As we step into a new year, the customer experience sector is gearing up for a transformative 12 months. It seems as though we talk about that every year – but I genuinely believe 2024 will finally live up to those expectations.
There’s been plenty of talking points in 2023; with the explosion of generative AI of course being the main one. However, this year we will see some real change in the industry.
I’ve pulled out some trends that I expect to see coming to the fore over the next 12 months, and I’d be eager to hear your thoughts if you agree or disagree – or even have a different viewpoint entirely. Indeed, we’ll be talking about many of these trends – and more – at our upcoming Disrupt events in both London and Madrid next year.
Experimentation Takes Centre Stage
The contact centre industry will become a hotbed of experimentation.
The rapid evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – and specifically generative AI – is set to drive organisations to execute projects faster and embrace more of a ‘trial-and-error’ approach. Next year will be the year of executing projects faster, and generative AI will be a major player here. Within a matter of days, we will very quickly start to show value from generative AI-based projects. With that, I think you’ll see a lot of Proof-of-Concept projects that very quickly become real, tangible propositions which are then baked into broader CX strategies, for example within the likes of a Salesforce or Genesys-based contact centre infrastructure.
Another way to look at it is this. Every time an agent touches a keyboard, there’s an opportunity for automation. Businesses will be on the lookout for processes that can be streamlined and improved through AI, from chatbots handling routine queries to predictive analytics guiding decision-making.
The experimentation mindset will not only enhance efficiency but also elevate CX. Contact centres will increasingly use AI-driven tools to personalise interactions, anticipate customer needs, and resolve issues swiftly. As a result, customers will enjoy faster, more tailored support, and companies will benefit from reduced operational costs.
The Influence of Hyperscalers Will Persist
Hyperscale cloud providers will continue to be a significant force in the contact centre industry, particularly in the realm of data. In 2024, there will be a continued focus on structuring and extracting valuable insights from the ever-expanding pool of unstructured data. With the advancements in data analytics and AI, organisations are better equipped to harness this data goldmine.
By leveraging the insights buried within unstructured data, contact centres can enhance their understanding of customer preferences, pain points, and trends. This knowledge empowers them to offer more personalised and proactive customer service, thereby elevating the overall customer experience. The partnership between hyperscalers and contact centres will be crucial in unlocking the full potential of this data-driven transformation.
Cloud CCaaS Migrations Will Continue to Slow – But Not Forever
While the cloud has been a buzzword in the contact centre industry for some time, we’re witnessing a slowdown in Cloud Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) migrations which I think will continue in 2024. Currently, only 25% of the market has made the transition to the cloud, primarily consisting of organisations with less sophisticated requirements.
This deceleration can be attributed to cost pressures and a cautious approach to large-scale digital transformation projects as well as a recalibration of priorities as organisations assess investments in AI. However, this pause is not indicative of a permanent shift away from the cloud. On the contrary, cloud capabilities are continually improving, making it an attractive option for contact centres seeking scalability, flexibility, and resilience.
Vendors, recognising the enduring demand for cloud solutions, are enhancing their cloud offerings, further bridging the gap between on-premise and cloud-based systems. As cost concerns ease and cloud capabilities continue to evolve, a resurgence in cloud CCaaS migrations is anticipated.
In conclusion, 2024 promises to be a year of significant transformation and innovation in the contact centre and customer experience industries. Embracing experimentation, harnessing data insights, and navigating the evolving cloud landscape will be key to staying competitive and delivering exceptional customer service.
As organisations adapt to these trends, customers can look forward to more personalised, efficient, and responsive interactions with contact centres in the years to come – with generative AI at the forefront of all things good in our industry!
About the Author
Stuart Dorman is Chief Innovation Officer at Sabio Group.
Sabio Group is a global digital customer experience (CX) transformation specialist with major operations in the UK (England and Scotland), Spain, France, Netherlands, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and India.
The Group, which includes ‘makepositive’, delivers solutions and services that seamlessly combine digital and human interactions to support exceptional customer experiences.
Through its own technology, and that of world-class technology leaders such as Avaya, Genesys, Verint, Twilio, Google, Amazon and Salesforce, Sabio helps organisations optimise their customer journeys by making better decisions across their multiple contact channels.
The Group works with major brands worldwide, including Aegon, AXA Assistance, Bankia, BBVA, BGL, Caixabank, DHL, loveholidays, Marks & Spencer, Rentokil, Essent, GovTech, HomeServe, Sainsbury’s Argos, Telefónica, Think Money and Transcom Worldwide.