The Future of Call Centers
GCCMI foresees that the future of call centers is digitally bright. Leading call centers of tomorrow will integrate cloud computing with telecommuting. This would make Virtualization the new game plan. These centers will operate at much lower cost, healthier productivity and load balancing. Well, the Covid-19 Crisis has just proven that now!
Telecommuters, known nowadays as remote agents, or arguably WFH agents, will witness more growth*. Leading call centers will embrace it and each will implement it based on its unique business objectives. Cloud computing through digital channels is a market shifter as digital convenience will continue to drive up the number of customer interactions
By leveraging the shared economy context, digital agents will be anywhere assisting customers accessing digital channels. Also, vice versa, these remote digital agents (WFH agents) will become customers themselves, accessing another set of agents. All on same online portal or customer experience marketplace which enable access to self-service or assisted self-service channel (across all industries)
Existing call centers are already adopting cloud computing for business continuity or disaster recovery (e.g. Covid-19 Crisis), but the call centers of tomorrow would abandon their legacy technology and operate at a thin layer through the cloud, similar to work-form-home model. The low total cost of ownership and fast deployment will enable the leading call centers to have all the IT works (ACD, IVR, CTI, Recorder, Interaction History, WFMS, Digital Messaging, Multimedia Routing, CRM, etc.) hosted anywhere. Telecommuting is a nice adapter to the cloud as the digital agents also could be sitting at home or anywhere as long as they have a connected smart phone, to say the least. When virtualization meets globalization, we can only expect…..reach! Reach is an abstract synonym to tomorrow's call center.
To elaborate further, Let's say Emily is a young american talent who is applying to become a digital agent to a set of companies (customer service, support or sales) through a shared CX portal. Her objective to work for them or for their outsourcer(s) remotely, by answering customer related contacts. Those contacts could be either chat sessions, SMS, video calls, voice calls, emails, etc. All depending on the talent competency level and the company's best practices. To familiarize herself with the company's products and services, Emily would receive her induction program online. Afterwards, she will be accessing a schedule to start answering her assigned contacts remotely. Anywhere in the world with her smart device. Therefore, Michael might be chatting with his car dealership in Canada and Emily, the digital agent, is chatting back while sitting at home in Miami, Florida. Her KPI (key performance indicator) is to how many visits she is able to schedule inside the actual dealership, per day
Similarly, Emily might wanna buy a convertible Shelby in Florida. So she chats or even texts the nearest dealership, through that same CX market place, using her smart device, while another digital agent, Emilio, sitting this time in Mexico, would arrange a test drive for him in Florida
To accentuate the practicality, imagine you could be selling an American product and gets a call center technology all hosted in Asia while your digital agent is answering your product calls and generating leads while sitting in South Africa. Such digital agents would definitely go through your hiring process and online testing. You can replicate on demand and have mini-call centers in no time across the globe
The future of call centers would therefore be about virtualization and virtuosity. Virtuosity is defined in as having great technical skills (as in the practice of fine art) or great performing abilities. Who else but your competent digital agents!! This is one outcome of the globalisation effect on call center agents. The available information has been transformed into knowledge and consequently intelligence. Some of it is called artificial. Agent is no longer confined to answer voice calls only, but rather chat sessions, SMS messages and video calls. Agent competencies have evolved and it now requires a special multi tasked Talent to perform the responsibilities of tomorrow’s digital talent
The ease and reach of accessing and sharing this knowledge such as success stories, learning indicators, agent performance, quality norms and other methods are all enabling the call center industry to boost its performing abilities towards a digitally bright future served by a shared performing economy.
* : Regular WFH, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 115% since 2005, nearly 10x faster than the rest of the workforce. - 2005-2015 American Community Survey (US Census Bureau), June 2017.
Covid-19 Crisis impact has quadrupled the WFH call centers figures.
**: 42% say voice traffic will decrease and Non-voice to rise in 87% engagement models – 2017 global contact centre benchmarking report go digital, or die by Dimension Data.