To provide advice and guidance for contact centers , we reached out to our Advisory Board to find out what contact center trends do they foresee in 2023 ? Are they the same , changed , or new as compared to 2022 ?
While “ perfect ” candidates are great , today ’ s hot job market means competition for good ones is tougher than ever .
The key is deciding which skills are teachable and which skills are innate . So , measuring for potential , what a high school guidance counsellor would have called “ aptitude ” is crucial . Emotional intelligence , work ethic , adaptability , and the potential to learn product / process knowledge are important .
Contact centers will continue to face a tight labor market and in response reach out and accommodate workforces , such as with WFH , that they have overlooked in the past .
Examples include :
MIKE AOKI PRESIDENT , REFLECTIVE KEYNOTES , INC .
• Those living in communities located outside of affordable commuting distance . For example , a round trip from the suburbs to downtown Toronto , Canada , a popular contact center location , can take two-three hours on public transit and can cost up to $ 300 / month . So , it is not worthwhile in time / expenses to take an entry level agent role .
However , WFH allows contact centers to recruit from outlying areas . It also helps agents on evening or overnight shifts who no longer need to risk commuting after midnight or during bad weather .
• Rural residents . I grew up in a rural area . There are lots of hard-working folks living too far away to commute to an onsite contact center . However , expanding rural broadband means WFH – which needs high bandwidth – can work for them . So , contact center recruiters can tap into that labor pool .
• People with disabilities . While they have contributed to onsite roles for years , WFH offers a new group of job candidates who may have found commuting to an office to be a dissuading factor . The National Telecommuting Institute
is a leader in placing Americans with disabilities into WFH jobs across the U . S .
• Disadvantaged youth . Thankfully , programs such as NPower Canada
offer free training to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds . So , they have a solid foundation for either an IT or contact center job . Several Toronto contact centers have had success hiring from those graduating classes .
At the same time contact centers may be setting their recruitment bars higher than what the jobs require , that they are inflexible on qualifications , experience , education , and certifications . Doing so does not account for candidates ’ potential : which denies opportunities for them and employers alike .
JON ARNOLD PRINCIPAL ,
J ARNOLD ASSOCIATES
2022 was a tumultuous year for the contact center space , and we should expect more of the same for 2023 .
Two trends in particular will continue transforming a sector that has been ripe for change for some time . First is the continued evolution and maturity of the underlying technologies , namely the cloud and artificial intelligence ( AI ).
There are good reasons why contact centers have been late to the cloud , but now that it ’ s emerging as the deployment model of choice , many cannot migrate fast enough . Not only are the vendors all-in with cloud , but as businesses make CX a strategic priority , contact centers are facing C-suite pressure to modernize , and they ’ re buying what the vendors are selling .
Never before have contact center leaders had so many offerings to choose from , making this a great time to rethink everything about how businesses invest in technology to support their customers .
Contact center as a service ( CCaaS ) is certainly the starting point for this journey , but AI is another technology for driving transformational change . Customer service has long been a strong use case for AI , and every vendor now has an AI story .
For 2023 , AI is set to shift from early adopter to mainstream status , especially as no code / low code has made the development of bespoke applications accessible to contact centers of all sizes . Contact center leaders now see the value of AI , especially for automating operations , and enabling more personalized forms of service , so expect to see a lot of innovation on both fronts .
The second trend transforming this space is the state of the vendor landscape . Traditional technology strengths that have allowed the incumbents to dominate for so long are no longer the drivers of disruption and innovation , and with that , many non-traditional players have entered the contact center space .
The status quo has never looked so shaky , and many vendors are trending the wrong way for sales , profits , and headcount .
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