The future of home-based agent outsourcing
Statistics released earlier this month from global analyst firm Ovum have backed up what most business leaders already know – there are more outsourced home-based agents today than in years past.
In the report, Ovum estimates the number of agents working from home will top 100,000 globally, with that number growing to almost 160,000 by the end of 2017. Ovum said the expansion will grow at an annual rate of 17.5 per cent through the period to 2017. This is double the rate of the contact centre outsourcing market, the industry leader said.
The author of the report and principal analyst in Ovum’s IT Services practice, Peter Ryan, said the role of a home-based has changed and businesses can see real potential in this strategy.
“Outsourced home-based agents are starting to diversify beyond strict customer care functions to managing more complex enquiries across multiple channels,” he said.
“The long-time benefits associated with third-party home agents, such as competitive pricing and labour quality, have been determinants in helping to foster this significant growth.”
Mr Ryan warns businesses that are considering outsourcing to think carefully before going ahead.
“Ovum’s recommendations from the study encourage enterprises to understand the risks of adopting an outsourced home agent strategy. The use of third-party home agents is an excellent alternative to traditional delivery methods for some firms, but this move requires significant reflection on the part of prospective enterprises,” he said.
Despite this projected growth, industry leaders still hold preconceived issues about working at home. Ovum said the expansion is limited to certain industries and places in the world, but for individual businesses, concerns around data security and supervision remain high.