Contact center trends & outlook

The demand for quick, personalized services show no signs of slowing down

Contact center employment increased from 2013 to 2017 across the United States, and users will need to keep a close watch on rising minimum wages in order to manage operational costs. Contact centers continue to adopt innovative technologies to improve their customer service offerings and meet demand from a new generation of consumers. We project robust growth for the contact center industry for 2019 as demand for quick and personalized services shows little sign of slowing. Below are a few key themes:

New generation of consumers calls for innovative solutions

Consumers born after 1996 (Gen Z) prefer chat over any other channel of service and expect prompt delivery of seamless solutions. These consumers have never known a world without internet and smart technology and have lofty expectations. As a result, contact centers have adopted speech data and voice-recognition machine learning to identify and prioritize needs based on emotional intelligence and complexity scores. As Gen Z grows its share of the total population, contact centers will need to accommodate shifting preferences with innovative solutions.

Employment trends

Customer service representative employment and wages increased across small and large MSAs in the United States from 2013 to 2017. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates employment will increase by 5.0 percent by 2026.

Minimum wages: Implications for contact centers

As of year-end 2018, 29 states have minimum wages that exceed the federal rate of $7.25, and 12 states are set to increase wages by 2020. The lowest 10 percent of customer service representatives earned a median hourly wage of $10.27 in 2017. Increases in minimum wages may affect these costs depending on CSR supply, concentration and geography.

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