With so many applications and personal devices used by millions of people, it stands to reason that there is a vast amount of useful information floating around through cyberspace at any given time. The development of big data analytics has broken new ground for companies, namely those that operate contact centers. Businesses are able to learn more about how customers use their products and services, and with new advances in technology it is even possible to provide and adjust assistance efforts in real time, allowing for a greater likelihood that queries can be resolved upon initial contact.
According to Weatherhead University professor Gary King, big data holds much greater potential than it has already proven itself capable of. The only place to go from here is up, and new developments are already beginning to dictate how the future will unfold. The Internet of Things, for one, is a concept implying that many household and workplace devices that were once purely analog are being outfitted for the digital world and brought online. This will allow more useable data to be accessed and utilized in new and productive ways. Air conditioning systems, for example, will be controlled by smartphones and tablets and send warnings when repair will soon be required.
While daily convenience will be undoubtedly benefited by the Internet of Things, businesses will be able to leverage this influx of information to enhance their customer service efforts. According to Contact Center Analytics Review contributor Tracey Schelmetic, data collected from machines and fed through call center software can streamline help requests by informing the representative of the problem in terms they can understand. When the customer is tasked with attempting to explain what the nature of the issue, a lack of comprehension on the subject matter might prevent the proper expression of it. If the caller was able to determine exactly what was wrong, chances are they would already have the expertise required to fix it.
Conversely, the kind of data supplied by the Internet of Things can also allow contact centers to be more proactive in addition to improving reaction times. Notice of potential device failures can be automatically sent to help services, where representatives will be able to reach out to customers before they are even aware of a problem.
There is so much untapped opportunity for contact centers in today's digital climate. Big data has made – and will continue to make – it possible for businesses to learn more and alter their daily practices in meaningful ways. Call centers are in the process of undergoing a massive sea change, and it will be critical to examine how to best apply these solutions within the enterprise help desk.
Internet Of Things, Contact Center Are Natural Allies
The process of transition is still just that – a transition. But with the rate things are moving and how new technology is being implemented, Schelmetic believes that "the contact center of 2020 may look very different than it does today." The Internet of Things, she said, may end up finding its primary home within call centers, with an innumerable amount of data being filtered and utilized. This will allow companies to truly have a finger on the pulse not only for the needs of their customers, but also in regard to how they run their own operations. Workflows can be adjusted and resources can be allocated according to information processed through the contact center.
Schelmetic feels that big data and the Internet of Things can provide especially large possibilities for virtual call centers. This shift is indicative of an evolving relationship with technology. As more advancements are made, a greater trust is instilled, making things like remote workplaces more possible and viable than in previous years.
"Agents are spread over more locations, sometimes even working from home, and the contact center has become more of an idea today than a place," she said. "It's an idea that is tied together by integrated technologies that allow functions to happen across networks, across geographic locations and across communications channels." By adding IoT-connected devices to this equation, call centers can achieve a new level of functionality.