contact centerAs 2013 draws to a close, I think about the incredible year we have had, what was hot in 2013 and what is trending and expected in our industry in 2014.  One trend that I thought was rather fitting was the broad rise of the word Showrooming which, of course, is popular to our retail customers.  Showrooming was one of the new words in the running for the Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Year, but ultimately was beat out by Selfie. Recently, Genesys hosted a webinar with Frost & Sullivan Analyst Nancy Jamison to discuss contact center trends for 2014.  Nancy shared her rich industry perspective on best practices that contact center leaders not only should look at, but absolutely need to address and incorporate to stay competitive and deliver a great customer experience (CX).  If the word Selfie and its 17,000% growth trend since this time last year is any indicator of what consumers are looking for, you can expect your customers to want, and expect, a personalized experience – one that is a true reflection of who they are and how they choose to do business with your brand. Here are seven contact center trends to expect in 2014:

  1. Moving to the Cloud: Early adopter companies started their movement to the cloud in earnest in 2012 – two years earlier than predicted. Companies across all industries and sizes are now adopting the cloud as standard. Every IT RFP now has a cloud provider requirement.
  2. Self-Service in the Contact Center: People are fed up with bad IVRs – and who can blame them?  Contact Centers need to use big data and smart analytics to develop better call workflows. This will achieve an improved self-service model – one that puts the customer at the center.
  3. Growth of Mobility and Mobile Apps: A rich two-way mobile experience expands your customer service, extends your marketing reach, and improves capabilities within the contact center. Business apps will continue to grow, causing customers to interact better and embrace mobile – especially for customer care – becoming cross-channel mobile conversations.
  4. Socially Accepted:  Although social media for customer care hasn’t taken off just yet for contact centers – in 2014 it will.  Companies will start embracing social customer care and engaging on more of their customers preferred communications channel.
  5. Big Data Gets Bigger: Incorporating multiple sources of information, like mobile phone number and preferred channel of messaging, into contact center data will drive premiere customer engagement and improve the customer journey.
  6. Omnichannel experience: Carrying the context of a customer interaction across the channels in a convenient, competent, personalized and proactive way takes your CX strategy from multi-channel to an omnichannel experience.
  7. M&A Activity: Merger and acquisition activity will continue in 2014 with companies like Genesys expanding their offerings and bolstering vertical expertise.

So, as you take your own selfie this holiday season, reflect on the year’s past and get ready to kick off the New Year with these 2014 trends that deliver a great CX. I invite you to learn about other trends in our Frost & Sullivan webinar with Nancy Jamison available on demand.