The Call Center is Dead - Long Live the Contact Center

Posted December 10, 2012 by Chris Burgoyne / Industry Interviews, Customer Satisfaction, Strategy

What's the future of the contact center as technologies change and customers evolve? We’ve asked the question before on this blog, and others have asked as well.

The website Software Advice recently hosted a Google Plus debate called Will Technology Kill the Call Center?Representatives from IntelliResponse, Avaya Inc., Drumbi, and Etech Global Services  talked about how technology is changing the way customers get in touch with company call centers. These are questions we're fielding as well.  For the debate, they asked each of the panelists the following four questions:

  • How have you seen consumer contact channel utilization change in the last decade?
  • What role has technology played in this change?
  • How do you see technology impacting the way customers contact a company in the future, and the kind of service they receive?
  • Will technology eventually render call centers irrelevant?

To see the full recorded debate, watch the video below.

This group, including Laura Bassett, who we last saw at the ICMI ACCE Conference in Seattle, offer valuable insights into the fog of the current state of contact centers.  Most agree that this is the best of times as technologies are advancing, but there is a lot of anxiety out there in Contact Center Land - there's a lot changing, and people want to make the right moves.

All of the panelists agreed that the redefnition of the contact channel is one of the biggest ways call centers are changing. For example, customers now have many different options to get in touch with companies outside of traditional live agent transactions, such as web and voice self service, mobile apps, live chat and virtual agent support. This is in large part due to the fact that consumers demand instant gratification and contact centers must meet those expectations.

Whatever the future holds for contact centers, voice isn’t going away entirely. As Laura Bassett, the director of customer experience management at Avaya, puts it, “once a customer gets to voice contact, they are at a crucial juncture in the interaction.  The company needs to be much smarter when they get there.”  The Contact Center space is in flux.  A VoiceVision evaluation can help you establish an accurate view of your current situation and provide a roadmap going forward. Contact us today!

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