The 2014 Contact Center

Like many trying to stay current in the wide world of communications applications, I selectively download white papers, read blogs and consume whatever other media I can. This can include vendor sponsored material, even if they tend to be skewed. This week, an email titled ‘The Future of the Call Center, caught my attention. It (and the download it offered) tries to capture the key trends for 2014.

There’s huge chatter these days about the contact center – more than I’ve ever heard – I assume, thanks to the reality that product commoditization leaves only customer service and experience as meaningful opportunities for differentiation. And it’s happening at a time when social, marketing, communication and mobile technologies are colliding in a way we once dreamed they would.

I’ve listed, word-for-word, what ConnectFirst (the vendor in question) listed – and I’ve added some editorial or additional links of interest:

1. Customer Service

With a variety of technologies in the market, a great customer experience is more important than ever.

-> Inc. Magazine examined just how wide the selection is now of technologies (many of them comm-based) that can make a difference.

2. Smartphones

This year the adoption rate of smartphones will jump by 25%.

-> Enough said, except to add that while this puts a computer in everyone’s hand, it is a small one, which will force new solutions to market to account for what can be a cumbersome form factor.

3.Video Enabled Agents

20% of call center administrators say that in the next year or two they will be upgrading to video support.

-> Amazon’s Mayday put this one everyone’s radar; startups like VideoDesk, LiveLook and BolderThinking have big plans for this market.

4. Gamification

3/4 of global 2000 companies will implement game design on their interfaces by the end of the year.

-> Not something I know a lot about. But looks like I should :-)

5. Analytics-Based Routing

Big data and speech analytics form a perfect union improving the methods for skills-based routing to connect customer with agents based on communication style.

-> Traditional and speech analytics are no doubt a big part of the future of running a contact center. But, watch companies like RingDNA, Freespee and Ifbyphone as ones who deliver marketing related, contextual information about the incoming call and promise to take ‘routing’ to a whole new level.

To download the ConnectFirst white paper, go here.


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