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Article : Top Five Customer Service Predictions for 2021

#contactcenterworld, @pega

Author: Jeff Nicholson, Global Head of CRM, Pegasystems

A lot of things changed in 2020 – to say the least. When it comes to customer service, the pandemic impacted both the demand for service and how that service is delivered altogether. Service teams became highly distributed, no longer working within the walls of a contact center. And in many sectors, service volumes went through the roof. Some might say none of this could have been predicted. But here’s a look at several key predictions for customer service in 2021:

  1. Most businesses will be fooled once, but not twice. When COVID-19 hit, most businesses were caught flat-footed, without the infrastructure to support the surge in customer queries. Organizations were forced to pivot quickly, and many doubled down on digital solutions such as intelligent virtual assistants and scalable Cloud technology in order to transition. In fact, recent research from Futurum and Pega found that customer experience is the number one driver of digital transformation. Having learned the hard way, businesses will continue to invest in digital strategies and agile solutions in 2021 to better prepare them to take on any future disruptions or uncertainties.

  2. Agent populations will largely remain distributed. In 2020, most office-based agents were compelled to quickly adjust to new distributed working arrangements. Today, much of this population remains remote. Many agents are now realizing they can perform the majority of their duties at relatively comparable levels to before, particularly those high-volume, straightforward queries that don’t require physical team collaboration. Businesses are eyeing the real cost savings that could be had by reducing (and in some cases, eliminating) the need for pricey office space in 2021 and beyond. To accommodate this new digital workforce, businesses will continue to invest in collaboration tools to keep teams aligned and connected - even when they aren’t sitting shoulder to shoulder.

  3. A new category autonomous service will emerge. With Millennials and rising Gen-Zers increasing their buying power, true autonomous service - when live agents aren’t required to achieve resolutions - will become a reality. More and more, younger customers prefer to interact digitally with businesses instead of having actual conversations with a live person. To meet this demand, businesses will improve their offering by organizing their customer service efforts around customer journeys rather than channels. They will focus on hyperautomation – the convergence of technologies like artificial intelligence, Intelligent Virtual Assistants, machine learning, and robotic process automation – to help volumes of customers resolve their issues faster and more easily, in many cases without a live agent. Additional research by Pega, conducted by iResearch, found more than half (61%) see hyperautomation helping their business improve workflow and case management in the next five years. In the near-term, new proactive and preemptive service strategies will start to emerge that autonomously sense customers in need, and automatically reach out to resolve their issue, often before the customer even knows there is one. Live customer service interactions won’t disappear in 2021, but they will begin to be reserved for more complex queries.

  4. Data privacy has been on the back burner but will heat up again. A year ago, businesses were scrambling to prepare for the data privacy tsunami expected as a result of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which followed in the footsteps of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and became law on Jan. 1, 2020. When COVID hit, data privacy took a backseat to the pandemic, and Americans were lulled into a false sense of complacency around this issue. But by the end of 2021, data privacy will become a priority again and organizations will need to be ready.

  5. Extended reality (XR) could begin to open up new customer service possibilities. While new technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality continue to advance, they’re still not seriously viable customer service tools. According to Pega’s recent study, more than half (52%) of global business leaders think Extended Reality (XR) will be a competitive differentiator within the next five years, while more than a quarter (30%) believe it will become essential to customer engagement. Virtual reality is already being used in some remote business settings today. However, XR, and its ability to simulate physical states of being, may not be ready for widespread short-term adoption in 2021. Still, with a growing number of end-users working remotely and expecting a personalized experience, we’re sure to see more and more organizations heading down the XR route than ever before.

And a final semi-related "bonus" prediction: People will finally, finally (oh, please) stop saying "the new normal." Here’s to improved experience – for customers and service teams alike – in 2021.

#contactcenterworld, @pega

About Jeff Nicholson:
Jeff Nicholson is the Global Head of CRM for Pegasystems, where he leads the company’s CRM market vision and strategy. A recognized customer engagement thought leader, Jeff is a frequent presenter at CRM industry events across the globe on subjects including consumer engagement, customer journey, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, and customer data protection legislation. His viewpoints and opinions have been featured in numerous publications and outlets including AdAge, ChiefMarketer, CMSwire, CustomerThink, Forbes, Mediapost and The Economist.

About Pegasystems:
Company LogoPegasystems Inc. (NASDAQ: PEGA) provides software to automate complex, changing business processes. Pegasystems, a provider of unified process and rules technology, gives business people and IT departments the ability to use best processes across the enterprise and outperform their competition.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Make Training Fun

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, March 12, 2021

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2023 Buyers Guide Recording

Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.


ASC Recording Insights and neo
ASC Recording Insights guarantees legally compliant recording and analysis of all communication channels in Microsoft Teams - including audio calls (internal and external calls), chat conversations and video meetings.

neo Recording, QM & Analytics address all enterprises with recording needs, especially contact centers. The content of communication becomes accessible and critical information and trends are revealed, providing real-time business intelligence for immediate management action.


Microsoft Teams Cloud Recording Service
Geomant offers a fully managed recording service for those organisations who need to address compliance or quality management while working on Teams. The Service utilises Verint’s market leading recording technology and is hosted by Geomant in Microsoft Azure. Our managed service approach is unique in that it allows organisations to benefit from advanced recording features, all while being free from any technical infrastructure or maintenance requirements that come with a traditional on-premises set up.

Lieber & Associates

Recording System Consulting
L&A provides vendor-independent consulting services to select, contract for, test, and implement contact center recording systems. The firm's consultants specialize in contact center I.T. and have several decades of experience each with all major and many smaller makers of phone and call recording systems.

MiaRec, Inc.

MiaRec Call Recording
MiaRec's compliant, secure, and reliable Call Recording software is the foundation of our Customer & Workforce Engagement Platform.. MiaRec Call Recording seamlessly integrates with MiaRec Agent Evaluation & Scoring, Live Monitoring, Voice Analytics, Screen Capture, and Advanced Reporting to provide a comprehensive solution you can trust.


Numonix's IXCloud is one of the first fully managed compliance recording solutions for Microsoft Teams. IXCloud securely records, stores and analyzes interactions in the cloud without physical or virtual servers. As a fully managed Azure-based, Software-as-a-Service cloud interaction recording solution, IXCloud takes interaction capture into the future. It enables instant and elastic scalability to support business growth and provides the necessary tools to enhance business performance while maintaining compliance. IXCloud redefines versatility with its OpenAPI framework that enables application development. Companies and third-party developers benefit from IXCloud native capture technology, whether it be integrating with internal systems or building a third-party application.

Nuxiba Technologies

Enterprise recording management for storage, retrieval, playback, and monitoring communications throughout your contact center.

Record screen activity and calls across agent workstations, measure and monitor quality levels across all campaigns and analyze recordings to capture first-hand customer data and requirements.

Easly access all recordings and critical information to provide improved customer experience, sales, and productivity!


Oreka TR
Oreka TR total recorder includes all of the call recording capabilities you will need, at about half the cost of competing for call recorder solutions, including screen recording, mobile phone recording, live monitoring, on-demand recording, multi-tenancy, multi-site recording, audit trail, call exporting, retention management, auto-tagging (for speech analytics and phrase spotting) and so much more.

PCS Software

Call recording solution fully integrate to all main pbx solutions.

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS enables organizations to adhere to all compliances with its inbuilt call recording software and also has an option for screen recording. With centralized repository of all voice logs, its easy to maintain & retrieve all voice files and have a central control in case of multiple branches set up.

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