SOURCING STRATEGIES: Researching the Outsourcing Market

Recently the CCA (Customer Contact Association) in association with Stellar conducted a short survey in order to understand the different approaches businesses are taking to outsourcing. The key results are presented below.


Respondents were surveyed across all sectors. The highest number of respondents came from the public sector 31%, followed by media 18%, energy & utilities 14%, retail and telecoms 12%. Scotland had the highest proliferation of contact centres 62% of the market share. India remained the most popular overseas outsourcer, 56% of respondents had a least one contact centre located in India.


Operational performance on a scale of 1-10 (1= poor; 10=excellent)

Agent attrition and the time take to train agents scored highly, 60% of respondents rated this a 9

Consistency of outputs/results and management & KPIs over 50% of respondents rated this 8.

Customer insight was the next highest rated operation with 35% of our respondents scoring this a 6 or above

Outsourced activity

4% of respondents outsourced the whole of their business processes

48% outsourced part of their operations.

35% of respondents did not outsource any customer facing activity

Working with an outsourcing partner

Outbound (53%) and inbound (100%) calling handling were the functions most commonly outsourced

Training (33%) and agent recruitment (40%) were also given over to outsourcing

39% of respondents do not monitor social media feeds at all

20% of respondents outsourced their social media monitoring

90% of respondents stated that it was essential that outsourcing partner be able to build their own staff’s capability and knowledge to solve customer problems at the frontline

69% said it was essential to provide quality management with closed loop feedback and continuous process improvement; and to improve initiatives to improve process and deliver better ROI


Outsource service (1=poor; 5= excellent)

53% of respondents rated service from outsourcers as a very good (4)

27% thought they received good service (3)

None of our respondents felt they received a poor service

Outsource v in-house (1=poor; 5= excellent)

The majority of respondents (47%) rated the outsourced service as a 3

Considering outsourcing

 For companies that were not outsourcers the main reasons related to not outsourcing customer facing activity

59% would not consider outsourcing at all

73% said they would consider outsourcing for inbound calls and web chat

67% said they would consider outsourcing email

33% were least likely to outsource text chat

60% said they would outsource white mail

Organisations not outsourcing: biggest challenges (1=low; 5=high)

Highest concerns were over impact on brand 50% – rated 5 and data security 40% - rated 4

Concern over agent quality (40%) rated 3

High agent turnover (30%) rated 4

Least likely to be concerned about consistent information delivery to frontline agents (30%) rated 1

Most important issue facing outsourced contact management (1=low; 5=high)

Employee morale (60%), followed by knowledge management (56%) and the continual implementation of technology (50%), ability to understand and track customer feedback and insight (47%), all rated 4

Business options over the next 12-18 months

88% said they were least likely to introduce community/local branch contact centres.

69% stated they would not be likely to consolidate call centres

38% least likely to outsource calls and contacts

53% least likely to outsource back office processes

65% least likely to off shoring calls and contacts

42% said they would be likely to bring call centre back to UK & Ireland

40% very likely to consider home working

For more information regarding this research you can find it on the CCA Website.

If you are a business and are considering outsourcing your customer management function, please contact:

Brian McKee

Marketing Manager

Stellar Europe

4 Symington Place



KA11 5DE

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