by Holger Reisinger,
Today, contact centers are a vital part of business, handling customer service through multiple communication channels, and more often than not, the setup is technologically state of the art. However, we have not yet seen the full potential of the contact center. I dare to venture that big data’s entry into the data center will bring better and smarter products and services to light and wholly new types of central job opportunities for the trail blazing knowledge worker.
We are witnessing a silent revolution. The contact center revolution has been a quiet one, and the industry is changing before our very eyes. Odds are, you have spoken to at least one contact center worker recently, and according to the 2013 Global Contact Center Survey by Deloitte, you will do so again tomorrow.
There are some interesting take-aways from Deloitte’s 2013 Global Contact Center Survey. For instance, while the financial crisis was still with us in 2013, 77% of the 526 respondents in Deloitte’s survey reported that they would grow or maintain their current size in the next 12-24 months, with more than 60% viewed customer experiences provided through contact centers as a competitive differentiator. These figures are equally interesting and surprising. However, the most interesting finding was that 82% recognized “accuracy and quality of information” as the most important customer experience attribute.
Accuracy and quality of information is naturally a priority one job. However, it has a slightly larger meaning, too. You see, it reminds me of a conversation I had with my good friend, Norman. He runs a contact center in Virginia and is very passionate about the development of the sector, and over dinner, he told me that he has begun to employ handpicked, specialized analysts and use big data in his contact center, providing clients with even more customer information, views, and insights about brands, products, and customer satisfaction to his clients.
This makes total sense to me. I am sure that while this development will not happen overnight, we will see contact centers become much more specialized in the future – providing additional services, which require more data-driven value creation. I can see how the knowledge worker may appear out of place in our image of contact centers today, but there are opportunities here and truly interesting jobs and opportunities to make a difference for the curious knowledge worker, with the goal of occupying a central position in a data-driven industry – and, it has already begun.
The contact center is where companies have direct contact with their customers and can collect important knowledge about the way your products are being utilized. From the customer interaction, you can learn if customers are using your products as they were intended, be inspired to develop new products and designs, learn if your manuals and guides are user-friendly, or build your marketing campaigns on real market insights.
So, like Norman, I think this is the future of contact centers: providing accurate and qualitative information on a whole new level, but collecting it as well, to provide better services, better products, as well as new products and services, created to some degree just by listening to what customers have to say about it.
So how may you help me, you ask? Continue the revolution.