Digital Marketing: The Future Of The Contact Center Is Leaving Now (Prediction 1)

This is the first in a series of 5 blogs summarizing a recent HP Autonomy webcast on contact center management.


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The contact center is not immune to market forces that drive today’s business decisions. In fact, when it comes to the impact of mobile, social, big data, and the imperative for advanced analytics to understand it all, contact centers need the same immediate access to accurate cross-channel information as every other business unit—and at big data scale. Perhaps even more so, because as Gartner argues (and we agree), the contact center of 2013 must quickly evolve into a customer engagement center in 2014. Without question, today’s contact center is the center of the customer interaction experience.

 

Last month my colleague, Steve Graff, presented a webcast titled The Future Of The Contact Center Is Leaving Now. Steve discussed his predictions for the business drivers facing the contact center in 2014 and the technology solutions that will be needed to address the challenges.

 

Here’s a quick summary of Steve’s first prediction, followed by a link to the on-demand recording of the webcast. Take a few minutes to learn firsthand from his extensive knowledge and experience in building effective contact center organizations.

 

Prediction #1: Workforce optimization shows its agility

 

Today’s speed of business demands contact center workforce agility. Teams can no longer afford to work as siloed units, and you need to significantly decrease the friction of knowledge-sharing between various data repositories within the organization and between contact center agents themselves. You simply can’t respond effectively to the crisis of the day without an efficient and fully optimized workforce.

 

For this reason “repetitive stress systems,” which typically require the same data to be manually entered into different applications, need to be eliminated. This is especially true for inter-day staffing needs, when the next crisis hits and all available agents need to be scheduled in real-time to man the chat boards and the phones. Communications among managers and agents in moments such as this must be streamlined and accurate. To be sure, not all crisis situations will be of the magnitude of the recent “Big Breach” at Target or Neiman-Marcus, but you can’t afford to respond to your company’s next crisis with a contact center that lacks agility and rapid response.

 

The center of customer engagement

The fact is that the contact center still sits at the center of customer engagement activity, as indicated by the percentage of inquiries that typically end up there after customers have started interactions in other channels:

 

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All channels lead to the contact center: Customers might start out on many different channels, but calls to the contact center remain the most frequently used customer service channel (Source: Forrester, Understand Communication Channel Needs To Craft Your Customer Service Strategy).

 

It’s all about flexibility

If your technology platform can’t enable flexibility in workforce planning, management, and training, or in the sharing of knowledge across channels and between agents, you won’t be able to evolve your organization to that next, critical level of becoming a customer engagement center. Today your customer is in control when it comes to choosing his or her preferred interaction channel. That means the only way to truly enable customer-channel preference is to build your contact center on a platform that optimizes the exchange of information and the efficient management of your workforce.

 

HP Autonomy’s Contact Center Management solution and our HP Qfiniti 10 integrated product suite effectively address this challenge. Learn more at www.autonomy.com/Qfiniti.

 

What’s next?

Check out Steve’s second prediction: Next Best Actions Drive Next Generation Interactions. You can also listen to the full recording of the webcast The Future Of The Contact Center Is Leaving Now to hear all of Steve’s 2014 predictions for the contact center.

 

#HPDMB

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About the Author
Henry Eakland joined HP Autonomy in April 2012 and currently works as Director, Product Marketing focused on our Marketing Optimization solu...


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