... 2023 IS GOING TO BE THE YEAR OF STABILIZATION . IT IS A GOOD TIME TO CONSIDER WHERE YOUR CONTACT CENTER SITS IN REGARD TO EMERGING TRENDS .
--KATHLEEN M . PETERSON
I talked with Dave afterward about his point of view as a vendor . He told me channel fragmentation is a huge issue ( too many reporting systems and insufficient integration to WFM ). But the other trend is still employee engagement , meaning empowering agents to control their schedules .
The next day was Hybrid Work Environments by Andrea Matsuda ( NICE ). She shared her 2021 global survey with 42 % attrition rates ! Talking with her later , she stressed to me the importance of flexible schedules with autonomy surrounding breaks and giving the WFM treatment to the Back Office . She echoed others ’ concerns about accurately planning for digital support .
Andrea also gave us the most challenging WFM Trivia question : “ How should you measure AHT for digital channels ?” Only 18 % of us got it right .
My last session was on Extending WFM Support to Back Office ,” by two WFM pros : Kirwyn Adderley ( Walgreens ) and Spencer O ’ Leary ( ActiveOps ). The # 1 challenge is and remains , data collection . Back Office rarely has a “ single source of truth ” for data .
I was surprised to see how many new things are showing up in Back Office work types . Some centers now forecast and schedule for things like investigations , IT tickets , in-person queues , and data analysis . Spencer had great insight about a Front-Back Office hybrid , or “ Middle Office .” This approach lets teams utilize pockets of extra capacity from phones and slices of unoccupied time from the Back Office to support each other . Kirwyn generously shared a hard lesson learned : count Back Office work based on its arrival time , not completed time , to avoid understaffing .
New to me ( and this might be more fad than trend ): a WFM subreddit exists ( r / workforcemanagement ).
The trend I hope never ends : Virtual conferences – I love them !
KATHLEEN M . PETERSON CHIEF VISION OFFICER ,
POWERHOUSE CONSULTING , INC .
The 2020 pandemic caused enormous disruption that inspired some exciting opportunities and changes for Contact Centers . As we head into the new year we all hope for a calmer time . I believe that 2023 is going to be the year of stabilization . It is a good time to consider where your Contact Center sits in regard to emerging trends .
Here is what I see ...
Agent Experience Awareness – This trend is emerging largely due to the incredible turnover that Contact Centers have experienced over these past couple of years . A significant number of organizations have begun to focus on attraction and retention of staff . The Agent / Employee Experience has gained traction . Compensation , flexibility , and improved tools and technology are all on the rise . Time will tell if this will serve only to close the gaps in the current Employee Experience or elevate it sufficiently to impact positivity , morale , and retention . Either way it is a good start !
Digital Readiness – As in sports teams or hobbies , there is a readiness requirement for ultimate success . Readiness ranges from having the requisite talent and interest to having the funds to acquire what is required to participate . Digital readiness is on the minds of every leader looking to improve customer self-service and support agents in using new technology . Self-service is very much dependent on technology and technology is dependent on clean and flowing processes . Transactions and interactions with lots of work arounds , band-aids , handoffs , and transfers do not qualify for digital service . While folks may not be labelling their efforts to upgrade , integrate , and use new technologies as “ digital readiness ”, it is time they did . It plays much better to the executive suite than asking for budget dollars to buy a “ thing .”
Massive Technology Seduction – Please beware of promises ! Technology has always had a kind of seduction to its claims . The promises hit consumer pain points … improved Customer Experience , lower costs , improved productivity , etc ., etc . Be cautious of promises made by vendors that know nothing about you . Carefully prepare a set of business and functional requirements before seeking new technology to assure that your investment pays off .
Contact Centers are changing the way work is performed and how the Contact Center is perceived . The time is now to address the stabilization necessary to ride into the future !
THE CONTACT CENTER REMAINS A HUB OF COMMUNICATION AND IS A VITAL PARTNER IN DEVELOPING PLANS TO ADDRESS THE HIGH- FRICTION , OFTEN FRACTURED JOURNEYS OF CONSUMERS .
10 CONTACT CENTER PIPELINE