As contact centers struggle to meet increasing contact volumes, many companies are turning to outsourcers to deliver customer service experiences. Yet, deciphering which BPO is the best fit is often a difficult task.
Luckily, leading CX research firm Gartner has released its much-awaited 2022 Magic Quadrant report for Customer Service BPO.
In doing so, the analyst isolates the strengths and cautions of global BPO players, enabling companies to whittle down their prospects and pinpoint leaders in the field.
Evaluating the service of 17 prominent operators in the space, Gartner identifies ten market leaders.
The Definition of a Customer Service BPO
Gartner defines a customer service business process outsourcer (BPO) as a third party handling delegated customer service-related activities to assist clients.
Such activities may include supporting technology implementations and integrations, infrastructure management, and reporting, alongside contact handling across various channels.
BPOs within the 2022 Magic Quadrant must also demonstrate the following “core capabilities”:
- Global operations with “onshore, nearshore, and offshore” service delivery
- Expertise and experience support clients across multiple industries
- Digital services – including expertise in conversational AI
- Knowledge in utilizing the solutions of numerous customer service vendors
- Agent support resources and services
- Experience in business process design, alongside business process management
- Innovation and thought leadership across critical technology, people, and process areas
When assessing the offerings of 17 BPOs that meet these criteria, Gartner divides each provider into four categories: Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries, and Niche Players. Here, we review them all.
The 2022 Customer Service BPO Magic Quadrant Leaders
Leaders in the Magic Quadrant demonstrate a complete vision for supporting companies – across many sectors – in every aspect of their customer service. In addition, they boast a proven ability to execute this vision, providing worldwide service delivery operations and vast experience in handling a myriad of CX technologies. This year’s leaders are:
- Sitel Group
- Tech Mahindra
By revenue and geographical footprint, Teleperformance is the world’s largest customer service BPO. Through its TP Cloud Campus, a bespoke work from home (WFH) platform, Teleperformance operates with a remarkable reach and scale. Gartner highlights this as a critical strength that differentiates the outsourcer, alongside its digital innovation and impressive client retention rates.
Supporting clients across 14 different industries, Alorica receives specific recognition in the Magic Quadrant report for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gartner praises its newfound agility, enhanced WFH solution, and business continuity plans, alongside the BPO’s ability to build “positive” employee experiences, which has resulted in top-notch talent development and retention.
With 62,000 employees spread over six continents, TTEC interacts with customers in 50 languages and dialects. Such capabilities enable a differentiated client experience, for which the BPO garners praise from Gartner. The market analyst also points towards the AI-enabled functionality of the TTEC Digital and TTEC Engage platforms, alongside its intent mapping and intelligent routing solutions as significant strengths.
Headquartered in Madrid, Spain, Atento holds an ISO 56002 certification, unique for BPO vendors. As such, the company boasts advanced skills in developing and deploying innovations, with Gartner isolating its CCaaS and CEM integrations as a substantial differentiator. The research firm also highlights employee experience and biometrics-fuelled security processes as plus points.
With customer service delivery operations in India, North America, the UK, UAE, Jamaica, and the Philippines, HGS benefits from a large global presence. Yet, no matter where the service team is based, its HGS PULSE platform provides extensive contact center analytics and insights into agent performance. Gartner applauds this capability alongside its support to clients who wish to deploy AI-enabled self-service.
2021 was a big year for Sitel Group, acquiring SYKES. The deal increased its capacity to 167,000 employees working for clients across 18 different industries. Meanwhile, the BPO also enhanced its EXP+ and Sitel MAX platforms, with the latter bolstering employee experiences. Perhaps this contributes to the high employee satisfaction rates highlighted in the report, which also commends Sitel for its data security and risk mitigation solutions.
With 17 global design studios, Wipro is a BPO that prioritizes innovation. Gartner recognizes this, noting its extensive technology portfolio as a forte, enabling clients to customize CX solutions that enhance assisted and unassisted channel performance. In 2021, Wipro furthered these capabilities – alongside customer journey mapping tools, digital transformation expertise, and cross-industry knowledge – with a series of acquisitions.
The third leader with its headquarters in India, Tech Mahindra is expanding with 28 operations centers in 15 countries. Yet, despite its size, Gartner lauds the BPO for its “effective” internal collaboration – which is a critical differentiator at a time when many companies strive to increase enterprise connectivity. The market analyst also highlights Tech Mahindra’s digital-first solutions and keen market awareness as prominent strengths.
Investing heavily in analytics and automation, Sutherland often works closely with its clients to accelerate their digital transformation programs. It also possesses an array of digital integration capabilities to tailor its offerings to its customers’ technology infrastructure. Perhaps this is an example of how Sutherland keeps a strong focus on delivering critical business outcomes, for which it earns praise from Gartner.
Through its creative WOW operating model, Webhelp ensures consistency in client experiences – intensely focusing on areas such as workforce management (WFM), quality assurance (QA), and knowledge management. The forward-thinking model receives praise in the report, as does its sophisticated natural language processing (NLP) platform, which enhances its contact center tools.
The 2022 Customer Service BPO Magic Quadrant Challengers
Challengers in the Magic Quadrant offer a vision that perhaps lacks the scope of market leaders. However, they hold a track record of successfully executing this vision while understanding customer needs, market conditions, and flexible global support. This year’s challengers are:
- TELUS International
Devoting lots of time and resources to its innovation labs (iLabs), TELUS International plans to construct and implement a host of digital CX solutions for its clients. Gartner pays tribute to such innovation, alongside the industry knowledge of the company’s business leaders. Nevertheless, according to the analyst, its WFH “go-forward” strategy leaves something to be desired.
Continually increasing its AI capabilities – including automation and predictive analytics – the BPO is actively enhancing its customer engagement platform. Gartner highlights this strategy as a fundamental strength of the Conduent offering, alongside its global reach and client retention rates. Yet, its limited integrations with CCaaS, CRM, and WFO vendors is a potential source of concern.
The 2022 Customer Service BPO Magic Quadrant Visionaries
Visionaries in the Magic Quadrant excel in their innovation, providing an array of delivery and pricing models. They showcase excellent anticipation of critical market trends and client needs, seizing new opportunities quickly. Unfortunately, they sometimes lack the technology, geographical coverage, and brand awareness to compete with leaders. This year’s visionaries are:
Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Transcom is disrupting the BPO space with a series of recent acquisitions and expansion activities in recent years. As such, the company has bolstered its worldwide presence and offers “well-rounded” capabilities. Gartner recognizes this while also applauding its targeted sales approach. Nevertheless, the analyst suggests that the outsourcer could have taken more lessons from its pandemic response.
The 2022 Customer Service BPO Magic Quadrant Niche Players
Niche players in the Magic Quadrant often focus on particular market segments. For example, they may fixate on specific sectors, territories, or channel offerings. Consequently – while they likely offer the most critical components of a service portfolio – they are often limited in their ability to execute large-scale plans and long-term vision. This year’s niche players are:
- Comdata Group
- VXI Global Solutions
As a well-established player within the global BPO space, Cognizant is a thought leader in digital CX design, with international collaboration labs and industry experience hubs. Gartner highlights these as significant strengths, alongside its “digital dexterity”. Yet, the research firm cautions that prospective clients should consider whether the BPOs strategy regarding human interactions aligns with their CX vision.
Startek prides itself on delivering human-centered, empathy-led CX solutions. For instance, the Startek Cloud offering enhances agent WFH performance through integrated toolsets. The platform – alongside its LISA solution for social listening and sentiment analysis – achieves adulation from Gartner. However, in terms of its strategic partners, Startek seems to fall behind its competitors.
Innovative in its deployment of technologies to support the modern, tech-augmented agents, Comdata offers a plethora of technician tools within its Collaboration Suite. Technologies that enable enhanced process automation and operations management are also included, which Gartner note as considerable strengths. Unfortunately, the BPO lacks experience in managing customer-facing digital channels compared to its rivals.
VXI Global Solutions
As one of China’s largest customer service BPO providers, VXI Global Solutions is rapidly investing in everything from automated QA to augmented reality to enhance the agent experience. Its innovation labs are central to this, where developers adopt a “play, break and learn” approach. While Gartner commends VXI Global Solutions for this, the analyst warns that the company has less experience deploying digital solutions than others.
How Have the Results Changed Since 2021?
Since 2021, Teleperformance and Alorica have moved further ahead of the pack, now occupying much of the top-right hand space within the leader quadrant.
Meanwhile, Webhelp has enjoyed a spectacular surge in the past 12 months, moving from a niche player to an industry leader. Sitel Group is also enjoying its newfound leadership status after earning the visionary label in 2021.
However, one noticeable absentee in this year’s results is Concentrix, a leader in the 2021 Magic Quadrant. Unfortunately, Gartner could not access the necessary data and information to evaluate the BPO provider fairly.
In 2023, we hope to see the return of Concentrix to the program, alongside other noticeable absentees such as Ascensos, Liveops, and Sensée.
But, for now, we would like to tip our hats to the 2022 Customer Service BPO Magic Quadrant Leaders: Teleperformance, Alorica, TTEC, Atento, HGS, Sitel Group, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Sutherland, and Webhelp. Congratulations!
Learn lots more from the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant series by reading our coverage of the:
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Conversational AI Platforms 2022
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data and Analytics Service Providers 2022
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms 2022