CCW (Customer Contact Week) Digital’s latest report — Future of Contact Centers: A Forecast — provides important information on the role and value of contact centers, and how CX leaders and stakeholders are shaping strategies for 2022 and beyond.
Here are some of the key findings:
- Leaders think that contact centers are best assessed by their impact on customer experience or their ability to increase customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty. This reinforces the concept that customer experience is no longer the focus of just the contact center, but is now a priority of the greater business.
- The top pain point for contact centers is fragmentation with disconnected systems and channels (no omnichannel capabilities). Among other things, fragmentation prevents companies from gathering and utilizing important operational data, as well as implementing necessary process improvements. High agent turnover is also a major challenge.
- Only a quarter of contact centers believe that their digital transformation efforts have progressed as quickly or as successfully as expected. Therefore, the majority dispute the idea that COVID-19 accelerated digital adoption.
- Top-of-mind priorities for contact centers are customer-facing AI, seamless experiences within channels, and increasing the use of AI for employee experience.
- Respondents believe that AI will be used mainly for simple and moderate support issues, while complex ones will still be handled by human agents.
- The traditional voice channel is here to stay. Less than 3% believe that live phone conversations will become obsolete. The majority believe that all customers should have access to live voice agents.
- In order to encourage adoption of new channels, the majority of companies is working to improve the standard of digital experiences, by making them fast, frictionless, and personalized.
- Remote work is here to stay. Only 12% of contact centers believe they will go back to the traditional contact center workforce model. A majority are expected to adopt hybrid work models, and time spent between the office and home will depend on the task or role.
- Increasing work flexibility—providing remote work or non-traditional scheduling options—ranks as the #1 strategy for countering high agent attrition.