Author: Karim Bernoussi, CEO, Intelcia
4 Oct 2019
The business world is fast-paced, to say the least. The economic environment is constantly evolving, with new challenges and opportunities always presenting themselves. As the digital revolution reshapes customer behaviour and demands, companies around the globe are grappling with an unprecedented number of new disruptions and obstacles to growth. Add to this the mounting globalisation of markets, cybersecurity issues and fierce competition, and it’s easy to understand why businesses are increasingly looking to outsource some of their operations.
By choosing to outsource certain aspects of their business – customer service, for example – companies are better able to focus on their core business and re-energise their workforce. But while the demand for outsourcing might be growing, outsourcers themselves are facing their own market challenges. Automation and new digital disruptions are changing the face of the customer service industry, with chatbots fast becoming the new normal.
Using artificial intelligence (AI) to engage with customers, chatbots are now a familiar online tool for many and have the potential to radically reshape the customer service landscape. That said, customers can also find the chatbot experience limited, with many preferring to discuss their problem or query with another human being.
We firmly believe our human resources are our best asset, as our team provides the outstanding customer service that our clients have come to expect from Intelcia
This presents an exciting opportunity for customer service outsourcers to innovate and expand their offerings, responding to the evolving demands of customers by combining traditional offerings with the latest technology. By bringing these two worlds together, outsourcers will be able to effectively meet their customers’ expectations and can expand into promising new areas such as payroll, recruitment, purchasing and finance.
Ahead of the curve
The digital revolution has had a profound impact on the outsourcing industry and will continue to shape the sector in the years to come. Technological advances have undoubtedly increased competition within the market and have changed the way that outsourcers approach their work. Nowadays, it is essential that outsourcers establish an engaging and omnichannel customer experience based on an accurate understanding of their clients’ needs and expectations.
New competition has also arrived in the form of chatbots and other automated processes, which have led to a decrease in traditional inbound and outbound calls to customer service providers. To respond to this growing trend, outsourcers have had to make strategic investments in new channels and services in an ongoing effort to stay relevant and profitable in the customer service space. As the outsourcing industry becomes increasingly complex, outsourcers also need to be more proactive and innovative, and must be willing to invest in new expertise such as data analytics and AI. What’s more, as the world grows more interconnected through globalisation, outsourcing companies must become more international in their outlook and approach.
At Intelcia, we understand the importance of establishing a global perspective and the benefits of expanding, both in terms of languages offered and the diversity of services that we provide. In recent years, we have witnessed many acquisitions and alliances forming across the outsourcing sector, which have helped to accelerate the emergence of major regional, national and international players while reducing the number of companies operating within this rapidly evolving industry. With these strategic partnerships creating accomplished international powerhouses, there is also increased pressure on outsourcers to scale up their proficiency and accelerate their internal innovation.
Story of success
Since its inception, Intelcia has understood just how crucial digitalisation and globalisation are to the outsourcing industry. Founded in Morocco in 2000, Intelcia has expanded rapidly over the years, both through organic growth and targeted acquisitions. Today, the company encompasses more than 13,000 employees across eight countries, with 26 operational centres spread across Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Portugal and Senegal.
Since its early days, the company has grown into a real success story, rapidly expanding its global presence and posting a healthy annual turnover of €200m for 2018. This development journey began in earnest in 2006, when a management takeover saw Intelcia focus on internal restructuring and outward growth in the French-speaking market. In 2010, Intelcia acquired the Moroccan company Eurocall, becoming the nation’s first outsourcing centre with 1,000 employees. The following year, it launched its first centre in France, before entering the African market in 2016 by establishing a presence in Cameroon and Senegal.
Earlier this year, Intelcia strengthened its position within mainland Europe with the launch of a multilingual site in Portugal – a move that will enable us to better support our European customers in whichever language they require. Today, Intelcia is one of the largest employers in several regions including: Douala in Cameroon; Dreux and Charleville-Mézière in France; Casablanca, Meknes and El Jadida in Morocco; and Antananarivo in Madagascar. The group is one of the top five outsourcers in the French-speaking market and is the first pan-African player in the customer service industry.
Intelcia is also proud to be the first Moroccan company within the outsourcing sector to develop such an established international presence, along with providing expert onshore, nearshore and offshore services for clients. Our ambitions don’t stop there, however, and we now have our sights set on becoming a major global player. Through continued development in new territories and the launch of new service lines, such as IT outsourcing, consulting and digital, we believe that this goal is well within our reach. Going forward, we intend to develop our multilingual offerings on a much larger scale and will be looking to further grow our presence across Europe, along with entering the US market.
At Intelcia, we do not take our success for granted; we are constantly looking to improve and advance. We firmly believe our human resources are our best asset, as our team provides the outstanding customer service that our clients have come to expect from Intelcia. We are therefore deeply committed to nurturing talent among our employees, providing them with opportunities to develop their skills and take their careers to the next level. We are proud to invest in our staff and hope to provide them with a world-class work environment where they feel appreciated and valued.
Our relationship with our clients is just as important to us, and we make sure to manage each of them with equal commitment, regardless of the size of their operations. This dedicated approach – based on listening, understanding and diligence – has helped us to earn the trust of a number of prestigious companies across various sectors, from telecommunications and the media to banking and insurance.
As we look to build on these relationships and pursue our ambitious expansion plan, our core values will continue to guide us. Our human-focused operations and principles of commitment, excellence, transparency and innovation are the cornerstones of our success and the very essence of our business. These features will drive us forward in our goal of becoming a recognised global player in the fast-evolving outsourcing sector.