The coupling between the phone system, dedicated hardware infrastructure, and the software solution has made the contact center a very conservative environment for decades. New entrants were kept out of the market by larger contact centers because the service and integration components of the solution were too complex and expensive for smaller companies to tackle.
But current trends that are leveling the playing field. New players are gaining ground with customer service solutions that operate in the cloud, using exclusively VoIP, with services that don’t require on premise hardware or infrastructure.
But it’s really all about the customer.
With Social Media and Mobile Connectivity becoming central to how consumers interact with brands, companies providing service through contact centers must consider customer relationships in the context of the overall customer experience to remain competitive.
Looking at the market and how the software systems supporting contact centers are evolving, we can identify the following technology trends:
- Software-as-a-Service: Deployment of software in The Cloud (as opposed to older on premise solutions) allows fast deployment of new system functionality without disruption and with reduced capital costs.
- Web Analytics: Use of new Big Data techniques allows systems to go beyond simple quantitative metrics in use today by collecting and analyzing vast amounts of data. It becomes possible to deduce context, draw insight, identify patterns, and predict behavior.
- Multi-Channel Integration: New browser standards such as WebRTC enable the seamless integration of communication channels so that conversations can happen over and switch between social media, voice, website, email, etc. without loss of context as opposed to segmented communication customers experience today.
For a more detailed discussion on the trends above and how both traditional and new vendors of contact center solutions can cope with it, please download the white paper, Moving from Contact Center to Customer Engagement: Using The Cloud, Big Data and WebRTC to Get There.