2018 Predictions: How Digitalization Will Affect Your Activities

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Darrin Bird

7 tips to leverage 'digital' for your operations

Digitalization is sweeping across enterprises large and small, and affecting not just the way we live and the way we interact in our private life, but also, and significantly, how business operates. Some of 2018's key trends are summarized by Darrin Bird below.

  1. Voice will remain king: There will be a push for companies to reach out to customers through various channels (i.e. text and email); however, when given the option,  consumers will still prefer a phone call.
  2. Automation and Business Intelligence will be an immediate focus: There will be a huge focus on reporting in 2018, with companies looking for faster ways to automate data and calculate ROI. In addition, centers will leverage business intelligence to analyze business productivity and efficiency to improve their operations. A prime example of business intelligence and automation will be found in payment processes. Payments will be primarily handled by intelligent IVR systems, instead of agents, for faster, error-free transactions.
  3. Omnichannel Trends: Customer-contact center interactions are expected to be viewed as more favorable by customers in 2018, with the growth and utilization of non-intrusive, omnichannel features (i.e. SMS messages, voicemail drop, email, etc.).
  4. Human interactions, AI and Automation will be tiered by CRM: Brand loyalty profiles will dictate which type of service a customer receives. For example, platinum members can “speak to an agent,” gold members will be routed to an “expedited IVR system” and general consumers will be sent to a standard dial-in system. 
  5. Transition to the cloud will continue to grow: contact centers will exponentially move their company operations from on-premise operations to the cloud. Cloud-based solutions are becoming more favorable to contact centers as they offer more flexibility, customization and require less overhead to operate than their on-premise counterparts. With the shift toward the cloud, contact centers will look to develop individualized, internal, virtual call center portals for each customer in the cloud. 
  6. Compliance: In light of our nation’s mounting cybersecurity concerns, regulations are expected to remain the same in 2018. If anything, regulations will become more defined and transparent in 2018, resulting in less uncertainty and a decrease in vendor penalties for the industry.
  7. Open and positive business environment: There will be more consolidation among companies at the top of the industry. With the compounded industry competition, companies will have more room to experiment with innovative contact center tools, business practices and technology solutions.

Darrin Bird is COO and executive vice president at TCN Inc., a provider of cloud-based call center technology for enterprises, contact centers, BPOs and collection agencies worldwide.