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Podcast #7: The Modernization of the Contact Center

Jon Lunitz interviews Stephen Loynd, Founder & Principal Analyst at TrendzOwl

The Best Bits

Jon sits down with TrendzOwl's Stephen Loynd to discuss the rapidly changing nature of the Contact Center, and the digital acceleration that is driving its modernization. If you didn't get a chance to listen to the full interview, below are the best bits, selected just for you.

  • Jon Lunitz: While the digital experience is certainly key to businesses’ survival right now, it’s also what consumers have come to expect, especially the increasing number of digitally native consumers. Companies have recognized this trend and are reacting to the shift in landscape with a relentless focus on, pick a term - customer experience, customer effort or customer lifetime value. In fact, they are beginning to view their customer contact center providers as essential partners and extensions of their brand, rather than merely call centers.
  • Stephen Loynd: TrendzOwl’s mission is to try to get a good grasp on what’s going on as far as the globalization and the exponential technological change that is so impacting our world today.
  • Stephen: But the big point of it was that the majority of companies were already planning major transformation before the pandemic hit.
  • Stephen: Now I think what we’re all seeing – probably you’re seeing at ibex and I’m definitely seeing at TrendzOwl is this need to grapple with the reality of transformation because if you don’t do it, you’re going to fall behind.
  • Stephen: At the end of the day, what’s happening today is an acceleration in the process of that digital transformation that had started prior to COVID.
  • Stephen: In other words, that sort of hyper personalization and hyper connection that we’re talking about along that customer journey – it’s not only helping the customer in many ways across industries, but if it’s done right it’s also helping to augment the agent and so the customer experience and the employee experience together are becoming essential to try to help everybody raise their game and offer a better experience.
  • Stephen: Technology done right, the paradox is that it can also help make the agents that work in your centers and in the centers of other companies more effective when dealing with customers and also to free them up in many cases to offer other capabilities.
  • Stephen: You can have human beings analyze spreadsheets, but why not use artificial intelligence to do that and to help automate a series of processes around that? It not only becomes a more productive endeavor, but those people in turn, their time is freed up to become more of what we might refer to as strategists and so they can start thinking about being impactful for the company in other ways and start to raise the level of performance.
  • Stephen: I think that McKinsey found that something like 42% of finance activities could be fully automated and another 19% or so could benefit from partial automation.
  • Jon: The technology actually acts as kind of a rising tide type situation, so that the technology itself is now creating incremental value-added jobs rather than raking in the number of total jobs that were out there, which creates probably, maybe a less defined, but probably a longer-term career path for the individual.
  • Jon: The contact center then really becomes a microcosm of the larger economy as the technology starts to impact.
  • Stephen: What does exponential technology change mean and you know, now with the COVID crisis we’ve got to think about too – that we’ve got all sorts of tensions around globalization and with trade.
  • Jon: Just for some clarification – especially if you start to look across geodiversification, having a multinational footprint along with the ability to do home based work seems to be a pretty good risk mitigation.
  • Stephen: If there’s an issue in one part of the world, with one client perhaps for example, you want to be able to shift quickly to either brick and mortar contact centers or home based agents, whether they be in the United States or someplace else, or some mix of those so that your clients are not affected negatively by what’s going on.
  • Stephen: The cloud is everything now. Tools that were previously accessible only by large corporations are now available to smaller and midsize companies as well. And AI can be, as I said earlier, the cloud is enhancing the ability of artificial intelligence to be used, whether it’s in sales or marketing or finance or HR and the sheer magnitude of the ability of AI to personalize the experience is incredible.

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