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Damovo publishes latest Contact Centre Trend Analysis 2018: "Bots are coming, but not as expected"

Düsseldorf, 04.05.2018 – Process optimisation and automation are proving to be the front-runners among the top challenges for contact centre decision-makers in 2018 according to the results of a survey carried out by Damovo and PAC. The survey – conducted both online and at the CCW international congress, also revealed that more than a third of contact centres are planning to use chatbots in the future.

The Contact Centre Trend Study 2018 primarily focuses on the challenges and maturity of digital transformation in this industry. One of the hype topics this year is the use of chatbots within contact centres. The survey revealed that the use of chatbots is still not widespread at present. However more than a third of respondents indicated that they intend to invest in this technology in the medium term.

Another hype topic is the holistic optimisation of customer journeys. A customer’s overall impression of the service they have received is influenced by their experience at every touchpoint. Many contact centre decision makers therefore share the opinion that the separate handling of customer interactions is not effective. Despite this, only a third of those surveyed have developed an integrated customer journey strategy.

One in two respondents thought their company was well positioned in terms of digitisation. However the general feeling was that that people must become more of a focus within the digital change. This is also the opinion of Carl Mühlner, Managing Director of the Damovo Central region. "Despite the hype about artificial intelligence and increasing digitalisation, we must not forget that business is done between people and that people remain an essential success factor.”

Dr. Andreas Stiehler, PAC agrees: "The euphoria about artificial intelligence and chat bots, coupled with competitive pressure is bringing movement to the contact centre industry and at the same time posing new challenges. Bot deployment only becomes a success story if it provides real customer benefit and contributes to the holistic optimisation of customer journeys. A thorough analysis of customer interaction is therefore essential."

Against the background of these challenges, Damovo and PAC have identified five recommendations for contact centre decision-makers:

1. Chatbots and artificial intelligence.

Explore and test the possibilities of using a chatbot by firstly focusing on simple scenarios that can offer customers real added value.

2. Customer Journey

Think outside the box when optimizing the Customer Journey and seek collaboration with all departments involved in customer interactions so that customer needs at all touchpoints can be considered.

3. Employee training

Make competence development and professional change management an integral part of your digitisation activities.

4. Digital ecosystems

Define strategies for optimising customer journeys as a cross-company initiative.

5. Ambidexterity

Become more aware of the "ambidexterity" required in the management of customer service organizations. Encourage the personal responsibility and self-organisation of your employees – so that they deliver the best possible service levels.

The complete trend analysis is available here.

About the CCW Survey

In collaboration with PAC, Damovo conducted this survey both online and also with visitors to Damovo's stand at CCW18. 76 people participated, including managing directors, contact centre managers, team and project managers, IT managers, customer service managers and sales and marketing managers with connections to contact centres.