Information & Communication Technologies


Customer Experience (CX)-Focused Contact Center Routing in North America, 2017

Evolving Customer Requirements, New Technologies, Changing Markets Drive Change
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Published: 24 Aug 2017

Customers have higher excellent CX expectations. They seek personalized short or no wait interactions with highly trained agents who are suited to serve their unique needs. Customers expect companies to understand the full context of their communications histories. They do not want to repeat information when switching channels, resuming conversations, and engaging with other agents or staff. Customers have increased marketplace power from real-time knowledge of products and sellers, and their reputations. They also benefit from slow economic, income, and population growth that makes every profitable buyer valuable. Customers’ social comments impact other customers’ loyalty and purchases. As a result, companies seek to productively route the best customers to the best agents, or attribute-based routing. The applications use analytics, agent and customer personas, and segmentation by customer value and data dips on CRM systems. Companies also are now looking at customer interactions as customer journeys and seek to understand and to profit from them from those perspectives. New, intuitive, full-featured, and Omnichannel routing solutions, increasingly driven by artificial intelligence (AI), facilitate higher agent effectiveness and productivity. By being the voice, and via video, the face of companies, agents are becoming the linchpins of customer marketing, loyalty, and sales strategies. Customer engagement is slowly expanding from formal contact centers. Companies seek to engage IAs, such as SMEs to handle complex and high value service and sales. They have been utilizing WAHAs (who also may be SMEs) to tap excellent and flexible workforces. Companies will route contacts to available IAs and WAHAs when experiencing sharp contact spikes, and BC/DR. Rising CX expectations and customer complaints, higher nearshore and offshore costs, branding and political pressure, are leading companies to onshore customer contacts. But short leases and hosted applications enable companies to shift contacts to foreign locations should the business climate and cost factors change. New and refined technologies, standards, products, and growing use cases are prompting companies to investigate, test, and where warranted, implement WebRTC, video, and AR/VR applications. IoT devices may create a new IoT channel, with sensors sending trouble alerts to agents’ desktops when the machines cannot resolve issues. Key Findings • The market for contact center routing solutions (automatic call distributors [ACD], chat, email, interactive voice response [IVR], SMS/text), will continue to grow. Strong demand for hosted cloud applications will offset declining sales of on-premise applications. • The Internet of Things (IoT), video, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), and web real-time communications (WebRTC), will enhance CX and may improve agent productivity. These increasingly sophisticated applications are being integrated with routing solutions.

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