Outsourced home agents market to double by 2015

Tuesday, 10 July, 2012

The number of outsourced home agents will double by 2015 thanks to innovations around security, vertical market expansion and forays beyond the traditional US market, according to analyst firm Ovum.

In its report, ‘Profiting from home agents in CRM outsourcing’, Ovum predicts that the number of agents working more than 20 hours per week will reach nearly 130,000 in the next four years, growing predominantly in the US (88% share).

There will be increased penetration in other English-speaking countries, with Australia being viewed favourably among home agent vendors looking for regional expansion, thanks to its commonalities with US economic and work culture.

Despite this growth, the model will remain ‘niche’ until enterprise concerns around data security, agent supervision and the difficulties in building ‘team atmosphere’ across a virtual model are overcome.

“Outsourced home agents have garnered a strong reputation for providing end users with robust customer experience, one that ideally drives repeat business and referrals,” said Peter Ryan, practice leader of Ovum IT services team.

“With customer satisfaction and increased revenues identified as key business goals for enterprises, vendors of home agent services are well placed to take on work from enterprises that are more discerning than ever about execution quality and lowering costs.”

“Any firm looking to enter or expand its footprint in the outsourced home agent market should target sectors in which interest in this business model is significant, as well as those that require higher-margin processes, including healthcare and insurance-related work,” said Ryan.

“Non-voice, multichannel CRM work should also be considered, in order to take advantage of the superior agent quality and sophistication that the virtual model offers.”

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