Mentorship Program by Kristen Sieffer.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Insights - How the Modern-Day Contact Center Is Transforming the Customer Experience
Bob Dechant
As CEO of ibex, Bob Dechant has launched the company’s BPO 2.0 revolution, leading ibex’s transformation into a tech-led, digitally driven, award-winning provider of end-to-end customer lifecycle and digital transformation solutions for the world’s leading New Economy and Blue-Chip brands. During his time as CEO, Bob has made strategic investments in technology, people, and nearshore and offshore growth, expanding ibex’s footprint in the emerging, dynamic markets of Nicaragua, Jamaica and The Philippines, featuring impressively branded contact centers and highly skilled and engaged agents. Since joining the company in 2015, Bob has driven major revenue and EBITDA growth at ibex, leading to the company’s August 2020 IPO on Nasdaq, marking ibex as a key provider and growth leader in the industry. Prior to his role at ibex, Bob was Chief Sales, Marketing and Client Services at Qualfon, a rapidly growing global BPO provider with a particular focus on nearshore service delivery capabilities.

Robert Dechant is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Connect with him through LinkedIn.