March 14, 2008
Trends in 2008 Contact Center Market
By Prashant Lamba, Phonologies (India) Pvt. Ltd.The call center market is nothing if not dynamic. It offers a constantly changing landscape as customer demands change, industries change and the global economy changes. In order to remain competitive, those organizations operating these call centers must be able to keep up with these changes, if not anticipate them.
IVR applications at many companies haven't changed from their original purpose for screening and steering calls and allowing customers to perform basic transactions. In spite of changes in how customers communicate with companies, many organizations still use IVR applications the same way they did when IVR was first introduced 20 years ago. IT managers should consider using IVR not just for basic call handling, but also for improving customer experience and delivering higher-value interactions. In addition to supporting new functions, upgrading IVRs to standards-based platforms also grants more cost-effective management and improved flexibility. The phone remains a crucial communication channel, and IT managers must consider better ways with which to improve their customers' initial contact with a company.
Hosted contact centers are expected to reach prime time, while mid-market applications will flourish. Market data also suggests that workforce optimization will mushroom as enterprises turn chaos into predictability. As call and contact centers strive to dominate their respective industries, partnership and channel strategies will be shaken up in an effort to initiative internal change.
Organizations are expected to quickly reduce costs and increase agent productivity by adoption Unified Communications solutions, companies will expect that standards within the contact center to remain high.
Those vendors who are trying to sell contact center solutions, like VoiceXML IVR Engines to the large enterprise may find themselves hitting a wall and changing their sales strategy as a focus on new markets becomes imperative.
These vendors must understand how to changing work patterns and the economic climate will affect the industry. The proper identification of key trends in the contact center market will enable these companies to plan their go-to-market strategy.
It is highlighted that VoiceXML and ccXML will likely displace proprietary IVR solutions in the enterprise and service provider markets. Outbound IVR is expected to become a key enabler of proactive communications. Traditional directory assistance is also expected to experience a disruption that will likely change its direction.
Prashant Lamba is the Director of Business Development for Phonologies (India) Pvt. Ltd. and also writes for the Indian Express. Please visit Phonologies website to learn more about Phonologies Products and Services.
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