Contact Centers - Where is it now, and what's next?

Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Contact Centers - Where is it now, and what's next?

contact center 1.jpgWith IVRs, many of us understand that when we make a call, we may not even actually talk to a person. We may be talking to a computer.  And we totally accept it.  The computer voice will be the onramp to some database and find us the answer.  And if we really, really need to talk to an actual living person, we can do so. 

But when you’re on the web looking for the customer service support number, you may get into a chat, or get offered to get into a chat.  When you do, you may be chatting to an IVR-like chat machine who would get to an agent for more complicated matters.

And Visual IVRs enhance the IVR experience, especially for those using smartphones. Unlike traditional IVR, Visual IVR displays a full set of menu options on a device’s screen. It allows callers to quickly choose the path that is right for them.

Video has also entered the contact center.  Depending on your vertical industry, such as insurance, video can play an important role in a conversation. For example, when making a claim during a car accident, you can allow the insurance company to “see what you see” simply by recording a live video of the accident.

Integration of chat, even WhatsApp, into contact centers, is the next phase.  And like I said last week, clearly integration of IoT apps into the contact center is even a “nexter” phase. Probably in the distant future, companies will incorporate virtual reality into their contact centers.

Enterprise contact centers continue to evolve, driven by the need to both reduce expenses and enhance customer service.  What we once thought strange, such as not talking to a live person has morphed into a plethora of communication options, which will continue to evolve.

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