Being a leader in the contact center world allows us to see the path as it develops. Like the Farmers Insurance commercial says, “we know a thing or two because we have seen a thing or two.” While there will always be unexpected moves we can’t possibly foresee, the contact center world is evolving more rapidly than ever.
Our team weighed in on what we can expect, what not to expect, and trends that will continue into 2023 and beyond. We have a good track record with our contact center trends and predictions in past years. Maybe that means that we are trending ourselves here at InflowCX? We will let you decide as we head into 2023.
The Contact Center Labor Market Will Continue to Drive Automation & Outsourcing
The conversation that has dominated the contact center landscape for the last year is staffing. Those who have struggled the most feel it is an “either/or” decision. Either outsourcing OR automation. The cure is outsourcing AND automation.
Bill Pieper Senior VP of Business Development weighs in. “Given the tight labor market and increasing agent wages, it will be incumbent upon contact center management to improve agent productivity and performance by deploying automation and outsourcing, thus improving customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.”
Bill works closely with some of the larger contact centers and has built relationships with some of the best business process outsourcing companies across the globe. Automation is key for both the company’s own contact center and the outsourced contact center. Automation, outsourcing, and alignment with your company’s culture regardless of where the contact is made are the ingredients for success.
If your company is at a crossroads and facing labor shortages, you are not alone. We are all familiar with a hybrid work environment. However, having a hybrid approach (automation and outsourcing) will enable contact center leaders to overcome the labor shortage. Customer satisfaction, customer experience, agent retention, and experience depend on it.
InflowCX Insights on The Labor Market
- Automation can help solve some but not all staffing issues
- Consider BPO options for peak times and for overflow
- Increase agent productivity by providing resources for agents
Companies Will Maximize Value from Their Current Contact Center Technologies
“2023 is shaping up to be a perfect storm for companies around the administration and optimization of their contact center technologies. Years of CCaaS and CX tech stack purchases (conversational AI, RPAs, knowledge management, etc.), combined with a difficult labor market and the economy will leave customers looking for expertise to squeeze value out of existing systems and reach the potential of the investments while minimizing operational expenditures.” Words from our Chief Revenue Officer, Mike Dolloff, who has been on the front lines with our clients who have invested in technology out of necessity and are now looking to get that return on their investment.
Starting in 2020, companies were forced to make decisions that normally take months to evaluate in weeks and implement those technologies to survive. 2023 will be the year that those investments help contact centers thrive. Workforce management (WFM) solutions can be used in traditional contact centers and outsourcing partner locations as well.
The bottom line, companies will look for guidance around optimizing their current solutions. Unlocking built-in functionality, acting on analytics within existing platforms, and maximizing integration capabilities are all catalysts for allowing CFOs and contact center managers to rest better at night.
InflowCX Insights on Current Solutions
- Companies invested hastily in the right solution during the pandemic
- Don’t second guess that investment, maximize it
- Most contact center platforms are greatly underutilized
AI Will Continue to Fuel Automation In The Contact Center
Without even realizing it, AI has become a part of our daily lives. From our smartphones to the grocery store, AI is the gasoline that runs the automation engine and we are just getting started. “Artificial Intelligence has outpaced our ability to harness its full potential” is something that our President, Adam Rennert, has talked about at length.
2023 is the year that companies, not just contact centers, go from being curious about AI’s capabilities or capacities to strategically implementing AI-powered automation. Interactive Voice Response & Virtual Agents are just table stakes when it comes to automation. AI can help recognize sales upgrade opportunities and guide the agent or customer through the funnel to provide real-time assistance on a tough interaction. It can also help agents and companies be proactive and anticipate customer needs based on past experiences.
This is the year that all the buzzwords we have been hearing for years come to life. The contact center has been reactive by nature for decades, after all, the point is to react to customer inquiries.
InflowCX Insights On AI
- 48% of companies plan on implementing or upgrading their chatbot capabilities
- Businesses need to adopt AI options that benefit their contact center operations
- AI in the contact center is a viable customer-facing option with more innovation to come
InflowCX Will Continue with Our Customer Centric Approach
This isn’t a bold prediction as much as it is our commitment to the industry we are proud to be a part of. While we have aligned ourselves with industry-leading partners, we will never lead with a solution or platform.
Our process has remained the same for decades and we will never compromise on our approach. Understanding your business, goals culture, and what makes you “you” has always been and always will be the first step in our process. From all of us at InflowCX we hope 2023 is the best yet and would love to kick off our new year by getting to know you!