The future of contact centres

Another day, another article on the future of the contact centre industry, this time from UC Today. We note a number of points about this article and a great many like it.

The key issue for us is that it is right to identify a number of key changes. Automation, both through AI and robotics, will become a reality. Multiple touch points, often called omnichannel because industries can’t cope without new vocabularies, are on their way.

We agree with all of this except in one regard. These things aren’t on the way, they are here right now. The problem is that they aren’t here for everyone. As in the occasion a couple of years ago at a dinner when Intelligent Sourcing hosted a guy who enabled automatic monitoring of home workers for contact centres, the industry hasn’t caught up, to the extent that people speak of robot managers as futuristic. Actually the dinner was two and a half years ago and people were already using the guy’s software.

So whereas we welcome articles that highlight best practice and changes in the contact centre market, we do have a serious caveat. Treat this stuff as “future” at your peril. It may be just around the corner, and we don’t mean that in time terms but in geography; the company just around the corner may be gaining advantage from something you think is in the future, and they might be doing it right now.

Alert readers will note that yesterday we published the results of Arvato’s quarterly outsourcing survey, and promised a round-up of reactions to it today. We anticipated the same avalanche of frequently contrasting conclusions from different outlets that we’ve highlighted before. As if deliberately, only one outlet has covered it that we’ve seen and it’s stuck to Arvato’s line. We’ll continue to monitor the press on your behalf and report back, but promise we will never try to second-guess the contents of tomorrow’s news wires again – much less promise a story on it!

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