The Future of Contact Centres – are we getting ready to replace people?

A lot has been said about the future of the Contact Centre. As another disruption time passes, thanks to Artificial Intelligence, it is extremely difficult to forecast or even have a glimpse of what the future of the Contact Centre might really be.

This new technology wave, which brings with it a promise of extreme disruption, has the ability to make even the most peaceful ones shiver.

It is the first time in the Contact Center history that we are talking about replacing people who every day perform the essential mission of providing support to the customer.
This conversation is based on the potential financial efficiency gain and the potential operational efficiency gain of adopting Artificial Intelligence related technologies.

We started this process with timid chatbots but technology quickly went on and created the promise to create disruption in quality departments in email automated responses and even in the interactive voice response through the combination of voice recognition techniques, machine learning, natural language and text to speech.

Rui Marques Opinion – GoContact CEO

It has been my mission at GoContact to pay close attention to these trends and technologies and these past years I have had the privilege to participate in important events of this technological area, such as Fosdem and SpeechTek, and I had the opportunity to have a chat with leaders of important projects such as Mozzilla DeepSpeech and Google Dialogflow and what makes me write this article today is that right now, I have no doubts about the potential to apply these technologies at the service of people, but I am aware that, without reservations, the time to replace the agents by technological mechanisms is not yet here and I have serious doubts that it will ever be fully here.

I have been wondering about the answer to the question – What is the future of the Contact Center? – and this has taken me deeper to try and understand truly which is the Contact Center mission:

● Why is there such department in companies?
● Why is it so controversial?
● Why does such department need so much technology?
● Why does it have the ability to have a huge impact on the success or defeat of a small or large company?

My opinion is that the mission of a Contact Center is so simple and true that we often forget what it is. The Contact Center mission is to service its customers so that the customer feels motivated to reinvesting a part of such value created into the company which results in more business deals or new business deals.

This is, in my opinion, the real mission of the Contact Center: add value, as much as possible, in each interaction it gets.

The Role of GoContact in this mission

Based on this mission and considering the role I have in the industry, the next question is how do I and GoContact help the Contact Center to perform such mission?
How can we, consistently and continuously, add value through technology or services so that the Contact Centre can perform its mission on a daily basis? Or better yet, not only perform it but, thanks to our participation and investment, leverage its performance ability, creating more value for each of its customers?

After considering the different angles of the Contact Centre mission and, in the light of this new technology wave, it is clear to me that there is no ability to perform this mission without people, without agents, without supervisors, without managers and all those people and roles who are part of the Contact Center ecosystem.

These people, of whom I am part of, and probably you too, are the most essential element and the only part that cannot be subtracted if we really want to perform this mission successfully.

Thus, it is clear to me that my strategy as a technological solutions manufacturer, the strategy and mission of GoContact in this market is to help people. But more than helping, it is empowering the performers of the Contact Center mission, working so that every day these people do not have to worry about anything else but adding value to all interactions happening at their Contact Center.

The easiest way to leverage the vast talent that we have at our Contact Centers is to empower the people who work there every day. We must give them the ability to consistently perform their work so that technology is not a barrier that they must jump over, and so that they can face challenges on a real time basis and experiment new things, make decisions and implement them, measure the results of the changes and, at the end of the day, make the customer more satisfied and fulfill their fundamental mission in their roles as warriors that defend excellence in customer service.

For this reason, and within this perspective, at GoContact we state that our mission is to empower operations, it is to empower people who are part of large teams with the important mission to add value in a continuous manner into all interactions performed at a Contact Center.

Regardless of future technological trends, GoContact will continue extremely focused on helping operations, leveraging the potential of these people on a daily basis because we know, without a doubt, that the future of Contact Centers implies going back to basics, to the origin, to what makes us humans and which is the cooperation and mutual help to improve our societies.

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Rui Marques

CEO at GoContact
GoContact is a Contact Center software solution, based on the Cloud and with a strong operations consulting component. Our strategy, as a manufacturer of technological solutions, is to offer total autonomy and to empower the people who manage the Contact Center operations.