This is DMG Consulting's inaugural report on the Future Contact Center Outlook, 2025 - 2040. This Report presents a long-term 5- to 20-year vision for the AI-enabled contact center of the future and includes projections that lay out the actions required for organizations to achieve the future state. The Report is the first and only one of its kind, with comprehensive and detailed predictions for contact centers, which are growing in importance. The 75 projections set forth in the Report address almost every aspect of contact center activity and will also impact many other operating departments, as delivering an outstanding customer experience (CX) cost effectively is a responsibility that must be shared across the enterprise.
Enterprises are looking to the future and are trying to ensure their viability in a rapidly changing world of technology and automation. The digital transformation taking place in many organizations throughout the world is changing the way business is conducted. Companies are making long-overdue improvements to their technology and pushing forward with innovative uses for automation throughout the enterprise.
The drivers of automation initiatives are the current generation of workers and customers: Millennials and Generation Z'ers. They are intolerant of poor service and quick to share their opinions when companies disappoint them. Millennials came of age in an era of mobile technology, and Gen Z'ers take it as a given that they can conduct most, if not all, of their business transactions on their mobile devices. Millennials and Gen Z'ers are comfortable communicating in many digital channels, including chat, short message service (SMS) and social media. They also show a preference for self-service, and companies must address this technologically savvy generation's need to interact when they want, where they want and how they want. Customers will patronize the businesses that deliver consistently outstanding and personalized experiences, putting companies at risk if they do not at least keep up with the changing market dynamics and servicing technology.
Businesses rely heavily on their service departments, which are most often the “face” of a company to its customers. Until recently, the service function was considered a cost center that, by necessity, had to be borne. During the last decade, executives have been slowly coming around to the idea that contact centers and other service activities are of strategic value and worthy of investment. But the test is in how much companies are willing to invest in these departments, and change, which has been slow over the past 40 years, is picking up great momentum due to increased support from the executive suite.
The focus of much of the investment in service today is artificial intelligence (AI) and automation initiatives. These concepts have been in the market for years, but AI is actually still in its infancy, although the AI tools available today are substantially better than the those of the past. There have also been major improvements in processing power and the availability of massive data repositories for AI tools to draw on for their “knowledge.” As AI and new automation tools enter the market, they are going to drive a wave of change in how service is perceived and delivered by companies. The process of change, combined with the digital transformation, will improve the customer journey and enhance the customer and agent experience while reducing costs. Companies will have a better understanding of who their customers are and, as a result, will be able to personalize each customer's journey.
The Report focuses on three pillars of contact center technology: infrastructure, customer relationship management (CRM) and workforce optimization (WFO), as well as many of the systems and applications that fall into these categories. It also addresses the need for enterprises to improve productivity and explains how to better engage the workforce.
The target audience of the Report are enterprise, CX and contact center leaders responsible for planning the future of the customer service/contact center department; this includes customer experience officers, contact center executives and management, chief operating officers, chief marketing officers, chief strategy officers, the head of digital transformation, the AI leadership, the head of automation, and other decision-makers. The Report provides projections and guidance that will help these business leaders deliver on the promise of automation and innovation to achieve the vision of the contact center of the future.
Key Elements of this Report:
- The business argument that supports the need for the projected changes in contact centers
- A review of the operating assumptions that underly the guidelines for the predictions in this Report
- Review of the current state of contact center technology and a 20-year vision for its future
- Detailed projections that address the majority of systems and applications used in contact centers, and the actions that will enable companies to build an AI-enabled contact center of the future
- Projections broken down into four main sections: strategy, platform and architecture, artificial intelligence and analytics, and productivity; each projection includes a time frame and the probability that it will occur
- An explanation of each of the four major technology sections, its impact on contact centers, and the factors that enterprises and vendors should take into consideration about each innovation
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Executive Summary
III. AI and Contact Centers: The Vision
IV. Operating Assumptions for the Projections
V. Contact Center and Customer Service Projections
- A. Strategy Projections
- A.1. Customer Experience
- A.2. Digital Transformation
- A.3. Workforce
- B. Platform and Architecture
- B.1. Technology
- B.2. Cloud
- B.3. Self-Service
- B.4. Automation/RPA
- B.5. Social Media
- B.6. Recording
- C. Artificial Intelligence and Analytics
- C.1. AI
- C.2. Predictive Analytics
- C.3. Interaction Analytics
- C.4. Customer Journey Analytics
- C.5. Contact Center Performance Management
- D. Productivity
- D.1. Customer Relationship Management
- D.2. Knowledge Management
- D.3. Workforce Optimization
- D.4. Quality Management
- D.5. Workforce Management
- D.6. Voice of the Customer/Surveying