The era of the ‘expectation economy’ is upon us, and the rules of the road in this new environment are beginning to seriously disrupt the traditional role of contact centers. “Large contact center players are at a crisis point in how they manage their major clients,” said Bob Dechant, Chief Executive Officer at Ibex Interactive, during an Analyst Day program two weeks ago in Kingston, Jamaica.
Winners and losers in the global contact center market will soon be easier to identify based on the level of sophistication providers have in meeting the ‘full customer lifecycle’ demands of client brands, Dechant argues. The hallmarks of the expectation economy are, according to the Ibex team, always on, omnichannel brand access, well defined search-to-purchase pathways, and immediate issue resolution.
During the analyst day, Ibex leaders introduced a term the company has coined “Customer Lifecycle Experience” (CLX) as a new category in the customer relationships space. This is built largely around the company’s new focus on digital marketing, artificial intelligence, analytics, and deeper customer acquisition and engagement.
It is the focus on core technology strength — gained through its parent TRG Holdings — that will begin to deliver an important market differentiation for Ibex. Founded in Pakistan, TRG is an organization with an expanding array of investments in BPO-focused technology and services solutions, including robust offerings in automotive and healthcare. Leveraging the technology product development expertise of TRG, led by over 350 developer resources, is partly where the newly reformed Ibex is placing its chips.
“Typically, brands are forced to adopt multiple vendors for each phase in the customer lifecycle,” said Jason Tryfon, Chief Marketing Officer at Ibex and President of Ibex CX. “Our technology and service capabilities have positioned us as the pioneer in one-stop-shopping for brands looking to streamline and optimize their complete customer journeys.”
Digital Marketing: A Force to be Reckoned With
One of the more unexpected aspects of the new Ibex is a digital marketing operation that is designed to increase customer acquisition and lower churn for customers. Through the utilization of social media platforms and other tools, the digital marketing group has been able to notch some strong returns for one of its large telecom clients.
“We can execute digital acquisition strategies that are now completely aligned with our support and experience data,” said Jeff Cox, President of Ibex Digital. He says that customers are increasingly asking questions like: “What are some ways you can help drive revenue for my business that I may not know about?”
One of the key questions for Ibex that is yet to be answered is how well the newly integrated organization can scale to meet the frequently unique demands of clients, especially larger organizations who have multiple business units that struggle with identifying the types of solutions they really need.
Definitive Success Formula
With 15,000 employees in 26 locations worldwide, Ibex continues to gain double-digit growth since Dechant took over as CEO in April, 2015 (Dechant previously had sales leadership positions for many years at Stream Global Services and Qualfon). A key part of the strategy has been it leveraging of Nearshore services to deliver more options to customers. Ibex has operations in Nicaragua, and also opened its second major delivery center in Kingston recently.
With is current headcount, Ibex is considerably smaller than the BPO industry leaders that have hundreds of thousands of employees, but that’s also part of the company’s success formula – to stand apart by not being defined by agent counts, and moving at a far more nimble pace than larger players battling to redefine themselves in a market increasingly defined by discreet channels of delivery and interaction.