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LATAM CMS BPO Market: Next Big Wave Forms Around Higher-End Support

Latin America has become an increasingly popular destination for the customer management services (CMS) BPO industry in recent years, outperforming the global CMS market. Will this continue? NelsonHall expects the global CMS BPO market to grow at 3.7% CAAGR through to 2016 with Latin America growing at more than twice that. So what is driving that growth?

Much of the growth from this region is fuelled by demand from the domestic Brazilian market, as well as the continued high uptake of near shore support to the U.S. from the likes of Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and to a lesser degree Peru. Currently there is a degree of domestic support from Latin American countries outside Brazil although this is vastly overshadowed by support to the U.S. Teleperformance alone has opened six centers in Latin America during 2013, expanding current capabilities in Brazil, Colombia (2), Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Other major players such as Transcom, Atento and Convergys have also opened new centers in the region over in 2013.

How does support to the U.S. from Latin America differ from offshore U.S. support from the Philippines? The Latin American market is unable to compete with the Philippines for price but where Latin America does come up trumps is in Hispanic support, the ease of management of the region, due to close time zone matching and shorter flights, and the ability of agents to engage in a non-scripted environment.

The vast majority of support to the U.S. from Latin America is for customer care services distantly followed by sales and then lastly technical support.

Recent contract activity has highlighted the push for higher complexity, multi-channel contracts in support of the domestic Brazilian market and the near shore Hispanic U.S. market. In addition to the opening of further centers in the region, Teleperformance has established a social media center in Brazil. Aegis is another vendor with established social media presence in Latin America; although current uptake of social media outsourcing in the domestic Latin American is limited, NelsonHall does expect growth in this sector approaching that of EMEA and North America.

Most nearshoring to the U.S. market has been in support of the telecoms sector, Teleperformance has invested $22m in the construction of the two centers in Colombia. These centers are providing multi-channel customer management services to a large U.S. telco.

According to NelsonHall’s recent CMS market analysis, the top three major players in the Latin American CMS BPO sector, and market share are Atento (24%) then Teleperformance (11%), distantly followed by Teletech (2%).

Atento continues to be the dominant player in Latin America with a 40% market share in Brazil. Atento currently employs ~126,000 agents across Latin America with ~84,000 of these providing domestic support to the Brazilian market. Atento is currently providing a small degree of offshore support to Brazil out of Portugal representing a clear divergence from the standard flow of services between the two nations.

Teleperformance’s continued investment in the region is indicative of what can be expected in terms of growth and level of service delivery from Latin America. Investments have focused on the development of higher-end support capabilities such as social media, multi-channel interaction as well as R&D facilities.

As the region continues to mature, nearshored support to the U.S. and domestic support in Brazil will begin to replicate that of Europe with the emphasis placed on higher end delivery models increasingly driven by the need for improved customer experience as opposed to just cost reduction. The domestic market in the region outside of Brazil will continue to be driven by more commodity based services in the near term.

With Brazil’s growing population (currently ~199m) and increasing purchasing power (GNI per capita grew by 8.7% between 2011 and 2012) the domestic Brazilian CMS BPO market should continue to grow at a faster rate than the rest of Latin America. 

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