Is Newer Better? Contact Centers See a Makeover

September 09, 2015

With the way that technology keeps rapidly advancing, anyone who hazards a guess as to how things will be next year is basically just taking the clichéd shot in the dark. So imagine trying to look five years down the road? One writer has done just that, and he’s come up with some interesting insights.

CustomerThink is a U.K.-based global online community of business leaders striving to create profitable customer-centric enterprises. The site serves 80,000+ visitors per month from 200 countries. In a recent opinion piece on CustomerThink.com, Andrew Lamrock, Director of Enterprise Intelligence at Call Journey, listed what he said were his “10 Top Predictions for the Contact Center of 2020.”

“Contact centers don’t always represent a shiny jewel in the company’s crown. However, as the pressure mounts on brands to offer excelling customer service, they are becoming a focus of the battle for client’s satisfaction,” Lamrock said. “Considered as a touchpoint of growing importance, contact centers are bound to make an interesting subject of a [Customer Experience] makeover.”

Here’s some of what Lamrock predicts:

Forget the Voice/Chat/Email Divide: “The contact center of the future will present a unified front,” he says. “Whether the customer will be contacting a company via phone, email, chat, live chat or social media, every agent will have a full view of the recent interactions and queries.”

An Army of Specialists: To remain relevant, companies will be forced to offer their customer a quick-fix. In years to come, first tier employees will become redundant. “After stating their inquiry into the new breed of Natural Language Processing IVR, customers will be connected directly with a technical specialist, able to help them on the spot, with no need for further transfers,” Lamrock says.

Conversation Analytics Will Be Everywhere: Lamrock believes analyzing every bit of information available will become a mantra of the future companies. “Data gathered by call centers will become an intrinsic source of information for the company’s decision makers.”

Uber-Style Employment is Next: Employees will be trained and tested online, Lamrock believes. They will be given Uber-like online profiles where their skills will be graded by both monitoring algorithms and clients.

Community & Loyalty Will be Rewarded: The focus will be shifted from achieving desirable metrics to helping customers, and to inspire engagement most agents will be given more autonomy. “Offering opportunities to move up in ranks beyond the contact center hierarchy will be crucial to stop valuable agents from leaving,” Lamrock notes.

In short, the contact center of the future will combine the best of what we have today and whatever the next five years brings. The bottom line will be a better experience for callers, and a higher profile for contact centers in general. To see Lamrock’s full blog, click HERE.

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