Cutting contact center costs is an ongoing obstacle, with managers trying to streamline operations while retaining employees. The contact center market has slowed some with the recession (as most sectors under the CRM umbrella have), but there has been a bit growth in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia, where there’s been increasing offshoring of contact centers. That information comes from research firm Datamonitor, where analyst Peter Ryan notes that South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, and Malaysia have had considerable success as offshore locations. But there is a general overhaul afoot in the contact center sector.
For one, the landscape of contact centers is changing, as customer segmentation—that is, separating them into meaningful and cost-efficient categories—becomes increasingly important. From a contact-center software standpoint, it’s interesting to note that while the creation of customer subdivisions is gaining popularity, it is recommended that companies employ one unified contact center solution.
And while offshoring is intensifying in the aforementioned countries, companies looking to keep those services close to home are adopting more automated processes, and even employing home agents—Datamonitor’s survey revealed 44% of contact center managers were considering the home agent solution.
As with other facets of CRM, contact centers are also affected by the rise of social networking, and for now, product managers are mostly just strategizing the incorporation of social media. However, it should be noted that customer support devices benefit the most from social media—unlike other CRM tools, where it can be difficult to find a place for all that unstructured data—and will likely bolster growth in this sector after the recession.