Editor's note

As technologies grow more sophisticated and plentiful, the meeting areas where customers connect with businesses have evolved as well -- from simple call centers to multidimensional contact centers to all-encompassing customer experience centers under the umbrella of customer service.

No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted and accelerated by several years corporate infrastructure and workforce planning for the contact center of the future. The once unthinkable scenario of contact center agents working almost exclusively from their homes became the norm and has since manifested into the reality of remote and hybrid workforces.

Cloud-based software and hyper-converged services are simplifying and unifying what could have been fractured workflows if businesses continued to operate their contact centers totally on premises. Artificial intelligence and advanced analytics are enabling businesses and their contact centers of all shapes and sizes to process and monetize multitudes of customer data collected from multiple channels of communication. All these technologies support initiatives to improve agent performance and scheduling, smooth workflows, upgrade call routing capabilities, shorten handle times, personalize interactions with customers and improve ROI.

This essential guide examines how AI, analytics, natural language processing, cloud-based tools and workforce management software empower large enterprises and SMBs to meet the heightened expectations of their customers, shape the future of their contact centers and transform them from cost centers into profit centers.

1Technologies transform contact centers into a multidimensional force

Contact centers are constantly inundated with inquiries of all sorts, ranging from the simple to the complex. Technologies like AI, NLP, advanced analytics and the cloud help monitor, measure, analyze, personalize and monetize customer engagements with contact center agents over multiple channels of communication.

2Agent skills, performance and productivity are key challenges

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of contact center agents working almost exclusively from their homes wasn't even considered a remote possibility. But hybrid and remote workforces are the new reality confronting many contact centers as they consolidate workflows, unify communications, measure agent performance, personalize customer engagements and maximize ROI.