Seven key trends influencing strategic priorities at customer contact centers

In Deloitte’s fourth edition of the Global Contact Center Survey, contact center leaders shared their perspectives on meeting today’s challenges and how their businesses will evolve in the years ahead. 

Today’s consumers are raising the bar on what they expect along the customer journey and in response, companies are adopting strategies to deliver an improved experience. Corporate contact centers are a key touchpoint where businesses can build strong connections, earn trust, and create loyalty. 

Crafting a memorable customer experience is a priority, so contact center executives are investing in new technologies to improve access, increase personalization, and simplify interactions. Anywhere, anytime access is a reality—and contact centers must deliver a consistent omni-channel experience to excel.

Here are seven key trends that emerged from the Global Contact Center Survey findings:

  1. Customer experience (CX) is a differentiator. Crafting a human experience allows companies to differentiate themselves from competitors. Personalized, real-time attention and the ability to resolve issues quickly are in high demand, and companies who invest in the technologies and talent to deliver on this promise can increase customer satisfaction and earn loyalty. 
  2. Start with the basics. Delivering a successful customer service experience boils down to a few essentials: providing on-demand access, resolving issues quickly and efficiently, and earning customer trust through accuracy and follow-up. Many companies know they must get the basics right before expanding to advanced services and technologies. 
  3. Navigate complexity through right channeling. Customers expect to interact with companies across a suite of channels—voice (primarily phone, but evolving), email, messaging, social media, and paper (fax/mail)—based on their preferences. Companies are challenged to direct customers to the channel best suited to the nature of the interaction to maintain cost effectiveness. 
  4. Look to the cloud. Cloud presence continues to expand with most companies planning to migrate capabilities in the coming two years. Leaders are expanding beyond customer relationship management (CRM) and knowledge management, and they are starting to consider additional functionalities such as workforce management. As on-premise legacy systems are retired, they are being replaced with cloud-based solutions that are scalable and flexible. 
  5. AI omnipresence. Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to elevate as a strategic priority for contact center leaders. Three primary use cases are evolving: 1) customer engagement automation (i.e., self-service), 2) customer service representative assistance (i.e., next best action), and, 3) advanced operational and strategic analytics and insights. Contact center leaders expect to make great progress in AI in the coming years. 
  6. CRM does not stand alone. Companies are not seeing the expected return on their investment when it comes to CRM technologies. Getting the most value out of CRM solutions requires organizations to make changes to their broader operating and service models before they are able to realize operational efficiency and customer engagement. 
  7. Workforce without borders. Delivering an exceptional customer experience requires service professionals who bring specific skills. Content center leaders gain greater access to talent by expanding the boundaries of the remote workforce.

An ever-increasing focus on elevating the human experience and continuing adoption of new technologies will drive the evolution of contact centers over the next two years. Learn more about the trends that are impacting contact centers and where executives are investing in the Global Contact Center Survey report, or contact us.