By John Egan
Virtual and seamless. Those are two of the key trends Joe Laskowski is spotting when it comes to technology for call centers.
“The call center of the future is efficient, adaptable and completely technology-driven. Agents will be able to seamlessly connect while sitting anywhere in the world,” says Laskowski, managing partner and chief marketing officer of Higher Ed Growth, which provides lead generation technology and services for colleges and universities.
A post on the website of Nearshore Americas, which tracks IT outsourcing, predicts that in the next several years, the rise of the virtual call center agent will “very likely” result in one-third of all agents for call centers working from home. Indeed, FlexJobs, a service that promotes jobs with flexible work schedules, recently named four companies that employ call center agents – LiveOps, TeleTech, Working Solutions and Sutherland Global Services – among the top 10 employers offering work-from-home jobs in 2017.
At LeadsCon Las Vegas, Laskowski will give an overview of technology for call centers in a presentation titled “Call Center Technology: How to Stay Compliant and Manage Shrinking Margins.”
From where he sits, Laskowski detects growing interest in all-in-one technology for call centers.
“Centers are looking to streamline their process by connecting everything from the dialer to the agent portal to reporting in one solution,” he says. “We are also seeing a sense of urgency for compliance, which means centers need better customization and tracking options.”
TCN, a provider of call center technology, concurs with Laskowski. The company says more operators of call centers are seeking a single technology platform rather than “a slew of stand-alone tools.”
Laskowski says various technology advances are enabling call centers to minimize call times, boost revenue and invest more money in things like higher-quality data.
One of the technology innovations that most intrigues Laskowski is “call mining,” which he says is “advancing rapidly as an effective method for recognizing issues with agent phone calls.”
Call-mining software identifies certain words and phrases – such as “billing” or “I don’t know” – that a call center plugs into a keyword list, according to CallFinder, a provider of cloud-based speech analytics.
“Through call mining, call centers are able to flag calls with quality issues and rectify them quickly – something that will continue to be essential for ensuring compliance,” Laskowski says. “We anticipate this technology evolving to allow agents to be monitored and coached in real time.”
No matter what kind of technology a call center uses, it must team up with technology partners that understand the ever-evolving challenges facing call centers and know how to tackle those challenges, Laskowski says.
“Be prepared for the expense and time needed to make a seamless transition, but also know that the long-term benefits of process efficiency and reduced costs are priceless,” he says. “Don’t get left behind.”
Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2017.