Study Projects Momentum Toward Contact Center Automation

We’ve all been there.

You call a company (perhaps your credit card company or the power, cable or gas company) and encounter an automated system instead of a live operator. The last time you tried to cooperate with this system, you were sucked into an impenetrable labyrinth of menu options, and your problem was not resolved. So this time, you simply refrain from pushing any buttons and listen as the system queries you again and again. Finally, seeming confused, it forwards you to an operator.

According to a recently released report from technology research firm Datamonitor, this scenario might change soon. The organization’s “2007 Trends to Watch: Contact Center Outsourcing and Services” report concluded that technology shifts will be an area of focus for contact center vendors, as end-users rapidly adopt new and sophisticated contact channels.

A contact center can be defined as a facility that houses employees dedicated to using the telephone to help people with their problems or to make telephone calls to try to solicit business, said Peter Ryan, Datamonitor senior analyst for contact center outsourcing and offshoring. Telemarketing accounts for a minority of the activity here — most of the traffic is inbound: people calling for tech support or to register complaints, to ask questions, to process a purchase, etc.

“We’re saying there’s going to be growth in self-service technology,” Ryan said. “So, if you’ve called up an airline to find out when your flight’s going to be taking off or…

Daniel Margolis


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