I had the pleasure of listening to technology visionary Don Brown, M.D. (Founder and CEO of Interactive Intelligence) speak on the future of customer service at the Indiana Chapter of SOCAP International on September 22, 2011. Below are my takeaways from his presentation.
Bottom Line – Customer Service as we know it is going to change.
“Customer service as we know it is often frustrating because it’s run for the convenience of the servicing organization, not the customer.” – Don Brown
Today, control is shifting to the consumer and it’s turning the way we serve our customers inside out.
Technology innovations that he predicts are on the horizon that will help contact centers meet those increased expectations.
The ACD, 2.0
One of the most exciting aspects of his talk was on one of the most fundamental elements of a contact center. The ACD. He quipped, “Here we give you 2300 dials and levers for you to tune how your ACD delivers customer interactions to the correct agent. And when it doesn’t work correctly, we as vendors point our finger at you and say, you didn’t have your ACD dialed in correctly.” The future ACD will use software driven artificial intelligence techniques to do the heavy lifting for you. “That’s going to happen” and it will raise the level of customer service.
On the horizon, he mentioned the importance of recognizing customer inten … He also mentioned some of the breakthrough work that Interactive Intelligence has been doing in the realm of speech analytics, which includes intent and customized word spotting, on both the customer and the agent side. Beyond speech analytics, he predicts that in the future, software will be more automated and will further be able to recognize patterns based on demographic information…
Another point that Dr. Brown made was that people in charge of the contact center were in the perfect position to impact the rest of the organization. He said that by taking the elements that work well in the contact center and applying those best practices to the rest of the business have the potential to make a big impact. He jokingly said, “we know how many times a day that a $20/hour contact center agent goes to the bathroom but have no visibility into tasks that business people perform such as corporate Lawyers or the HR department.” Dr. Brown said that organizations need to apply the same level of rigor to other business functions. He also gave a short demo on how Interactive Intelligence’s Interaction Process Automation can route “work” throughout the organization, beyond the typical boundaries of the contact center.
So, is the goal of your contact center to drive organizational efficiency or serve your customer in the way they want to be served?