2015 Contact Center Predictions
It's that time again - time for budgeting, prepping and analyzing the year's results to see how we can improve next year. This holds as true for unified communications and in the contact center as anywhere.
In UC, 2014 was filled with new tools, ways to improve customer satisfaction scores and companies saying goodbye to those last few doubts about the cloud. Besides confidence in the cloud, 2015 brings new ways to streamline workflows and help agents deliver amazing customer service. And, as CorvisaCloud's recent survey identified, even though 60% of consumers think customer service has improved since last year there are definitely still areas businesses can refine.
With that in mind, here are our contact center predictions for 2015:
Five Contact Center Predictions for 2015
- Large Enterprises Will Adopt Cloud Communications
Enterprises have historically been known to sit on the sidelines until technology has fully matured. Now that the cloud has been around for a while, common misconceptions such as lack of security, compliance and functionality are no longer at doubt. The enormous investment cloud providers are making to stay compliant and secure will help growing numbers of enterprises to see that they can ensure security standards and increase savings while minimizing their investment in hardware and maintenance. The flexibility, security and cost of the cloud have proven that it is here to stay, and more enterprises will be drawn to the cloud by the ability to gain flexibility with less effort.
- Security as a Top Priority
With big names such as JP Morgan, Michael's and Home Depot experiencing data breaches during 2014, companies of all sizes are bringing security to the top of their 2015 planning. Knowing that data breaches come with hefty financial implications and can hurt a company's image overnight, businesses will go the extra mile to protect sensitive data. Security will be a top influencer for businesses when choosing cloud providers, and cloud providers will work to make their security and compliance procedures even more transparent. We foresee data and recording encryption emphasized at a greater level than what has been done to date.
- A Focused Investment in Employees
2014 was the year of customer success. For 2015, we predict we will see companies investing more in their employees and agents. After all, your employees are the foundation of customer success. Proper training and boosting employee morale will be key for any business that wants to stay competitive. Integrated contact center tools such as gamification and workflow automation tools will be just a few of the ways contact centers will help agents improve performance and boost confidence. Eighty percent of consumers said their phone interaction with a customer service agent feels scripted and robotic.* We see more businesses adopting these new cloud tools to humanize their customer experience and break away from older tools that force agents to read call scripts word-for-word.
- Mobile Equality
Mobile applications are nothing new, but as we predicted last year, mobile phones are becoming increasingly preferred over desk phones. In 2015 the emphasis will be on giving agents and employees the same user experience - whether they are at home using a softphone, on a computer using a desk phone or in the car using their mobile device. We see more customers demanding features that create a seamless transition between the desk and mobile environments, such as the ability to configure phone settings or integrate with customer data. Cloud communications providers will be focused on enriching the capabilities of their mobile applications in response to this demand.
- Increased Demand for Customization
Based on experiences with our customers in 2014, we predict more businesses will be looking for technology solutions that can be customized to fit their specific needs. Until recently, SaaS and PaaS have often been thought of as separate alternatives in the contact center space. However, with the demand for flexibility, more customers will be looking for hybrid SaaS/PaaS solutions that offer both out-of-the-box ease and advanced customization options.
Matt Lautz is CIO & President of CorvisaCloud.