UK Contact Centre Forum

Traditional Customer Contact Centres must adapt to survive claims new survey.

The walls of many traditional contact centres will be coming down over the next 10 years according to a new UKCCF survey, in partnership with customer engagement technology provider, Content Guru.

Just 3.2% of contact centre professionals responding to the UKCCF research, “What Will Customer Service Look Like in 2029”, said that they believe their current customer contact operation will look like a ‘traditional contact centre’ by 2029*. 29.3% said that they believe that it will look like a ‘modern contact centre’, with 34.1% seeing customer contact being managed from a ‘modern office’ workspace, and 19.5% a ‘home-based work’ environment. The remaining 13.8% stated that their customer contact operation will be a ‘mainly automated operation’.

125 contact centre professionals responded to the survey between August and December 2019.

The physical appearance of the contact centre isn’t the only thing predicted to change by 2029. Survey respondents foresee significant developments and enhancements to the way that organisations:

• Design customer experiences
• Manage customer journeys
• View the physical contact centre environment
• Use artificial intelligence to deliver faster and more efficient customer interactions
• Use next-gen technologies to handle, manage and augment customer experiences
• Measure customer experiences and collect/and act on feedback
• Prioritise different aspects of their contact centre operations
• Manage interactions using multiple contact channels

For example, over two-thirds (69.1%) believe that, by 2029, their organisation will be more focused on ‘prevention’ than on ‘cure’ when it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), while 88.7% believe that their organisation will have developed an holistic approach to CRM across all customer contact channels (phone, email, web chat, social media etc.).

Technology is predicted to play a big part in bringing about this change at every stage of the customer lifecycle – from collecting and making sense of data about customer requirements, to identifying problems (possibly before they even occur), to managing and reporting on customer interactions.

72.4% of respondents believe that customers won’t have to identify themselves when making contact because organisations will already know who they are; 82.1% reckon that simple customer queries will be handled by self-service and chatbots by 2029; and 56.6% believe that customer emotion analysis will be commonly used to manage customer queries more effectively.

Having said that, humans will continue to play a key role in the customer contact process – with 89.5% of respondents saying that they believe AI and machine learning will complement agents rather than replace them. And contact centres will remain heavily committed to investing in their people – with 69.2% of respondents stating that they will be investing in coaching, 64.2% in training, and 55.0% in knowledge management over the next 3 years.

“Our study points the way ahead to a new era in customer contact management – with much conventional contact centre management thinking simply thrown out of the window and replaced by radical new ideas” said Trevor Butterworth, CEO of the UK Contact Centre Forum.

Paul Emery, Sales Director (UK & Ireland) at Content Guru, added: “Content Guru partnered with the UKCCF for this research to uncover new trends in the contact centre industry. As customer experience becomes the key differentiator between businesses, we will see a huge shift in the way organisations interact with their customers. To stay ahead of the curve, companies will need to invest in best-in-class customer engagement technology.”

About Content Guru:

Leader in cloud communications, Content Guru, supplies mission critical Customer Engagement and Experience solutions for hundreds of large organisations across the globe. The largest privately owned provider of contact centre solutions, Content Guru’s parent company, Redwood Technologies Group, has been listed as the 9th best performing mid-market technology company by independent technology sector research provider, Megabuyte, in their current Megabuyte50 private company scorecard rankings.

Content Guru’s cloud-first platform, storm®, offers virtually limitless scalability, unmatched integration capabilities and industry-leading AI. Content Guru ensures contact centres meet the needs of every customer, seamlessly. storm is used by hundreds of organisations across Europe, the US and Asia-Pac, in sectors ranging from finance and government through to travel and utilities. Customers relying on storm for mission-critical services include NHS 111, UK Power Networks, G4S, Serco and Rail Delivery Group.

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