6 Themes For The Future Of The Contact Center

The contact center community tends to gravitate toward mantras, buzz phrases and movements.

Over the years, concepts like “the customer is always right,” “the multichannel revolution,” and “the age of the empowered customer” have functioned as cornerstones for contact center strategy.

They provide contact centers with a big picture imperative. They add a sense of simplicity – a binary sense of right and wrong – to a fundamentally complicated business unit.

While they may be catchy, these phrases are not mere exercises in rhetoric. They truly encapsulate the sentiment of the marketplace. They represent legitimate, worthwhile goals for business leaders to pursue. They serve as crucial calls to action.

Mindful of the importance of these “themes,” CCIQ made them a priority in research for our CCW Winter Executive Report: The Future of the Contact Center.  We asked respondents to identify the theme they believe best represents the “future of the contact center.”

You can read the full report here.  We're also happy to share the six themes most commonly associated with the contact center of tomorrow.

The Effortless Experience: Many businesses – the overwhelming majority, in fact – believe “effortless” experiences are more important than delightful experiences.  It is therefore unsurprising that “the effortless experience” is the theme most commonly associated with the future of the contact center.

The best contact centers will make it easy for customers to connect, engage, and achieve their desired resolutions.

Unifying the Business on the Customer Experience: “Silos” have long been blamed for crippling the customer experience.

It is time to eliminate them.

The contact center of the future functions as a legitimate business partner.  It collaborates with other departments to share data, align objectives, and ultimately deliver the best possible experience for customers.

The customer experience is a task for the entire business, and it is the job of the contact center to help make that notion a reality.

Customer Experience as a Differentiator: “What’s good for the customer is what’s good for the business.”

For years, thought leaders have said it.  Now, businesses believe it.

In doing so, they acknowledge the value of a customer-centric contact center.  They recognize the importance of building a contact center with the people, processes, and technology needed to truly elevate the experience.

The contact center of the future is one predicated on satisfying customers – not one that strictly focuses on minimizes short-term costs.

Omnichannel: There is no running from the “omnichannel revolution.”  It is here, and contact centers need to adapt.  The contact center of the future does not exclusively focus on a few channels.  It, moreover, does not take a disparate approach to managing its channels.  It creates a singular, unified, consistent experience across all those channels.

Customer experience journey: The contact center of the future does not view interactions in isolation.  It understands that all passive and active communication with a customer is part of an ongoing “customer experience journey.”

It, more importantly, works to optimize every step of the journey.  It leverages information from past moments to best understand who customers are, what they want, and how best to satisfy them moving forward.

Personalizing the experience: Customers are people, not numbers.  The contact center of the future turns this rhetoric into reality.

No, it will not necessarily mandate lengthy “conversations” with every single customer.  It will, however, tweak individual experiences based on the profile and expectations of the specific customer.  It will accommodate customer channel preferences.  It will demonstrate cognizance of the customer – and his past behavior and sentiment.

The contact center works for the customer, not against the customer.

Make sure to download our full CCW Winter report, which includes over 30 pages of findings and analysis on The Future Of The Contact Center.