The Contact Center of the Future in the Distributed Workforce Era

Everybody Understands the Cloud!

A growing number of organizations are looking to the heavens — or the cloud, to be precise — for answers. By migrating their legacy infrastructures to the cloud, and by shifting to remotely based workforces, enterprises are now able to make huge cost savings while enhancing both agent productivity and customer service quality.

Cracking the KPI Conundrum

Many of us dream of becoming digital nomads. What could be better than working remotely from a beachside café? Giving contact center agents the freedom to work remotely might ring alarm bells for some. But the rise of gig economy also holds the promise of a more intelligent approach to productivity. When agents are effectively freelancers, their pay can be tied directly to performance. Companies will be able to pay only the most motivated people who deliver tangible results. KPIs such as First Contact Resolution (FCR) will therefore grow in importance, while AHT, closely associated with the operational costs of physical contact centers, will likely become less significant.

Supporting Distributed Workforces

It’s vital to keep sight of the fact that agents need backup, from both peers and superiors. Team-based service models are growing in popularity, enabling a more holistic approach to customer care, and the ‘free agent’ of the near future will need to rely on constant support from colleagues, as well as ‘always on’ digital resources and agent decision support tools that cover the widest possible ranges of devices and customer issues.

Fewer Calls, Superior Skills

As AI becomes more firmly entrenched in the contact center of the future, there will be a profound change in the types of tasks handled by agents. Chatbot designers naturally focus on automating the simple, repetitive tasks that make up around 60% of all customer queries. Live agents will therefore increasingly focus on the toughest nuts to crack. The customer service and experience issues that require in-depth product expertise and the highest levels of patience and empathy are those which companies will be happy to pay specialists — multiskilled Subject Matter Experts — to handle.

Summary: The Rise of the Superagent

While full self-service remains the ultimate goal of enterprises in multiple sectors, there will always be a need for the human touch. Some customers simply prefer it, and as the IoT continues to develop, companies will need to deal with complex emerging issues related to device interoperability that bots are simply not trained to deal with. That’s why the contact center of the future is likely to be virtual — a cloud-based operation staffed by the finest talent on the planet.



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