‘Accelerating,’ Resilient Industries Post-COVID-19 to Benefit with Language Skills Assessment Tests

Authored by: Mitch R. Confesor

Customer Service Seen to Rise for WFH Services, OTT Video Streaming, Digital Media, E-Learning and language skills assessment tests are helping.

Resilience is now in the forefront of business models as the world grapples with the impact and future of living with the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus. In fact, a report on subscription-driven businesses — including those providing over-the-top video streaming, digital news and other media, distance learning and communication services — has seen rising potential in a post-pandemic business world.

So there’s a likely upside for those providing customer service and contact center outsourcing support for these industries, as well as language skills assessment tests like Versant for customer service agents and their overall talent workforce.

For most of these industries, Versant language skills assessment tests have been beneficial for its:

Moreover, it’s virtually error-free and fair with no human bias, providing accurate, reliable results correlated to human testers, and giving its users reduced recruitment time and costs per hire.

Subscription and Resilience

Services for OTT video streaming, digital news/media, e-learning, communications software will be “accelerating,” as well as having “limited impact” for B2B/B2C software and information services amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, there will be “slowing” subscription demand for consumer Internet of Things (IoT), business IoT services, software for small businesses, and memberships. However, the heaviest impact will be subscription for “contracting” industries like travel and hospitality, as well as big events and sports-related services.

With suspension of travel, and social distancing in the future for airlines, hotels and restaurants, subscriptions for hotel memberships and flight-related services have seen a halt in sign-ups and an increase in talent churn, although exclusive luxury services such as non-commercial flights have had a lesser negative impact.

As Video Streaming Demand Accelerates, Sports Streaming Slows

person video streaming on couch with their dog

While video streaming in general accelerates in demand, OTT sports streaming and subscription services are obviously down, as COVID-19 impacts companies with ties to sports events, including professional and amateur sports leagues around the world. In fact, these companies have been seeing a large decline in sign-ups, and now facing challenges to retain subscription customers.

Overall, the recent COVID-19 Subscription Impact Report from research firm Zuora found that 53.3% of companies have not seen a significant impact to their subscriber acquisition rates, in light of accelerating industries in the general streaming, digital and e-learning space.

In fact, 22.5% of companies are seeing their subscription growth rate accelerate, with 12.8% of companies seeing slowing growth but still growing, while the remaining 11.4% of companies are starting to see subscriber churn outpace their subscriber acquisition rates.

In particular, “accelerating” companies have seen an increase in growth rate by more than 25%, as OTT video streaming leading the way in subscription growth rate at 7 times in March 2020 compared to the growth rate over the previous 12 months.

As a result of the quarantine and lockdown, people staying and working at home engage in streaming services for entertainment, spiking subscription growth with a huge surge in new sign-ups. Many of these services are even offering an extended free-trial period to make content available to a broader audience.

E-Learning Growth Rate

man in front of laptop learning electronically

Also according to Zuora, the growth rate for e-learning subscriptions grew 2.9 times during this time period. As schools close, parents and school districts have been turning to new digital offerings to continue schoolwork and education.

The coronavirus crisis has shifted consumer behavior and market demands, as “accelerating” industries quickly scale their systems to meet higher demands, even offering free trials, testing new acquisition tactics to capture a wider audience, and drawing attention of new subscribers.

According to LinkedIn, people watched 1.7 million hours of learning content on its LinkedIn Learning platform in the first week of April 2020. To compare, LinkedIn e-learning users only spent 560,000 hours in the first week of January earlier this year. Meanwhile in March, membership in Learning Groups was up 130% from February.

In early March, courses on “working from home” surged as both employees and managers looked for advice on how to navigate the challenges of remote work. More recently, soft skills that can help people survive, and even thrive, are now trending. For example, in the past two weeks interest in courses on mindfulness and stress management has surged, as has interest in courses on resilience. — LinkedIn, 21 April 2020

In total, the Subscription Economy Index (SEI), a report on the collective health of the subscription economy, found that subscription revenue grew by more than 350% for the past 7½ years, as recurring revenue-based business models exploded due to digitally enabled, pay-as-you-go services. In fact, the SEI consistently showed subscription revenues to grow five times faster than S&P 500 industry benchmark.

WFH: Ticker Symbol

Work from home services have become so prevalent these days, that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently received the application for an exchange-traded fund to be part of a new remote-work index.

With the aim of trading on the electronic NYSE Arca Exchange if the SEC approves it, the new ETF will likely cover funds in relation to web conferencing, cybersecurity and document management software. As expected, the company behind it even proposed the ETF stock ticker symbol as “WFH.”

CFRA Research says this new breed of ETF in the post-COVID era will track industries such as cloud technologies, remote communications and cybersecurity. Thematic trade funds usually seek to capture trends that retail investors can easily understand, but while they have struggled in a crowded ETF marketplace that includes industries on cryptocurrency and cannabis, remote-work fund offering will likely resonate with traders amid the recent popularity of these services and industries.

This ETF combines some popular, well-established thematic strategies focused on cloud computing and cybersecurity with remote learning and document management that are all the more pressing, given COVID-19 concerns are likely to remain, according to the CFRA director of ETF research.

Mobile Robotics, Disinfectant Delivery Drones

delivery drone with package over buildings

Even the mobile robotics market will likely soar to a $23-billion industry in 2021, according to ABI Research, while emphasizing that automating disinfection will become a key part of maintaining health and safety and become one a major bright spot in response to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, it said the small drone delivery market in the U.S. may reach $414 million by 2021, and $10.4 billion by 2030. Specific use cases for drone delivery like disinfectants will propel this industry, including the deployment of mobile unmanned platforms with UV light to disinfect facilities, ABI said.

US-based Germ Falcon is already offering a similar UV disinfection solution for aircraft. Moreover, drones have been deployed to enforce curfews and surveil areas for security purposes, representing a big opportunity for aerospace and drone companies to increase sales to government agencies.

While COVID-19 represents a disaster for robotics vendors building solutions for developed markets in manufacturing and supply chain, the coronavirus represents a big opportunity for robotics vendors targeting markets closer to government operations, such as health, security, and defense, ABI Research said.

In the long-term, COVID-19 will lead to a significant reassessment of the global manufacturing supply chain, ABI Research said. It added that U.S. dependence on Chinese imports for basic equipment and medicines has become a contentious issue, as the global health crisis will help revitalize the campaign to reshore more manufacturing capacity to the U.S. domestic market.

For more info on how Versant language skills assessment tests can help benefit not just in customer service delivery and satisfaction, but also in reshoring, offshoring and other business location strategy decisions, connect with us to learn more.