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Talkin' Bout a Revolution: What's Ahead for the Contact Center of 2014?

It’s hard to believe that the end of 2013 is looming down upon us. We are in the final stretch of what can arguably be called a monumental year of the contact center. In fact, some are calling it a revolution!  In less than 2 weeks ICMI and many other thought leaders will be joined together at Salesforce’s Dreamforce event in San Francisco. JOIN THE CUSTOMER COMPANY REVOLUTION screams the tagline. SELL. SERVICE. MARKET. SUCCEED.

“Don't you know
They're talkin' bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don't you know
They're talkin' about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper” – Tracy Chapman: Talkin’ Bout a Revolution

Something tells me that the whisper of change in the contact center is going to be more like the roar of the customer in the upcoming year.

The Complexity of the Connected Customer Experience

“Sell, service, market, succeed”, says Salesforce. What’s so unique and powerful about this? It simply signifies the fact that all departments finally have an equal seat at the customer experience table. For the first time that I can remember, the contact center is truly partnered with marketing, sales, product and technology in their ownership of the customer experience. But by no means does this make it easy. In fact, the connected customer experience is more complex than ever before.

We know from our research that the emerging channels are considered competitive differentiators for most organizations, but that there are still real challenges holding many back from implementation.

We hear that chat and other mobile-friendly channels are being heavily considered and tested within contact centers of all sizes.

And we as a community acknowledge that we are compounding the difficult jobs of our contact center agents every time we add a new channel or adopt a new piece of technology.

And that is why it is so vital to stop and reflect back at what we’ve learned in 2013, listen to what our peers and experts are saying, and plan accordingly for 2014 and beyond.

We Are All Saying the Same Thing


The good news is, we are all saying the same thing and sharing in similar challenges. And so, ICMI is bringing together research, case studies, and training one last time this year to help prepare contact center leaders for the excitement ahead.

The ICMI team (Brad Cleveland, Justin Robbins, and myself) will be presenting five Service tracks at Dreamforce:

  • 6 Best Practices for Building the Multi-Channel Contact Center
  • Turning Big Data Into Actionable Results
  • How Your Small Contact Center Can Produce Big Results
  • 4 Key Steps to Getting Started in Mobile Customer Support
  • Expert Panel: ICMI's Top Tips for Delivering Service Excellence – hosted by Bob Furniss of Bluewolf

“Don't you know
You better run, run, run...
Oh I said you better
Run, run, run...
Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin' bout a revolution”

More information about recent ICMI research can be found here:

The Multichannel Agent: A 2014 Contact Center Roadmap Research Report and Best Practices Guide

Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center: Leveraging the Emerging Channels Research Report and Best Practices Guide

A Mobile Customer Service Strategy: The Contact Center, the Agent, and the Challenges of Implementation Report