Finding new frontiers and battlegrounds to compete in seems to be a favorite pastime of Amazon, Google, and Meta. The contact center seems to be the latest playing field, which can be excellent for the industry.
When the big three compete, we all win. Like an apex predator being present, all senses are on high alert when Amazon, Google, or Meta invest in the industry. Things change in the contact center industry, and their presence only helps accelerate that change mostly in positive ways. Let’s look at where these tech giants are today, and where they may be heading soon.
Google’s Impact on the Communications World
When Google launched Google Voice in 2009 many in the communications world chuckled or found it a novelty item. However, we have all learned to never doubt their ability to make bold moves and learn quickly from their shortcomings. While Google Voice initially was clunky and connection speeds affected quality, it is now used by over 5 million companies worldwide.
With every call, SMS, and voicemail being a data point, Google learned and listened. Companies may have been able to transcribe voicemails before, however, when you ask most smartphone users, they believe Apple or Google created that. Google has a quest to make things easier, and that translated into innovations in the communications world that needed to happen.
Google has been experimenting with AI-powered contact center solutions for over a decade. If you have interacted with Google as a company, there is a good chance you have been on the receiving end of their investment. They have successfully distilled conversations into what the customer is trying to achieve through natural language understanding. This has helped advance virtual agent technology, assist agents, and provide valuable insights as well.
Amazon Fuels Contact Center Machine Learning
In an industry notorious for acronyms, AWS CCI may seem like letters thrown together, however, it stands for Amazon Web Services Contact Center Intelligence. These are the insights, data points, and overall intelligence gathered that can help improve the customer experience in a contact center.
The contact center industry before AWS largely lived in silos and was not cloud-based. Bringing an open model where information and knowledge can be shared has helped propel innovation in an industry lacking in that area. AWS itself has helped move the industry forward and is the foundation for a good portion of the technological advancements companies use to engage with their customers.
Launching Amazon Connect, their cloud contact center solution in 2017, they are beginning to gain recognition and respect within the industry. AWS has enabled collaboration and innovation in an industry that lacked both, it will be interesting to see if their growth is organic or through acquisition in the future as both have been part of their model historically.
Meta Battles to Enter the Contact Center Space
Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram sought to acquire Kustomer, a customer service and experience software company in early 2021. Due to antitrust laws, the purchase didn’t complete until February 2022.
Their investment is a sign that they not only want to dominate the messaging world but also transform how companies understand and interact with their customers. Delivering AI-powered insights on one screen Kustomer delivers omnichannel messaging and a unified customer view. A big part of meeting the customer where they are is understanding the platform or where they want to engage.
It will be interesting to see the enterprise-level adoption of Kustomer as an investment in the platform continues. Helping bolster e-commerce, it can be used on a variety of levels to help companies elevate their customer experience.
The Future of AI and Machine Learning in Contact Centers
When you mentioned AI several years ago Google and Amazon were two of the first companies to come to mind. Since a good portion of contact center AI and machine learning is backed by Google or AWS, bringing their own native solutions was a logical next step. They will continue to help propel innovation and customer experience.
With the big three tech companies firmly planted in the CCaaS space the application of AI has just started. When giants such as these compete, with seemingly unlimited resources, we are at the beginning of what is to come.
Follow the money is a tried-and-true term, and the money or capital is in CCaaS. That trend will also continue to fuel the contact center wars for years to come. While we can’t predict everything, we know that more mergers and acquisitions will continue, and customers will dictate where those dollars are spent.
We Can Help Navigate the CCaaS Landscape
One thing that will never change is our process and our ability to listen. No matter who enters the space, and what innovations are created, InflowCX’s consulting team is here to help strategize and optimize for you. We can help filter what is noise and what is necessary and welcome the opportunity to serve you and your business.