Global BPO provider Alorica’s recent acquisition of EGS is one of the biggest in the industry, taking Alorica to a $2.3 billion company, with 91,000 employees in 154 locations in 16 countries. On the nearshore, the company will be operating in 10 countries in a bilingual and trilingual environment once the deal is finalized at the beginning of 3Q16.
To find out more about how the deal will affect the company’s renowned customer service, and to uncover the company’s expectations for the future, Nearshore Americas spoke with Chris Crowley, Alorica’s Chief Sales Officer, in an exclusive interview.
Nearshore Americas: This is a huge acquisition for Alorica as it almost doubles the size of the firm. It also comes five months after the purchase of West Corporation’s Agent Services. What made EGS the right acquisition for Alorica?
Crowley: The West acquisition went very well. We were able to get all the financial terms and anticipated revenue growth integrated in a 12-month period. This put us in the position to look for the next acquisition. Similar to West, we were looking for a company that was culturally aligned to Alorica and that allowed us to continue providing scalable, burstable and flexible solutions for North American consumers. The expansion we had in the nearshore environment, in the Philippines and in our domestic operations, meant that EGS would allow us to maintain a dominant domestic footprint. It also gave us the opportunity to truly become significant in Latin America.
Guatemala has three centers and will represent our largest geography in the region. That is closely followed by Panama, which is also new to us, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Mexico will be a strong growth area for EGS and Alorica. We now have the offshore capacity to truly complement our domestic and nearshore environments, and we’re excited to provide this scale across the three important geographies.
We also want to become a strong player across multiple vertical markets. One of the most attractive features for EGS was their deep expertise in the healthcare vertical market, which was fast growing for us last year. This acquisition positions us as one of the most premier providers of healthcare solutions in the marketplace.
Nearshore Americas: Alorica has a reputation for providing “insanely good customer experiences”. What strategy does the company have in place to migrate that culture over to the new workforce?
Crowley: That is our commitment every day and we truly live that commitment throughout our centers. One of the unique things about this acquisition is that a large component of EGS is made up from APAC Customer Services. That was a company that both myself and our COO, Art DiBari, worked at before we sold it to EGS. We feel good about the commonality that exists between the teams. A lot of people at Alorica, including myself, have worked with the EGS staff in the past. The culture we have tried to develop in Alorica is very close to the one we developed at APAC Customer Services. Creating those insanely good customer experiences for our clients’ customers is part of the fabric of EGS. They have invested in customer experience experts, who work with clients and operating centers to enhance customer experience through data analytics and best operating practices. We will take advantage of those best practices and incorporate that into Alorica’s model.
Nearshore Americas: How is the company going to approach its community initiatives, in terms of education, environment and sustainability, as it almost doubles in size?
Crowley: We will continue to invest and broaden the Making Lives Better mission within the company. We now have the ability to impact so many more communities. We make charitable contributions and community involvement through Making Lives Better, to help our employees and community members face challenges in their lives. We will expand AloriCares across our 102 locations in the US to become one of the top military-hiring companies and military-friendly employers in the US. This will be a key component to Alorica. We have also made donations to Hotels for Heroes and we will continue hiring practices to support veterans in the US.
Nearshore Americas: Will that approach also be folded into EGS locations?
Crowley: Absolutely. The good thing about Making Lives Better is that it is run through local chapters, making it easy to scale up. All the money raised goes to the communities in which the centers are involved. It’s like a corporate umbrella program that is implemented locally. We are already working with the EGS management team to understand the locations they have in the US with the highest military populations. Those are the areas where AloriCares will spread to first.
Nearshore Americas: Looking ahead for the company, are there any further acquisitions on the horizon?
Crowley: We are now in third place behind Convergys and Teleperformance, in terms of pure play, while being number 1 or 2 in the US and the Philippines. We will focus on providing those insanely great customer experiences to our clients and further developing our business organically. However, we will always remain to be a leader in the industry. This means that, as consolidation occurs, we remain a consolidator and do not become consolidated. We will be nimble enough to make an acquisition if we have to when the time comes. If not, we have a strong organic plan to keep growing the company.
Nearshore Americas: What future trends are you personally seeing for the contact center industry and how is Alorica preparing for those trends?
Crowley: There are a few things. I see that centers themselves will become less of a priority as technology makes work-from-home a larger part of domestic and global services, both for nearshore and offshore. I see the phone as a small component of the overall communications mediums through which clients will contact us. Social media will continue to gain a lot of ground and Alorica is developing that as part of our interactive strategy. We are doing this with a variety of clients, supporting their interactions with customers on social media and their websites. As part of that, we are developing an omnichannel solution to better understand all the ways clients interact with customers. This means we will be equally intelligent, from a database perspective, on the phone, in an e-mail, in a chat or in a social media interaction.
In the near future, we will also see more automation in the centers, which we have to look at as well. Interacting with a person on a voice call is still the ultimate way to do it but those pressures are hitting the industry.