ADEC Arise's Managing Director, Joe Cahalane, attended the CCMA's Annual Conference at the end of May. He's written about the discussions at the event, and some of the key themes that are challenging customer service leaders across the industry.
Attending the CCMA Annual Conference at the end of May, there was a clear shift from some of the more traditional discussion themes we’ve seen at similar events in the past. The title itself ‘Embracing a new era of CX and Employee Engagement’ shows how the Customer Contact landscape itself is changing. The increasing focus on employee engagement demonstrates the growing challenge the wider industry is facing in recruiting the right talent, as well as representing the growing demands on agents, as the level of work and issues being completed becomes more complex as AI and Chat Bots deal with the repetitive and simple queries.
This has led to a number of customer focused businesses measuring staff attrition rates alongside the more traditional CX measures such as NPS and Customer Effort rates as a contact centre performance metric.
As well as the well documented issues around recruitment and retention of staff with the right skills, there was much conversation about the role that new technology, such as Chat GPT, will play in changing the customer experience landscape. These are indeed exciting developments, but there is also a note of caution that must be sounded – these nascent technologies need to be fully understood before they are deployed fully. At the moment there are too many issues around sourcing of information, consistency and accuracy of results for AI technologies to be taking over the contact centre – a human sense and touch check is still necessary!
This leads me onto the other, every present, theme - that of digital transformation. We are potentially reaching the ‘peak’ of the drive for digital solutions, with even the ‘technology laggards’ recognising that they need to digitalise many of their systems and processes in order to compete in today’s increasingly digital world. However, technology evolution is happening faster and faster, and whereas previously new technologies would have been rolled out, embedded, and used for 5 years plus, now new systems and tech are being introduced much more frequently. We need to be aware of the impact that this has, not only on our customers, who may get frustrated with things constantly changing, but also our people, who are facing much more complexity in their work as they adapt to the new working methods brought about by this constant evolution.
It is indeed exciting times in the customer experience industry – but we need to be mindful of some of the challenges causes by rapid technology changes – not least on our people, who are the front-line of delivering great customer experience.