Colleen Sheley of Aspect shares her thoughts on the future of the contact centre industry.
2020 was a difficult year for enterprise organizations across the globe, one that also forced digital transformation at an unprecedented rate – the contact centre industry was not spared this shift.
Our industry has never experienced a global pandemic and subsequent multi-market meltdown as a plausible scenario. But as the markets have recently indicated, there is optimism as recovery is looming on the horizon.
Because the onset and consequences of the global pandemic were felt instantaneously, many companies were caught off guard. But it has become increasingly evident that 2020 accelerated the need and demand for industry change and evolution.
Now is the time for organizations to revamp their vision for the future of the industry. Here’s some trends we are tracking into the new year and beyond:
Work From Home Works… Sometimes
Now that a framework and baseline of hybrid work has been established, it’s highly unlikely that any of us will see a return to the contact centre of the past. As security becomes more defined, administration tools and emerging video platform integrations will allow for more flexible and efficient hiring, monitoring and training.
Contact centre executives and thought leaders must rise to the challenge by rethinking and reimagining the future and not fall victim to the way it’s always been. This will mean many things, starting with a retraining and revamping of human resource teams and policies.
Remote and hybrid call centre flexibility gives brands the ability to serve more customers, so investing in customized infrastructure and technology to make remote work even more seamless will benefit the customer, the agent, the administration, and the organization.
Increased Reliance on the Digital Experience
Omnichannel communication strategy is designed in order to standardize service and enables customers to navigate between touchpoints easily.
Digital communication channels for customer service and assistance remain a non-invasive way to ensure customers can stay connected to their accounts and maintain control at their convenience.
This easy and convenient method of communication will continue to pay dividends for the contact centre.
A smart 2021 digital strategy looks to improve omnichannel capabilities and personalization, integrate CRM data and systems, continue to develop ever-evolving self-serve capabilities, to future-proof communications technology and platforms, and create a cohesive outbound and inbound customer experience.
Front-Line Specialists Define CX
The future of customer service and experience is highly specific and personal. What is not done digitally will require agents to be highly specialized and extremely agile. An empowered agent is the missing link to exceptional, reproducible, and consistent CX.
Fortunately, this comes at a time where workforce optimization tools have matured to a level where, if surrounded by the right processes, they are driving significant results to increase productivity, speed, flexibility and secure access anywhere to support your work-from-anywhere workforce.
Dynamic Contact Rules & Regulations
The level of oversight and regulatory provisions has exponentially increased over the last several years. With expanded touchpoints and digital communications, we must expect this trend will continue.
Dialler managers have to navigate the ever-changing government restrictions on contacts, including rules requiring consent, improving right party contacts while adhering to regulations to avoid regulatory missteps that can result in costly fines while improving outbound operations.
We believe the leaders in this space will double down on capabilities like proactive outreach and digital self-service to meet customer demands while keeping in compliance.