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Why Contact Centers Must Harness UCC for New Normal
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning – particularly for call routing applications where big data is harnessed to predict volumes and patterns. Autonomous AI agents remain a concept for future development, but there are plenty of instances where human agents are using AI as an aid to optimize productivity. Examples include AI proposing next steps and sources of knowledge to support undocumented workflows and queries. AI helps enterprises surface unstructured knowledge faster and more accurately than is possible manually, while the role of UCC is crucial to enabling distributed teams to collaborate seamlessly with this knowledge.
- Hybrid working patterns – where contact center agents and other team members are widely distributed and use multiple locations as their place of work, according to dynamic need. With social distancing set to be the norm for some time, physical contact centers can accommodate far fewer agents than before. So even if supporting remote working isn’t seen as advantageous for the wellbeing and retention of employees, contact center operators will still need to address it as a medium to long-term measure or risk constraining customer service capacity.
- Closer agent/customer collaborations – which redefine contact centers from cost centers to revenue generators. Some organizations are using UCC to create richer interactions and even to deliver premium services that would otherwise require a face-to-face session of some kind. Many health providers are offering telemedicine consultations during the COVID-19 lockdown, and many professional services companies are using virtual meeting technology to conference and screen-share with clients in a shared environment. This trend was already underway before the pandemic, but now that the possibilities are better understood we could be on the brink of far greater innovation across all sectors. The TurboTax Live service, for example, involves certified public accountants going through tax returns with customers via video calls.
- New ways of simplifying IT administrative complexity – To cope with greater demands for flexibility without adding management overheads, organizations are enabling their remote contact center agents using one of various architectural models such as virtual desktop infrastructure, bring your own device, or issuing locked-down devices with a restricted set of apps. However, managing infrastructure means keeping devices patched and login credentials updated, and this is made more difficult when employees can’t come into the office, and when user profiles need adding, deleting, or changing. UCC softphones enable the most flexible deployment and management, with the UCC application and all its users under the control of a single administrative console
Whether compelled to jump straight to the cloud or migrate away from legacy infrastructure at a pace most appropriate to their unique situation, the big change we can all see is the shift from physical to virtual contact centers. Getting there using advanced, customizable UCC softphones is not a means to an end, but rather the catalyst for further innovation that will deliver market competitiveness and maximum customer experience.
Get additional guidance on how to approach the new normal at the Enterprise Connect Digital Conference & Expo 2020, taking place online Aug. 3 to 6. Check out the conference program here, and register today!