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6 Characteristics Your Contact Center Should Have in 2018 - Talkdesk - Blog

6 Characteristics Your Contact Center Should Have in 2018

Let’s face it: today’s customers are savvier and more mobile than ever. They have probably already used your digital self-service solution to find answers to common questions, so if they are calling your contact center, it means they have relatively complex issues.

However, if your 2018 contact center is treating incoming customer conversations as blank slates, you are ignoring the rich context that could make this call an opportunity to create loyalty. These customers live in a world of instant interactions, so they don’t have a lot of patience for even minor waiting times or duplicative requests for information. In fact, a customer’s experience with support can make or break a company’s chance at repeat business: three out of every five Americans would try a new brand or company for a better service experience. If you are using a legacy contact center, it may be holding you back from providing the kind of customer support that would make a customer stay loyal.

To meet the increased demand for top-notch service and get an edge on the competition in 2018, more than 80% of contact center executives have made it their top investment priority to improve their future customer experiences. For many of the older contact center providers, their legacy infrastructure has proven too expensive to maintain, with huge investments to upgrade, and too slow to adapt to evolving technology and customer needs. While newer, digital-first companies are adopting cloud contact centers, which allow for seamless integration between web and mobile experiences, older companies are stuck with the painful option of either paying millions of dollars to upgrade and maintain outdated software or doing nothing and sacrificing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. When evaluating contact center options, consider these six specific characteristics a contact center should have for 2018 and beyond:

#1: Intelligent routing that makes customer experiences effortless

The majority of today’s customers are digital first and prefer to handle simple issues with self-service technologies. When customers call your contact center, their issues are likely urgent or complex. Due to the high emotional element of these calls, it is essential to provide a smooth and effortless customer service journey to improve CSAT. Unfortunately, many legacy voice vendors think “digital first” means grafting digital channels onto their legacy voice solutions (voice solutions that were originally designed as an extension to their private branch exchange (PBX) solution). The call routing in legacy systems is still designed for the PSTN era has no call context other than IVR information. You need a next-generation solution that incorporates context from a customer’s other interactions. Using this complete context in your routing is a win-win for your company and your customers. Customer-centric metrics like first call resolution, handle time and CSAT will improve while agent effort will decrease and efficiency will increase.

#2: Agents who have an end-to-end view of the customer journey

To address the complex issues coming into your contact centers, your agents need an end-to-end view of a customer’s journey as soon as they pick up the phone. In a legacy contact center, agents are probably just seeing the information that customers entered in IVR: things like account number and type of issue. Imagine how much better your customer service would be if agents could view a timeline of past purchases and service interactions as well as recent context about activities on a website, mobile app, chat, email and social media. This real-time contextual information is a superpower that generates business value from better service, higher retention and improved case handling.

#3: AI-empowered agents who use customer insights to provide better service

Do you know what happens with interaction data in your contact center? Are you able to mine that information to figure out a customer’s intent, sentiment and other insights? Information like this can help your company drive product development or clarify the training needs of your agents. Will your agents benefit from an always-on AI assistant that can proactively find answers to your customer questions? How is AI helping make better routing decisions? This is the future of the contact center and we believe that AI working together with agents will define the next level of customer service.

#4: Executives who run all of their contact centers across the globe in one logical system

Legacy contact center solutions were designed before Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) was developed. This traditional infrastructure forced businesses to run separate contact center instances in different regions or countries and tie them together with pre-routing. With CPaaS, the public switched telephone network (PSTN) is stitched into one global super telecom network. Modern platforms like Talkdesk are designed from the ground up to give you one singular, global contact center that allows you to simplify routing and save money by not having to replicate your infrastructure in each individual contact center location.

#5: Business strategy that drives decisions with a cloud-native technology stack

The only thing consistent about the technology landscape is that it is constantly changing. Your contact center should have the agility to innovate according to your business needs. Unfortunately, if you are working off a rigid infrastructure, you are probably spending most of your budget and resources around maintenance and upgrades instead of innovation. Unlike legacy vendors, modern contact center platforms are born in cloud and have cloud-native architectures, microservices, DevOps and agile development practices. Break away from costly, disruptive and infrequent legacy upgrades and innovate at the pace you choose with an agile, cloud-native contact center stack. You’ll be able to better serve your customers and your business partners.

#6: Infrastructure that supports your company’s digital transformation

If your company hasn’t begun the digital transformation, it’s time to start. If your digital data is stored on a CRM system like Salesforce, you need a contact center that allows your agents to handle calls through the CRM to make sure that information is tracked. Legacy solutions that were designed before the modern CRM don’t have decent APIs and can’t handle this type of activity.

Mixing a legacy contact center with a modern CRM system is like mixing water with oil – no matter how hard you try, they don’t integrate. Make sure your contact center integrates with your CRM, it’ll save your agents a lot of time and your customers a lot of frustration.

Learn more by registering for our webinar on January 24th by clicking the button below:

Alison Jarris

Alison is a content marketing manager at Talkdesk. In addition to blogging and copy editing at Talkdesk, she practices investigative journalism at the San Francisco Writer's Grotto and is the Communications Director for the LONA Project.


Publish Date: January 12, 2018 5:00 AM

2021 Buyers Guide Workforce Management


Alvaria Workforce
Alvaria Workforce (formerly Aspect Workforce Management) is a high-performance contact center software solution that provides the forecasting, planning, scheduling, employee self-service and real-time agent tracking to ensure that all agents and supervisors are productive, engaged in their work and delivering an exceptional customer experience.


Noble ShiftTrack WFM
Maximize the efficiency of your contact center and meet/exceed customer expectations with workforce engagement tools that help you accurately forecast workloads, match the right resources to your needs and keep agents motivated. More than just scheduling agents and tracking shifts, Noble’s ShiftTrack WEM solutions optimize labor costs, manage capacity more effectively and improve service levels.


Calabrio ONE
Calabrio ONE offers contact centres the complete toolset to unlock the tremendous value buried within customer interaction data and use it to transform the entire business. One seamless solution combines a fully integrated workforce optimization suite with powerful voice-of-the-customer analytics tools deployed—in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid environment.

Capture every customer interaction across all channels. Extract predictive and prescriptive insights. Elevate customer experiences, improve employee engagement and increase operational efficiency. Then, extend customer-centric strategies across the business to accelerate sales, drive innovation and move your business forward.

eGain Corporation

eGain Solve
Rated #1 by analysts and trusted by some of the biggest brands in the world, eGain Solve helps businesses design and deliver smart, connected customer journeys across social, mobile, web, and contact centers. You can sell smarter, serve better, and know more.


Eleveo WFM
Eleveo WFM was designed to simplify scheduling, forecasting and adherence for commercial contact centers with 500 agents or less. The product is easy to use for supervisors who are not WFM experts, but provides value for scheduling, shift changes, schedule adherence and supports multi-channel and multi-skill requirements. Eleveo WFM was built using open source, cloud technologies but can be installed on premise, in a hybrid environment or hosted for you in AWS.

ethosIQ, LLC

BPO Optimizer
ethosIQ’s Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) Optimizer allows clients to manage their vendor contact center resources without requiring manual intervention through our manufacture-agnostic data collector processes. ethosIQ collects schedule and exception data, based on your desired parameters. Collection of data is transparent and doesn’t require intervention from either you or your vendor resource. You know your needs, and now you can manage those needs effectively, efficiently and effortlessly, using ethosIQ’s BPO Optimizer!

Lieber & Associates

Technology Consulting Services
Lieber & Associates provides consulting services to select, contract for, test, implement, and optimize workforce management systems. It's technology consultants have worked with all major systems and many smaller ones. Counsel is informed by several decades of WFM experience.

MFE International

Agyletime Cloud Workforce Management
Agyletime is an enterprise grade true Cloud WFM and t is channel agnostic .
Its ease to Use , easier onboarding, forecasting and better scheduling.
You can integrate to CRMs such as SFDC, Zendesk, ServiceNow and others and to telephony systems such as AVAYA, CISCO, Genesys and other cloud telephony systems ; to independent Chat systems to aggregate data for WFM omnichannel forecasting, scheduling, optimisation and reporting.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Perfor...
(read more)


Track staff performance, capture meaningful feedback and deliver quality customer experiences using Phonestat. Our cloud based solution allows you to create simple scorecards to provide instant feedback and training to your staff.

There are powerful integrations to source interactions from anywhere and an open API to allow you to build your own.


VADS Workforce Management
VADS Workforme Magaement is a smart tools that gives connectivity to the workers while working remotely. An intelligent workforce management system that aims to improve operation efficiency with the end goal to provide first.

QPC Ltd.

QPC WFM - Calabrio/Teleopti Specialism
QPC has a long and successful history of delivering tried and tested innovative workforce management systems, and the training and consultancy needed to ensure organisations can leverage the customer service and operational efficiency benefits workforce management principles and automated workforce management systems can deliver.

View more from Talkdesk

Recent Blog Posts:
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7 Key Challenges That Hinder Agent PerformanceMarch 2, 2018 5:00 AM
5 Reasons to Ditch Your On-Prem Call Center in 2018February 26, 2018 5:00 AM
Call for Stories: 101 Customer Stories Contest is Open!February 21, 2018 5:00 AM
A Cheat Sheet for Innovative Contact Center MetricsFebruary 14, 2018 5:00 AM
7 Types of Phone Calls Where You Should Screen ShareFebruary 13, 2018 5:00 AM
Don’t Put Contact Center Implementation on HoldFebruary 8, 2018 5:00 AM
Apply Today to Speak at Opentalk 2018February 6, 2018 5:00 AM
Contact Center Agent Performance: No Room for SacrificesFebruary 2, 2018 5:00 AM

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