Rethinking contact centers: Key themes in this year’s conferences

February 12, 2018 | Contact Center Industry | Blog
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Are you ready for the “frictionless revolution” and game-driven learning?

Thinking of attending a contact center conference in 2018? Sharpen your pencils and pack your bags. We’re seeing themes on the agendas this year that are guaranteed to prompt strategic shifts as contact center executives ask, “Am I making the most of my contact centers?”

For instance, CCW’s winter conference in New Orleans last month featured a presentation about customer segmentation and lifetime value measurement. This segmentation can help organizations prioritize experience designs and delivery. 

In the travel and hospitality sector, some companies do this by assigning customers with loyalty status to a special phone number or help desk, ensuring they can skip to the front of the line when they need travel support. This VIP treatment for the airline’s most frequent customers breeds more loyalty.

Curbing information overload and making training a game

ICMI Contact Center Expo, slated for Orlando in May, has tapped Amber Krueger to present on the topic of balancing training with skills-based routing. Krueger, Operations Manager for US Bancorp Fund Services, talks about how the bank evolved its training and onboarding to foster agent development.

A common pitfall of these processes is information overload. US Bancorp uses a 150-day road map and other elements to maximize agent development.

At the same event in Orlando, Elaine Carr, Training & Development Manager for ICMI, is slated to do a presentation titled, “Leveraging How We Learn in Video Games for Contact Center Training.”

Elaine writes in her synopsis: “Lots of learning happens in video games, and they are also so highly engaging that some people will go without food and sleep to continue playing. Wouldn’t it be nice to create contact center training that was so engaging?”

Top priorities: Reducing customer effort and automating CX

These talks align with findings of a report on what matters to contact centers right now—CCW’s Executive Report: Contact Center Priorities for 2018. Reducing customer effort ranks as the top customer experience priority for the coming year and “frictionless revolution” will continue, according to the report.

These are the top priorities for organizations that participated in the survey:

  •      Reducing customer effort (39%)
  •      CX automation (for engagement such as chatbots) (37%)
  •      Improving voice of the customer/intelligence strategy (34%)
  •      Customer journey mapping (33%)
  •      Improving agent experience (33%)
  •      Productive personalization (using customer insights to optimize CX) (31%)
  •      Upgrading technology (30%)
  •      Optimizing training/learning (29%)

The buzzword of the day for contact centers might change, but the underlying business drivers will not—flexibility, agent quality and cost are still the three most essential ingredients to weather any contact center trend.

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Shelly Strom

Shelly Strom is a writer for Liveops. With a background in business journalism and corporate communications, she specializes in researching the call center industry to uncover key trends, news and analysis.