As organizations start to look over the horizon from COVID-19, we realize that most businesses have just been forced through the eye of a storm. In the world of the contact center that old normal took six decades to create, we’ve seen momentous change that was forced upon us.
Before the pandemic, progress evolved slowly along with the technology and processes as contact centers grew to employ more than six million people globally. Having an agile environment was seen as the ultimate goal of customer experience maturity for organizations with large call centers, but a luxury most never realized.
But here we are today, three months later, with a real shift toward an agile approach to customer experience and new technology to match. In May, Medallia released Medallia Speech, the latest signal brought into the Medallia Experience Cloud and a marker for the new age of speech analytics for contact centers. The changing dynamics of the modern call center require not only an agile mindset, but powerful and flexible solutions that can scale with the organization.
From an overall occupancy perspective, the industry has mostly stabilized over the past month as companies have begun adjusting to remote work and the new realities brought on by COVID-19. Call volume has declined slightly across contact centers in some verticals, but skyrocketed in others.
Instead of the gradual decrease in human contact center agents that many expected in the future, I believe we’ll actually see a large increase in agents over the next several years. A more flexible approach is crucial to managing uncertainty and fluctuating demand. Those six million agents globally could double in size, but some will be part-time or even contracted zero-hours workers with no guaranteed number of hours as contact centers become the new gig economy and remote work becomes commonplace.
This will bring new challenges to contact centers and its leadership as the need for rapid and consistent coaching, career planning progression and onboarding intensifies. Managers will need a continuous lens on the performance of their agents, who will need to be able to self manage their own progress.
Contact center leaders and customer experience executives will need the ability to listen to the voice of the customer to understand which employees need improvement and coaching, and of course, to capture signals across the entire customer journey that can lead to operational improvements and the ability to deliver seamless experiences.
If you are looking at new ways to better understand your contact center customers at scale and improve the end-to-end customer experience, speech analytics are a great solution. Here are five things to look for when considering speech technology:
Although contact centers didn’t have any choice but to change as a result of COVID-19, valuable lessons have been learned as we start to feel comfortable being uncomfortable. Having the right technology in place and an agile approach to customer experience will be crucial to understanding your contact center customers and delivering seamless experiences across the entire customer journey.