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The Russian contact centre outsourcing market has been recovering recently thanks to rising interest in broadband service. According to the latest Frost & Sullivan analysis, the market was valued at $184.5 million in 2009 and expanded even more in 2010 as fewer budget constraints have allowed for greater spending on customer care outsourcing.
“There is an increasing trend toward the use and deployment of interactive voice response (IVR) and automated service technologies,” notes Iwona Petruczynik, Research Analyst for Frost & Sullivan ICT group and author of the Contact Centre Outsourcing Market in Russia analysis. “It has proven to be a very effective way to reduce cost and enable outsourcing companies to provide more services with the same number of agents.”
However, IVR adoption has not been as rapid as industry predictions of just a few years ago. Consumers appear apprehensive about automation and prefer to interact with live agents.
On the other hand, Frost & Sullivan noticed that IVR is gaining more popularity among younger and more technologically savvy consumers. It also expects the growth of contact centre market in the next 3-5 years to be augmented by a demographic gap — the low birth rate in early nineties.
“Market participants have concerns that there will not be enough young employees to fill in-house call centres and a number of companies will be forced to outsource their services,” explains Petruczynik. “However, this situation may create a conundrum, as the lack of agent talent could result in in-house centres competing with outsourcers for employees.”
In addition to the demographic gap, the underdeveloped infrastructure also has a significant influence on the contact centre outsourcing market in Russia. The level of IT infrastructure development, especially access to broadband, is much lower in Russia than in most European countries.
“For many years, this sector has been underfinanced and inaccessible to foreign companies,” adds Petruczynik. “The situation changed since the collapse of the Soviet bloc.”
Currently, the proportion of GDP investment in the IT sector in Russia is valued at 4.1 per cent. The Russian Government has rolled out a new policy that is aimed at funding and creating ‘technoparks’ in St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod and Dubna.
Outsourcing companies have begun to invest in their infrastructure for multimedia contacts as a response to customer market demands to make these channels readily available. However, live (voice) communication continues to lead operations in Russia and enterprises are expected to continue to increase the demand for telephone-based support in the nearest future.
“Offering technologies that will allow companies to increase the quality of their customers’ interactions is vital,” advises Petruczynik. ” Having an excellent CRM is not a competitive advantage any longer; however, being able to mix all offers and allowing companies, for example, to increase cross-selling will certainly be.”
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Contact Centre Outsourcing Market in Russia is a part of the Market Insights -Conferencing & Collaboration subscription, which also includes research on: visual collaboration, enterprise communications and communication services, among others. These Market Insights are part of Frost & Sullivan Growth Partnership Service.
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