The modern contact center is being impacted by many IT trends, including unified communications and cloud computing. A recent study conducted by market research firm IDC indicated that customer relationship management applications are also reshaping contact centers.
IDC said the global CRM applications market experienced slower revenue growth during the second half of 2011 compared to the first half, but the overall industry grew year over year by 11.2 percent. The organization studied marketing automation, customer service and sales automation apps, finding that all three of these platforms generated double-digit revenue growth in 2011. Contact center apps experienced single-digit profit increases during this same period.
"The CRM applications market is poised on the threshold of a transformation with legacy installations being transformed into socially-aware applications environments," noted IDC program vice president Mary Wardley. "Early movement has been observed for the last several years. An influx of new social vendors and acquisitions of social CRM applications providers by established vendors augmenting their offerings for rapid market entry is invigorating the market. The activity is expected to continue through 2012 and is bringing net-new revenue to the space."
Contact centers also headed toward social
DestinationCRM.com recently reported that social media, in addition to the cloud, unified communications, mobility and home-based agents, is expected to have a profound impact on the evolution of contact centers.
The news source reported that Dave Kellogg, a senior vice president of a leading cloud computing vendor, said social media is currently the least used technology in modern contact centers. However, usage is expected to grow from 18.6 percent this year to almost 23 percent in 2013.
Organizations not using social media in their contact centers may watch as their competitors pass them by. Michael Biondo, customer operations vice president of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, asserted that businesses with a social presence should engage their audience and provide them with a clear call to action, or CTA. This can be achieved through promoting a special offer to users or asking them to fill out a survey, DestinationCRM reported.
Biondo also noted that companies that do not offer a CTA are missing out on the opportunity provided by social interactions. A questionnaire, for example, yields nine times greater engagement among users than if businesses did not use this kind of outreach, the news source reported.