Research

Contact center trends & outlook

Contact center employment increased from 2012 to 2016 across the United States. Contact center users remain a top viable option for the increasing amount of large retail vacancies entering the market. Digital disruption is shifting the focus toward skilled labor throughout North America, as multi-channel presence expands. Contact center users and providers will pay close attention to technology on the horizon with the potential to impact services and the nature of work.

Key themes to watch in contact centers this year

Digital Disruption

Robotic automation, artificial intelligence and blockchain are three technologies we’re watching as potential disruptors in the contact center space. Here’s how you can take advantage of them:

  • Robotic automation can lead users through initial prescreening and simple Q&A. This gives companies the opportunity to decrease the people-power needed to solve simple problems and answer basic questions, and reallocate human capital toward more complex issues.
  • Artificial intelligence makes connections between vast amounts of data and content. This creates the potential for better customer experiences driven by insights from past interactions - and more efficient, effective communications.
  • Blockchain enables digital, decentralized, and secure records of transactions. This opens up an opportunity to reduce time and effort in processing and securing transactions, and enable greater data transparency.

Retail adaptive reuse

By year-end 2017, there was 12.5 million square feet of vacant retail department space, up from 8.5 million square feet in year-end 2012. Contact centers remain a top viable option for these spaces due to large open floor plates, high parking ratios and nearby amenities.

Employment trends

Employment and wages for customer service representatives increased across small and large MSAs in the United States from 2012 to 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates employment will increase by 5.0 percent by 2026.

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