Brand interaction and Artificial Intelligence are just a couple of topics covered by Tracy Malingo in the following interview with ContactCenterWorld.com. Malingo is the President of Next IT Corporation in the United States and paints a pretty clear picture as to why the integration of advanced technology needs to happen in order for businesses to succeed.
ContactCenterWorld: In your opinion, what has been the greatest challenge the contact center industry has faced in the last 12 months?
Tracy Malingo: Managing an omnichannel customer experience when the number of channels continues to grow has been a huge challenge over the past 12 months. Messaging overtook social media use and mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing both for the first time this year, meaning customers are interacting with technology and brands differently.
ContactCenterWorld: Why do you believe has this been a challenge?
Tracy Malingo: The reality is that there is no single preferred mode of communication or interface for brands to reach customers. This means the contact industry is faced with the challenge of skillfully executing a multi-channel or omnichannel customer experience. From voice, to mobile, to desktop, to call center, consistent quality across the customer journey means brands must be able to seamlessly interact with customers between employees and across channels.
ContactCenterWorld: In 2017, what do you think will be the top priorities in the contact center industry for each of the following: a) Contact Center Directors b) Company Executives c) IT Directors d) Human Resources Directors
Tracy Malingo: a) Delivering a seamless customer experience.
b) Customer Satisfaction.
c) Future-proofing digital infrastructure.
d) Workforce optimization to improve recruitment and training.
ContactCenterWorld: What technology do you believe will have the biggest impact on the industry over the next 12 months?
Tracy Malingo: As the technology advances and new use-cases arise, conversational Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is going to transform the contact-center industry. As communication channels become increasingly distributed across endpoints, the ability to maintain contextual awareness and integrate intelligence across channels will be integral to success. Conversational A.I. will not only create seamless multi-channel customer experiences but also provide deeper analytics that can help brands identify opportunities and further personalize services.
ContactCenterWorld: What contact center technology or other innovation excites you the most right now?
Tracy Malingo: The application of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in the contact center has huge implications for the ways in which organizations engage with customers as well as their own workforce. Extensible A.I. solutions will be instrumental in maintaining the necessary contextual awareness to seamlessly integrate the customer experience. No single agent can quickly evaluate cross-channel customer interactions, but a workforce that is augmented with machine-learning capabilities can have instant access to insights across channels that will power the future of customer experience.
ContactCenterWorld: What has been the most important contact center related conversation topic in 2016 and what are your views on this?
Tracy Malingo: The most important discussions in the contact center industry right now are the ones about how to go beyond AHT, NPS and call abandonment to define new metrics focused on customer resolution and outcomes. It’s critical that call centers adopt an external, customer-centric point of view and measure themselves on outcomes, and they can start doing this by looking at the unstructured, qualitative data from customer feedback. New tools powered by machine learning are helping us to better analyze customer conversations and gather insights about contact center efficacy that traditional metrics are unable to reveal.
ContactCenterWorld: What do you think will be the buzz word / focus for the contact center industry this year?
Tracy Malingo: The biggest buzzwords that will be driving the focus of the contact center this year will be about Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and “Seamless Experience.”
A.I. has driven a great deal of tech innovation across industries and verticals in 2016, and it’s going to play a major role in the call center in 2017. A.I. technologies enable call centers to achieve the kind of omnichannel, seamless experiences that are now required. Being able to consistently reach customers at any point in their journey is going to be imperative to a company’s success. Companies that fail to appreciate this imperative risk being left behind.
ContactCenterWorld: Lastly, what do you think 2017 holds for the industry? (Good or bad and where/how etc.)
Tracy Malingo: As technology continues to drive innovation and the proliferation of user channels and interfaces, we are going to see contact centers struggle to keep up with an increasing number of increasingly sophisticated customer-contact points. 2017 is not just going to be about better customer service, it’s going to be about scaling quality over multiple channels. The most competitive companies will adopt comprehensive Artificial Intelligence strategies that scale intelligence across their organizations.
About Next IT Corporation:
Next IT creates human emulation software that is redefining the communication between people and technology. The company’s core platform, ActiveAgent™, accurately understands and interprets natural language questions and delivers exact results across multiple service channels such as the web, contact center, intranet, and mobile devices.
Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2017
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