contact center evolution big waves

14, September 2017

Surf’s up: Riding the four waves of contact center technology

A contact center’s (CC) path to providing seamless and proactive customer experience is beset with barriers, large and small. While it seems to be a single point A to point B interaction, there is more to it than just the goal and outcome. This journey can be compared to a surfer’s experience while riding the unpredictable waves in the ocean.

So, to perfect the technique, the surfer requires a combination of good training and equipment. Over the years, surfboards have become more symmetrical and durable; to ensure that mighty waves can be conquered.

Similarly, contact center technology too has gone through several stages of transformation. Its evolution can be categorized into four waves based on the pattern of ownership. Advanced technologies and changing customer demands have caused dramatic ripple effects. It has moved from being owned by the enterprise to being outsourced and finally, insourced.

First Wave

Enterprises took complete ownership of the CC technology. Right through the stages of customer interaction from pre-purchase to post-purchase, they managed all the aspects, including the deployment of the right technology and how many agents are required to handle each communication channel.

Evolution of contact center

Second Wave

The ownership was split between the enterprise and specialist vendors. While vendors were given the responsibility of customer interaction, reporting, and staffing, the design and analytics were managed by the former. This fragmented division, though it brought down the costs, it resulted in customer dissatisfaction due to poor management capabilities.

Third Wave

Enterprises had one objective in mind – to allow customers to have access to superior IVR technologies and improve customer completion rate. To reach this goal, possession of IVR and service ownership were outsourced to CC technology specialists while the larger volume of work including monitoring, reporting and staff remained outsourced.

Fourth Wave

Given the power-centers that enterprises have now become, technology is moving back in-house, with the infrastructure being managed through a service model. They have the ownership to take control of the technology function with vendors managing the important aspects of customer interaction and reporting.

Curious to know how enterprises have been expertly surfing through these four big waves? Manu, one of our veteran CX experts, takes you through the evolution of contact center technology.

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