The Asia Pacific (APAC) region recorded a 9.7 percent growth in contact center agent seats to reach 2.5 million in 2011 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1 percent to touch 4.0 million by 2018.
To meet rising customer demand, enterprises are reviving expenditure on customer service and APAC is expected to demonstrate the highest growth in the global contact center outsourcing in 2012 and beyond.
Frost & Sullivan's new analysis, Assessment of the Asia-Pacific Contact Center Market, (contactcenter.frost.com), finds that the Asia Pacific region had 3.48 million agent seats in 2011 and estimates this to reach 5.9 million in 2018.
The mature Australian contact center market experienced moderate growth when seat numbers grew over 4% from 2010 to reach 220K in 2011. However, it is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.6 percent through 2018.
Australian contact centers are relatively faster in terms of adopting new technology compared to other markets in the APAC region. Centers here have already started to adopt call analytics & monitoring and workforce management tools to streamline their operations and increase productivity. They have also been on the forefront of cloud contact center journey, social media integration and even adding video contact center. Australia also has higher adoption rates of Home-based Agent programmes in the region and this is likely to gain more steam during the forecast period.
"Businesses are increasingly focusing on a consistent and superior customer experience to serve as a differentiating factor. Coming back from the economic downturn, companies are dedicating greater efforts towards customer satisfaction and retention" says Frost & Sullivan ICT Industry Manager Krishna Baidya.
In-house contact centers were the dominant model in Australia, followed by captive and domestic outsourced contact centers. Domestic outsourcing was steadily increasing in demand. This is mainly driven by the relocation of contact centers to non-metro locations, particularly to Tasmania and South Australia.
Much of this growth will be driven by the upswing in domestic demand, especially from the telecommunications and banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sectors. The BFSI segment accounted for a majority of contact center operations in the market. BFSI is expected to remain as the leading vertical during the forecast period. Government and Education are high growth sectors here as many government agencies are adopting contact center services.
The intensifying focus on quality customer service has piqued the interest of domestic enterprises. "Customer service enhancement continues to receive priority, as enterprises are investing more capital in contact centers that offer superior client satisfaction" said Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Krishna Baidya.
While agent numbers are likely to escalate across the region, the market will also experience significant attrition. The attrition rates in the Asia Pacific contact center market will be higher than the rates in other markets due to high stress levels and career opportunities in other industries. In 2011, the average attrition rate for the Asia Pacific contact center market as a whole was approximately 19.1 percent.
Baidya states that one of the main reasons for agents' lack of stickiness with the job is that with most organizations attempting to cut costs, the wages of contact center agents have remained relatively low in the past three years.
"Many enterprises were investing more on system upgrades rather than in improving agents' interpersonal skills and domain knowledge," noted Baidya. "Fortunately, this trend is changing as outsourcers recognize the importance of having well-trained and well-recompensed agents."
Contact center service segments including consulting, implementation, management, and agents' training services have risen in importance for vendors and system integrators. Consequently, contact center providers in the region are slowly expanding their offerings to include non-voice, back-office operations such as knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), financial and accounting outsourcing (FAO), and human resources outsourcing (HRO).
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email with your contact details to Donna Jeremiah, Corporate Communications, at djeremiah[.]frost.com.
Assessment of the Asia-Pacific Contact Center Market is part of the Contact Centers Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: APAC Outsourcing Outlook, APAC Hosted Contact Center Market and APAC Contact Center Applications Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Assessment of the Asia-Pacific Contact Center Market / P61B-76
Carrie Low, Corporate Communications - Asia Pacific
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