Scott Budding of Business Systems gazes into a crystal ball to predict how the contact centre industry will continue to develop in 2020.
Focused Digital Transformation
Blending of front and back office customer-facing processes was a topic of discussion for 2019, and something that will continue on into 2020.
At the beginning of this year, analyst firm Gartner said that organisations must start blending their front and back office activities if they are to provide a successful customer experience.
A lot of organisations in 2019 have spent a great deal of time addressing inefficiency in the front office. More and more are now realising that it’s time to start looking at the back office and addressing inefficiencies there.
Corporations can improve business performance and offer up an enhanced experience by gaining a better understanding of the consumer across the journey life cycle, maintains Gartner.
Customer loyalty programmes or feedback channels, for instance, should be more tightly integrated with your back office, as doing so can cut costs, while a digitally-enhanced back office could also reduce the consumer engagement budget.
And even for those organisations who are purely back office, having the capability to track productivity there means they can achieve a better resource allocation, contributing to overall digital transformation.
Automation Part 2
Automation is already making its mark but in 2020 it will become a critical tool for firms. In the past, there’s been too much of a focus on wanting to automate processes 100%.
Companies are now talking about the benefits in being able to automate activity and steps within processes, rather than focusing on automating an entire process.
In addition, the capabilities in the technology and products have become far stronger and more attractive, encouraging further take up in 2020.
In fact, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software revenue grew 63.1% in 2018 to $846 million, making it the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market, according to Gartner. It is forecast to hit $1.3 billion this year.
The sharp rise in interest is sparked by a growing body of evidence around the benefits in terms of making things more automated. For instance, a recent Softomotive survey found that reduced operating costs were seen as a main benefit of RPA by 44%.
As well as being more time and cost-efficient than people, automation also has the ability to significantly improve workflows and robotic workers can operate 365 days a year without holidays, breaks or sick leave.
There is also a dramatic reduction in errors being reported using RPA, which supports compliance and quality control.
Ultimately, the technology frees up staff from time-consuming and monotonous tasks and allows staff to give more attention to the customer.