Ovum reveals 2014 outsourcing perspective trends shaping customer expectations and prospects in social media

By Margaret Goldberg

Ovum’s Social Media Outsourcing 2014 Trends to Watch report predicts that both ends of the social media maturity spectrum will drive new opportunities; outsourcers will look to take social media agents out of silos and train them with additional skills, or recruit multi-channel agents; and privacy concerns and perceptions exacerbated by leaked intelligence information will result in outsourcers helping enterprises to craft strategies that ensure this does not impact their reach and customer retention.

Social Media Outsourcing 2014 Trends to Watch:

• Monitor the business environment. Through 2014, social media outsourcers should be aware of opportunities and the needs of customers as vertical attitudes shift and data privacy concerns come closer to the fore.

• Create the technology portfolio. With the push toward a full view of the customer, capitalizing on omni-channel applications for agents will be key.

• Select solutions and services. Social media will continue to evolve as a channel in 2014, and enterprises will increasingly want to use it in more mature ways such as using analytics to drive business value.

• Manage deployment outcomes. To achieve social media success through 2014, outsources should help enterprises to develop strategies around data privacy messaging and move beyond social media silos.

In 2014, we expect to see three key trends in social media CRM outsourcing. First, the compliance and regulation-heavy verticals previously wary of engaging with customers on social networks, such as BFSI and healthcare, will investigate ways in which the channel fits into their CRM strategies. Meanwhile, early adopters such as the retail and technology sectors will look to extend innovation in this space, and will seek help to figure this out.

Secondly, outsourcers will look to take social media agents out of silos and train them with additional skills, or recruit multi-channel agents. This is particularly relevant for industries with security concerns, even if it means moving customers out of social networks and onto private channels.

Finally, data privacy concerns have been exacerbated by leaked information about Internet surveillance programmes, so outsourcers will need to help enterprises craft strategies to ensure this does not impact on enterprise customers’ reach and customer retention.

Ovum believes compliance-concerned industries will thaw in their attitude toward social media in 2014. Therefore, outsourcers will have opportunities to create new activities for these industries and deepen their social media activities with first adopters as channels evolve.

It is clear that keeping social media in any type of silo will hold back enterprises’ and outsourcers’ innovation channels. As such, enterprises will increasingly turn to outsourcers for help in navigating security and data privacy concerns globally.

About the author and Ovum

Margaret Goldberg is Associate Analyst in the global IT Services team at Ovum.

Ovum provides clients with independent and objective analysis that enables them to make better business and technology decisions. Its research draws upon over 400,000 interviews each year with business and technology, telecoms and sourcing decision-makers, giving Ovum and its clients unparalleled insight, not only into business requirements but also the technology that organizations must support. Ovum is an Informa business.


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