Research from analyst Datamonitor three years ago predicted that speech-enabled self-service technology will compete with offshore contact centre customer service agents.
Today, the analyst said its prediction came true as Lloyds TSB, the UK’s fifth largest bank, announced it is to close its contact centre in Mumbai, which typically handles overflow calls when UK agents are busy.
Lloyds TSB said the widespread use and success of its automated speech-enabled phone self-service system has eliminated the need for additional agent capacity in Mumbai.
Daniel Hong, lead analyst of voice business research at Datamonitor, said, “As we roll out the tape over the next several years, cost pressures and globalisation will undoubtedly continue to create strong tailwinds for offshoring.
"However, speech self-service will also proliferate and in many instances compete with offshoring as companies scramble to assemble the optimal blend of automation and agents for customer care.
However, he added that speech technology will not replace the need for offshore contact centres for a lot of companies.
Peter Ryan, senior analyst of contact centre outsourcing research at Datamonitor, added that Dell’s recent expansion into the Philippines is a sign that customer care from foreign locations is still a model that works.
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