The future of contact centers

By Marco Costa

0 min read

Business Continuity Remote Agent

The cloud ensures a remarkable pace of innovation, which is what ultimately makes the difference in the customer’s journey.

Our expectations as customers have been growing and are now higher than ever. From year to year, we expect that the services at our disposal, both digital and traditional, will surpass and go further.

Customers change their opinion about a brand based on a bad customer experience, which shows that all interactions count. The 21st-century customer is extremely demanding and seeks real-time, personalized, effective and immediate customer service to solve their problems. Furthermore, this high-level customer service must be available on the channel that is most convenient for the customer.

In a globalized market, there are plenty of options to choose from and competition is just a click away, so ensuring an excellent customer experience in all interactions is undoubtedly the real competitive advantage for companies today.

More and more people are talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and there is widespread curiosity about this new technological wave. However, many companies have not yet addressed the most basic weaknesses in their contact centers. Much of the technology remain on-premises, holding finite capacity and hardware upgrades that take months to stand up. Thus, the adoption of innovations is limited and engineers and researchers compete in a demotivating internal struggle for access to storage. In addition, sometimes integrations with CRM tools and customer databases are too rigid or non-existent to provide agents with context. Agents need context to personalize interactions as much as possible. Not having context makes coherence difficult within the same channel — regardless of the agent with whom you interact — and also between different channels.

To flip the page and follow the paradigm shift, companies must be aware of the trends that are marking the sector’s panorama:

1. Migration to the cloud

The era of on-premises systems, installed on companies’ physical servers, is behind us. Updates available only every three, six or twelve months are simply not compatible with the current speed of transformation in the markets, which requires companies to adapt and innovate much faster to remain competitive. The scalability and flexibility of a cloud contact center presents itself as the best solution, allowing companies to better align investment according to their growth. With new features available on the spot and enabling a multiplicity of integrations between services, the cloud ensures a remarkable pace of innovation, which is what ultimately makes the difference in the customer’s journey.

2. Natural Language Processing (NLP)

The development of software capable of understanding and mimicking human language is another front in progress, with the objective of decoding interactions by voice and guiding agents. To do this, NLP automatically transcribes the conversations, analyzes the content and takes a general impression of the customer. All of these contextual insights are made available to the agent in real-time, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of each customer interaction.

3. Virtual agents

Virtual agents are particularly useful in automating the most repetitive interactions that human agents encounter on a daily basis, freeing them to focus on other tasks with greater added value. Chatbots are the most common and progressing rapidly towards holding a conversation at a near-human level.

The transformation of contact centers is an ongoing process driven by the evolution of customer expectations and technological innovations. Over the past decade, technological advancements have transformed the call center into the contact center and introduced a spectrum of channels through which customers can seek support. The next step now is to know how to integrate all these channels holistically and use them harmoniously to offer the best experience ever.


Marco Costa

Marco Costa has more than 18 years of software industry experience. He is currently responsible for leading Talkdesk operations in Europe, including the engineering center, and post sales and business expansion in EMEA. Costa holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Coimbra and a Global Executive MBA from INSEAD.