Top Trends Affecting Contact Centers and the Customer Experience They Deliver
By Colin Taylor
The month of March is now upon us and the predictions and prognostications for the new year are pretty well behind us. But before we bid adieux to the pundits’ predictions and Top 10 lists, I will add my voice to the collective noise. Predictions are challenging and dangerous; people remember and can take great delight in pointing out missed predictions. Below are what I believe are the top trends that will impact contact centers and customer facing organizations.
AI or Artificial Intelligence
AI has been a top pick for many pundits. Forget the fact that, according to Elon Musk and other doomsayers, AI will literally be the death of us. For contact centers and customer interactions it is a very positive tool. We have been using algorithms for more than 30 years in the contact center world, but changing the label to AI makes it seem fresh and new. The application of AI to the contact center is gaining momentum: organizations are deploying chatbots and voice bots leveraging technology from Google and Amazon, machine learning is helping to train these bots to be more accurate, and more effective and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is being used to effect automation where no integrations exist.
Digital Transformation continues to redesign contact centers, leveraging omni-channel communications to reflect the appropriate customer journey and lifecycle stage and build upon machine to machine and IoT communications. Digital Transformation is beginning to live up to the promise of The Right Channel, with the Right Context, served by the Right Resource, equipped with the Right Information and Right Options, resulting in the Best (dare I say “Right”) Outcomes.
Analytics is not a report, and not a number on a page. It is data and knowledge and it must be deployed. We will continue to see a shift away from simple reports and dashboards that show us what is happening towards “data aware” workflows and processes that act on the data and make adjustments in real time.
There is saying that it can take “20 years to be an overnight success.” That was certainly true of CRM and may also be true when it comes to Omni-channel. While the majority of organizations have deployed multi-channel in their contact center, they are struggling with the costs, benefits and use cases to go omni-channel. As we empower AI to make more decisions and deploy more automation the cost barriers to Omni-channel will be lowered, hopefully in less than 20 years.
Clouds are everywhere today and everyone is using them: Public clouds, and/or private clouds. Cloud has gone mainstream and those who aren’t seeing them today soon will. Cloud is ubiquitous, it’s secure and it’s often Amazon. With the emerging dominance of a few tech giants over Cloud (think Google and Amazon), individual organizations no longer have to engineer their own cloud…they just sign up.
Let me know what you think of this list of top trends. Do you agree with them? Are there others we missed? We would love to start a dialogue.
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