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Driving Contact Center Change: Chatbots, OmniChannel, Cloud

March 20, 2018

Chatbots, Omnichannel and Cloud are three top trends for contact centers. Why? Because each one in its own way increases efficiency and decreases customer effort.

The value of efficiency is probably obvious. But what about customer effort? Studies show that the majority of customers would rather have an effortless experience than a delightful one (CCIQ). That’s good news, because it is much harder to give everyone a delightful experience than it is to reduce their effort.

This brings us back to leading technologies and the promise they have for reducing effort for everyone.

Chatbots: Prosperous Future or Disaster?

According to Gartner, by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their interactions without any human involvement. How is that possible? Through better web-based content, enhanced IVR, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual agents and, yes, chatbots.
Chatbots seem synonymous with artificial intelligence and are certainly sparking the imagination. They are indeed a great example of intelligent technology designed for a specific purpose.
Leading technologists (e.g., Musk and Zuckerberg) have quite divergent views on how artificial intelligence at a more broad level will play out. In the meantime, chatbots and blended AI are making their way into contact centers, providing additional self-service options and freeing agents for more complex interactions.

OmniChannel: Distinctly Different from MultiChannel

OmniChannel success is in the eye of the beholder. From a customer experience perspective, it requires more than channel choices. Many companies offer a few channels of communication such as voice and email. Some are offering as many as 12 or more, including messaging, video and social.

Interestingly, what we are seeing is a trend toward fewer channels. Companies and customers are narrowing to the lowest friction channels. Customers can suffer from decision fatigue and may appreciate fewer choices as long as the outcome is better. Providing better channel guidance and preserving interaction content as customers switch channels can allow companies to both reduce the total channels supported and improve the customer experience.

Cloud: Just Another Deployment Model

Cloud is the favorite child today, but does it make sense for your organization? There are some important questions you need to ask to determine your best deployment strategy (cloud, premise, hybrid). Cloud can be very appropriate for some segments—you need to determine if it is for yours.

Learn more about the key decisions for deployment, read our blog “Decision Framework: Cloud versus Premise”.
For more about Driving Contact Center Change, watch our recent conversation with David Hadobas of CCNG “Contact Center Journey—from Here to Where?