Research

2020 Contact Center
Outlook and Trends

The human experience remains a priority finding
March 10, 2020

The contact center industry evolved in 2019 as users focused on their search for skilled talent and workplace amenities. As consumers keep customer service representatives busy across the globe, contact center users have invested in amenities to create an attractive work environment and have even started to attract employees out of retirement. As the future of work unfolds, we project that contact centers will invest in new artificial intelligence technologies, reshape their labor force and location strategy, and increase their amenity offerings. Below are some key themes:

Employment growth perseveres despite digital disruption

CSR job growth continues despite uncertainty regarding the number of CSR jobs that will be automated and replaced with technology in coming years. Certain areas of the United States are projecting significant increases in their CRS markets due to competitive hourly median wages a low cost of living. Employees in these areas are adept at solving complex and sensitive issues such as language barriers, giving them an advantage over automated technology. As a result, the tasks of customer service representatives will demand higher skill in solving similar interpersonal issues.

Contact centers look to retirees to fill seats

Contact Centers are expanding their talent search to include retirees. Many retirees lost savings after the recession, as well as their sense of purpose after leaving their jobs. Combined with their valuable and diverse professional experiences and flexible schedules, retirees are an attractive option for contact centers struggling to fill seats. While the share of customer service representatives who are 65+ years of age is below 5% in most CSRs, we expect this figure to increase over the next five years.

Workplace design and amenities become crucial to contact centers

Companies have recognized the important role that a positive employee experience plays in having a positive customer experience. With Millennials and Gen Z making up the majority of the workforce, their priorities of health and wellness and flexibility in where and how they work are crucial for employers recruiting new talent. Contact centers recognize these benefits and have invested in multiple amenities to activate their space, whether it’s bike paths, mothers’ rooms, outdoor spaces or gyms.

 

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