The contact center industry has dynamically changed over the past ten years and continues to evolve to keep up with the increasing marketplace competition as well as the growing demands of customers. Remarkably, technology developments have allowed contact centers to look into wider options to improve their services such as moving into cloud-based systems.
Contact centers using cloud-based applications have showed significant growth from 31.8% in 2010 and 40.9% in 2011 to 62.4% this year. And with the numbers rising, it shows no signs of slowing down.
The latter percentage uses 45 different types of systems and applications, where the top priority for contact centers in the next 18 months are:
- Interactive Voice Response
- Automatic Call Distributor
- Computer Telephony Integration
- Workforce Management
- Speech Recognition
- Customer Relationship Management
- Web Chat
- Quality Management
- Email response management
- Performance management
- Social CRM servicing applications
- Social media listening/monitoring tools
As a trend forming, 37.6% of call centers that have not utilized this technology are now moving to the cloud. 15.8% of this number will move to cloud-based solutions within 6 months, 8.8% within 7 to 12 months, 21.1% within 13-18 months, and 45.6% within the next year and a half. DMG Consulting projects that there will be a 10% increase (from 35% to 45%) in the cloud-based contact center infrastructure each year from 2012 to 2015. With the security and integration well covered by cloud-based vendors, this figure might double as it presents a more feasible and reliable solution for businesses.
Social media will not replace email, voice, and chat
The next 18 months predict that voice and email will be the top contact center servicing channels at 14.9% and 14.4% respectively. Social media, particularly Facebook (7.9%) and Twitter (7.8%), prove to be an efficient channel to reach customers as contact centers are considering these as servicing channels as well. However, even with its popularity in providing good customer service, social media will not overtake the regular contact center servicing channels such as web chat (12.7%), web self-service (10.6%), SMS (9.3), mobile (8.9%), and instant messaging (8.6%). 4.7% of contact centers will utilize the use of video while 0.1% will try to use other means aside from what has been mentioned.
The benefits of going cloud continually lure companies to enhance contact center initiatives. In the next 18 months, companies expect improvement in agent productivity (55.8%), increase in the use of self-service solutions (45.1%), utilization of more channels such as SMS and social media (40.8%), reduction in service costs (38%), and boost in their reports and analysis (29.6%).
These figures give an assuring outlook in the contact center infrastructure for 2014. With thorough evaluation and calculated risks, contact centers can now get off the sinking premises-based sector and migrate into the cloud.