3 minute read
By Ryan Hollenbeck
Posted in Customer Engagement
The Roaring Twenties got their name from the lively popular culture and economic prosperity that characterized the decade.
Most of us tend to think of examples such as jazz bands and flare, but it was also marked by advances in science and technology, such as the radio, silent movies and even the automobile.
We enter the new decade with similar exciting new technology advances, such as the iPad, Nest thermostat, and self-driving cars. When we think about innovation closer to home in the customer engagement market, it’s things such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced analytics. All these technologies are aimed at balancing an improved customer experience with greater operational efficiency.
So what’s next? Can we expect a period of economic growth ahead, at least as it relates to customer and employee engagement? Will customer experience professionals and other customer care leaders turn to technology to help achieve their objectives?
According to industry analysts and thought leaders, organizations will look to improve the employee and customer experience in contact centers and throughout the enterprise. In addition, brands will implement and improve self-service. In fact, according to Forrester, 35 percent of firms will plan to invest in AI in the form of agent-facing bots to improve service. 1
Furthermore, they predict that brands will also step up their investments in speech and text analytics, agent desktop tools, and more to help agents do a better job of serving customers.
New industry research from Strategic Contact about challenges and priorities for 2020 suggests that the biggest “challenges” are:
It goes on to list top “priorities” as:
Another predictions paper from Forrester Research showed AI/automation, breaking down departmental silos and chatbots as major customer service priorities. They also reported that average handle time increased more than 10 percent from 2013 to 2016 and has only continued to increase since then. 3
And finally from Forrester, experienced agents will be in higher demand, as firms will need their “empathy and communication skills to handle the increasingly complex questions that will hit customer service in 2020.”4
According to Gartner, by 2022, 85% of customer service interactions will start with self-service, up from 48% in 2019. They go on to predict that in 2025, traditional assisted service will represent less than 15% of overall customer service interactions.5 Quite a shift!
Naturally, the shift to the cloud is affecting everyone, now including the contact center as well—in a big way. According to Saddletree Research: “It is clear that a seismic market shift has occurred in the last three years as more large-sized contact centers have moved into the realm of the cloud contact center. If anything will solidify the cloud contact center as a mainstream solution, it is the large-scale adoption of applications in the cloud by large contact centers.”6
So does all of this add up to a new era of the “Roaring Twenties” in the customer engagement market? We’ll see, but it’s clear that the early indications point toward jazz and flare all over again!
1 Predictions 2020: Customer Experience: Economics Will Drive Major CX Decisions But Not Always for the Best, October 31, 2019, Forrester Research. Authors: Harley Manning, Andrew Hogan, Rick Parrish, Riccardo Pasto, and Judy Weader
2 2020 CC Challenges and Priorities, Strategic Contact blog, January 8, 2020; Lori Bocklund of Strategic Contact
3,4 Predictions 2020: Customer Service: Automation Remakes the Contact Center Organization, October 31, 2019, Forrester Research. Authors: Ian Jacobs, Art Schoeller, Kate Leggett, Vasupradha Srinivasan, Annalise Clayton, Caleb Ewald, and Daniel Hong
5 The Future of the Customer Engagement Center, Gartner, July 9, 2019. Authors: Nadine LeBlanc, Brian Manusama, Olive Huang
6 Cloud Contact Center 2019: Progress, Promise, Profits and Pragmatism, May 2019, Saddletree Research, Paul Stockford
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