Executive Interview : Jodi Beuder, Marketing Manager - Impact Learning Systems on 2013 and 2014
We caught up with Jodi for our annual 1to1 update - a look back at the industry in 2013 and looking ahead to 2014
In your opinion, what has been the greatest challenge the contact center industry has faced in the last 12 months?
Multi-channel customer service was a big buzz word at the beginning of 2013, and it remained in the discourse throughout the year. At the beginning of 2013, companies understood that multi-channel usage was growing in popularity and preference, but implementing the various technologies—seamlessly—remained the "how to" question.
Why do you believe has this been a challenge?
Surveys at the beginning of the year pointed out that there was a 12 percent increase in web self-service, a 24 percent increase in chat, and a 25 percent gain in community forums for customer service in the preceding three years – and these numbers were just beginning to wind up.
Moreover, with 1.1 billion people worldwide using smartphones and over 80% of companies reporting using multi-channels such as email, chat, and social media for customer service, it was clear that 2013 was shaping up to be a year with a multi-channel theme.
In 2013, what do you think will be the top priorities in the contact center industry for:
HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTORS should focus on developing and offering a consistent onboarding of new employees with training opportunities for every other employee throughout the year.
CONTACT CENTER DIRECTORS should focus on training reinforcement for all Contact Center Employees.
COMPANY EXECUTIVES should analyze how the customer is coming in with their questions and ensure that all customer channels are being monitored and managed.
IT DIRECTORS should ensure that Contact Center Employees have the latest technology to ensure their work can be done swiftly and that they have the most information about products, services, and customers right at their fingertips.
What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the industry over the next 12 months?
What impact have "external events" even had on your company, and how have you adapted your business?
Social Media Sites popping up all over the place are allowing customers to share information about products and services everywhere. Companies need to get a good handle on what sites their customers are using.
Do you feel the service you personally get as a customer is better or worse than it was a year ago?
Service is getting better. More and more companies are concerned with their performance and are asking their customers to answer a brief survey after their customer service interaction.
What developments are you planning to launch in 2014 and how will they benefit the industry?
We are offering on-demand training for the global companies who have contact center facilities across the globe. Getting all employees in a classroom at the same time is challenging, in addition to getting them speaking the same service language. Offering training online will bring this all together.
What contact center technology or other innovation excites you the most as an Executive in the contact center industry?
IVR and Predictive Dialing, like from Five9 or inContact
What has been the most important contact center related conversation topic in 2013 (last year) and what are your views on this?
Same answer as number 5: Social media!
What do you think will be the buzz word / focus for the contact center industry this year?
Multi-channel customer service
Lastly, what do you think 2014 holds for the industry? (good or bad)
GOOD. As long as companies continue to evolve with technology and service channels, we are in GOOD standing.
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Published: Friday, January 17, 2014