Future of Enterprise Contact Centers – Part 1


Today, customers have become very demanding. They are more knowledgeable and have access to a greater amount of options in each and every industry that meets their requirements. Customer loyalty has become a rarity and it takes great deal of effort to keep customers happy and satisfied today, more so than was required a decade ago. Customers want a frictionless journey on channels of their choice. They want their problems heard and subsequently resolved quickly. However, the industry is massively unprepared for this revolution.

CSAT Scores Are Dropping

Experts cite customer experience as the key differentiator for any businesses success. Yet, it has been found that the C-Sat scores have been dropping for some time now. One of the reasons for this is that contact centers are still looked as cost centers. However, there is an urgent need for call centers to evolve into resolution centers. This requires a cultural change across the company, where the front line employees (call center agents) are considered the most vital clog in a customer’s journey.
Based on the findings present in Dimension Data’s 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, it seems there is still some time before companies are able to catch up with their customers’ requirements. Some of the key findings with respect to technology are:


With experts believing that there will be a 74% increase in customers’ interactions, it becomes all the more necessary to upgrade the call centers with the newest technologies. Add multiple channels to this mix and the complexity levels are further intensified.

Customer Contact – The Channels

The following image shows what is to be expected in the near future about customers preferred channel for interactions:




Digital Revolution is the need of the hour. The telephone-centric contact center stereotype is no longer valid. Digitals interactions are proposed to exceed voice contacts. Marketers are concentrating on personalization. Organizations have started to recognize that customer engagement is a great method of maintaining loyalty and obtaining repeat business.

Focus on Contact Center Interactions

This has in turn reflected the importance of data. All the data in the call centers that has been lying around should be put to good use. Big Data and analytics tools are predicted to be the biggest trend to shape the contact center industry over the next five years. Understanding the customer journey, as well as the context of customer behavior over multiple contacts and channels, is paramount. It will help the organization address customers’ issues, shape their experiences, and enrich the engagement, creating greater value for both parties.

The combination of technology and the ability to effectively listen to customers across channels and then analyze and act in real time will give a good head start in developing an excellent engagement model, which will in turn positively affect customer experience.

(This is the part 1 of a 3-part series – ‘Future of Enterprise Contact Centers’)


Closing the Customer Intelligence Loop in Contact Centers

The customer intelligence build is utilized within the corporation at diverse points – e.g. by the CEO to frame strategies and in decision making, the Product Development Manager in product designing, by the marketing team for data mining and modeling, finance for measuring customer profitability, and even IT for data provisioning and reports.

One of the functions where the quickest impact of operationalization of CI is in contact centers, where the customers interact directly and need an immediate response. They are generally the first and preferred points of contacts for customers to communicate with a company about their products/services. Their efficiency and strategies determine what impression is cast on the customer and how well he/she is served. With the advent of CI, the contacts centers have seen a change in their operations. They are now inching towards a more insight driven interaction system with segmented profiling.

What does closed-loop customer intelligence mean?

For a contact center, customer insights are critical so as to ensure that the customer interaction experience is in line with corporate marketing and thus have consistent messaging and business and profitability goals. For this to occur, the contact center managers should be able to:

  • Understand who is interacting: The first aspect is to understand the person calling, e-mailing, faxing or chatting. The contact center needs to understand the individual, business or group that the contact represents. This understanding goes beyond mere identification of the customer and is more about understanding the customer as a person – the needs, pain points, context of the contact etc. This understanding leads to correct segmentation and subsequent provision of an appropriate response.
  • Responding to the customer in the best possible way: Once comprehensive customer intelligence is built, it should be used to match each customer contact with the best possible customer service representative for specialized handling of the interaction. For example, a frequent caller is routed to a more skilled agent who specializes in handling similar contacts. Similarly, high value customers are routed to agents empowered with responding to such customers.
  • Empowering CSRs to drive business impact: Based on customer intelligence and the insights into the contact handling record of contact service representatives (CSRs), tailored coaching programs can be created to empower the CSRs to leverage customer intelligence and deal with specific segments of the customers. This is a very crucial method to achieve business results, such as increased customer satisfaction, reduced customer churn, reduced repeat calls rates and so on.
  • Monitoring and reporting call center KPIs: The contact center managers should monitor and report Customer Intelligence results to top management – CSAT scores, customer retention numbers, first call resolution rates (FCR), etc.
  • Utilize the close customer relation to provide useful inputs to the CI analytics. The CI analytics team should focus on the operational realities, such as the descriptor data points for customer identification, routing engines, mapping the descriptor data points for right action/ treatments and success metrics identification.

How does closed loop customer intelligence help?

Customer intelligence is essential for moving the customer contact center to a profit or loyalty based operation from cost or service oriented operation. By closing the customer intelligence loop, businesses gain the ability to identify the business-critical trends in customer experience and take necessary action in a timely manner. This also helps the business to leverage the contact center customer data in a strategic manner in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Closing the loop also leads to the best alignment of operations for delivering a delightful customer experience. It greatly reduces operational costs by removing inefficiencies.