The Contact Center in 2025

Predictions are tricky things.

Everyone likes to peer into the future and guess what life and work will be like in five or ten years, but often after that time passes we look back on those prognostications and shake our heads at how wrong we were.

Two years ago, we gave our predictions for what you’d find in the 2020 contact center. We saw more agents being used in multiple roles – handling not just calls but chat and email as well. We saw a need for better agent training, as customers could access basic product and service information themselves, and would only call with a more complex issue.

But even as the role of technology increased, we believed agents would also need to retain the qualities that companies require of them now – strong communication skills and listening skills, courtesy and empathy, and the ability to make decisions and resolve issues through their own initiative.

For contact center managers, we predicted a transfer out of a primarily operational role in favor of a more “big picture” outlook on the organization. Rather than monitoring KPIs, managers will be meeting with executive teams from other divisions on how departments can successfully work together to deliver a more efficient end-to-end customer experience.

Finally, we saw workforce management playing a more prominent role in tomorrow’s contact centers, as the drive to optimize resources will always be key to running a successful business. In the contact center that means accurate forecasting, as well as analytics, skills-based routing and capturing important customer data.

Actually, looking back now I think we were right on the money.

Recently, we came across an article written by an industry executive that dared to guess what the contact center would look like in 2025. Not surprisingly, there was a belief expressed that artificial intelligence would play a more prominent role in how companies and customers communicate. But like every other kind of technology, it can be more efficient than humans but will never replace them.

Thus, in 2025, as will likely be the case in 2035, 2045 and beyond, a company’s responsibility to its customers is to deliver satisfaction, and part of that involves delivering a personalized experience. And for that, you’ll still need people. This feature originally appeared in our monthly newsletter. Click here to start receiving this newsletter in your email box.