What Will the Contact Center of the Future Look Like?

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: April 08, 2011

The contact center market is constantly changing as business models shift and new technologies are developed. Many companies have also indicated a strong desire for specific features within the system. If you take a look at market trends and recent customer surveys, a picture starts to appear that shows what contact centers will potentially look like in the future.

Increase in Hosted Contact Centers

One notable change will be an increased number of hosted contact centers. They are being adopted at an extremely fast rate by small businesses, especially companies with five hundred employees or more. It is generally expected that hosted contact centers will make up 30% of the overall customer base in the next year, and a much greater percentage in years to come.

Focus on Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction will also take on a more prominent role. Many companies have indicated it is their top priority, or at least a very strong priority, so contact centers will do what they can to make the experience as positive as possible. There will thus be better call queuing, interactive voice response, and skill based routing to the employee who has the greatest amount of knowledge with the issue.

Mobile

Market trends also show that customer interaction will shift away from the telephone and towards more modern methods of communication. Text messaging and SMS will likely play a prominent role in contact centers, as will video assistance through software like Skype. Surveys among customers indicate that web-based interactions will also become more commonly used.

One of the current issues with contact centers is they occasionally have inconsistent service across multiple channels. A customer might be able to get a rapid response on an email or instant message, but not be able to get hold of someone on the phone. Contact centers of the future will most likely address this problem and make sure the customer experience is preserved in all possible situations.

Contact centers will also become a major source of enterprise customer analytics for companies. The contact center employees have access to a tremendous amount of real-time transactional data, and they can search through them for notable trends. This will potentially lessen the importance of traditional marketing organizations since the companies will be able to perform the service they normally provide at a greater speed.

Social Media Integration

Furthermore, several companies have declared a strong interest in using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter with their contact centers. They believe the sites can be used to provide an enhanced level of customer support, as well as promote sales and help to increase name brand recognition. Social media has great popularity with the current generation, and this is likely to continue in years to come.

There is no way to know for certain what the contact center of the future will look like. Market trends and surveys show a common theme, however, with an increased focus on customer satisfaction, greater adoption of modern methods of communication, and the growing importance of social media.

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