COVID-19, Brexit, Regulation Weigh on Contact Centers in U.K. and Europe
ISG Provider Lens report finds regional issues add to uncertainty as providers join global trends toward remote work, automation and cloud contact centers
LONDON, Oct. 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the COVID-19 pandemic posing steep challenges to the contact center industry worldwide this year, providers are facing additional uncertainties in
Europe and the U.K. amid the looming no-deal Brexit and changes to U.K. regulations affecting temporary workers, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global
technology research and advisory firm.
The 2020 ISG Provider Lens Contact Center – Customer Experience Services report for Europe and the U.K. found trade and labor issues remained high on the industry’s agenda even as the pandemic brought rapid changes in consumer behavior.
Reforms to the U.K.’s IR35 regulations, which limit the role of temporary workers within the U.K., came as a blow to many public- and private-sector enterprises that hire freelancers, experts, digital consultants and other types of independent workers. But the new rules could open up opportunities for organizations willing to collaborate with providers, startups and technology vendors for nearshoring or offshoring of labor. Meanwhile, negotiations over the U.K.’s exit from the E.U. continued to loom over the region even as many countries, especially Italy and the U.K., were hit hard by the pandemic.
“Contact center providers in Europe and the U.K. are facing serious economic questions on top of pandemic effects that have forced them to change operating models overnight,” said Jan Erik Aase, director and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Uncertainties about trade and employment only add to disruption in the contact center industry. But many providers are now adopting cloud platforms and other technologies to increase their flexibility and offer better customer experiences.”
As in other regions, COVID-19 lockdowns forced many providers to institute large-scale work-from-home strategies. The shift to remote work can give providers some advantages, including lower costs and a larger potential workforce, the report says. But it has also brought challenges related to training, agent motivation, background noise and security. Companies are turning to facial recognition, auto screen lock, voice biometrics, VPNs and other tools to tighten the security of work-from-home and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) operations.