Contact Centre 2020: Trends to Watch
Ten years ago, the death of the contact centre was announced. Contact centres were to be swallowed up and made irrelevant through the oncoming digital revolution. Despite this prediction, contact centres have risen like a phoenix from the technological ashes, not becoming irrelevant but emerging stronger, adapting and evolving to this new landscape. This article counts down some of the key technological shifts that have occurred throughout this process, and how 2020 as a decade will be shaped by these changes, and what they empower people to do.
Omnichannel = Complexity
You’ve heard it a million times before, but that is because it is completely on the nose: Customers want the omnichannel experience. They want to use apps, websites, chats and emails for simple matters, and they want a human on the end of the phone when things go wrong. This means that you need to optimise each of those channels for their exact purpose, and you can’t afford to not have the best experience each and every time a customer calls your company. Easy to say, hard to do.
On premise to cloud
Cloud-based technologies are not just the future, but they are the present. If you are currently storing your data on premise, or have an on-premise contact centre, we would highly recommend that you stop reading this article and start researching cloud based alternatives. Better yet, start planning the migration now. We won’t lie to you, it can be a tough process to move your infrastructure from analogue to digital, but it is not only one that comes with a wealth of benefits but is one that is inevitable. You need to surrender yourself to the fact that this is a reality, and the longer you fight the cloud-based future, the more you are shooting yourself in the foot. The shift to the cloud will provide the scalability your systems need to keep up with your business and it reduces your total cost of ownership turning a fixed cost to variable.
Tough love time. Simply put, you can’t afford not to have speech analytics. Companies that aren’t tapping into the data of the ‘voice of the customer’ and are still relying on the horrifically inaccurate random sampling of 1-3% of their calls for quality assurance will be left behind whilst everyone else catapults into their data enriched customer service, compliance and operational bliss.
Competition in small doses is extremely beneficial for operational efficiency and high staff performance. We’re not saying that you should pit your staff against each other to the point where they are sabotaging each other through coffee spiking, but encouraging your workers to strive for excellence, and be rewarded accordingly is a great way to ensure a consistently world-class customer experience. With new tools such as speech analytics, you can map and track your agents’performances to encourage an engaging and exciting way of working that helps give meaning and relevance to their often long and challenging job.
When we say artificial intelligence, we’ream not referring to some i-robot/ terminator-esque supreme intelligence that will result in humanities untimely demise (although you can’t say that wouldn’t be interesting to experience)… rather we mean a collection of machine learning and data science techniques and methods that empower humans to be more intelligent themselves. So perhaps the term, ‘augmented intelligence’ is more appropriate than artificial. AI in this case simply automates manual tasks, surfaces important information and gives people the insights and patterns that they need to do their job on a whole different level. Think turning on the turbo boosters in a car, or taking the red pill in the matrix. If you really want to be able to solve problems and have that competitive advantage, you need to understand what is going on, and have a software there to support you as you go through the process.
Bottom line, moving forwards in to 2020 and beyond, if you are not already in the process of implementing these big five factors into your contact centre, there is noway that you can remain relevant and competitive in the future. You won’t just be behind the times; you will be completely out of reach of them. It is a brave new world out there, and you either need to adapt to survive or find yourself obsolete.