In the latest instalment of our contact sector industry executive interview series we spoke to Jay Gupta, Global Director of Product Marketing at Talkdesk, about the company, the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, the importance of operational efficiencies and the potential for artificial intelligence…
Tell us about your company, products and services?
Talkdesk was founded in 2011 by Tiago Paiva. He recognised that the problems contact centres face didn’t change, but businesses needed a better way to find solutions and deliver impressive customer experiences. Talkdesk is helping customers innovate a better way to great CX with Talkdesk CX Cloud™, an end-to-end customer experience solution that combines enterprise scale with consumer simplicity, all on a single unified platform. Talkdesk has since been named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for CCaaS for the second consecutive year.
What have been the biggest challenges the Contact Centre/Customer Services industry has faced over the past 12 months?
The pandemic completely restructured our day-to-day lives, many of us working from home and relying on online services. The companies that thrived were those who provided digital, frictionless customer experiences. Customer expectations became higher than ever, with 68% of customers reporting that a single poor customer service experience would negatively impact their brand loyalty. This pressure on brands to offer the amazon-like customer service was one of the biggest challenges in the contact centre industry and pushed businesses to rapidly accelerate their digital transformation roadmap.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
Especially over the past year, it is clear that the efficient operation of the contact centre is key to any business success. However, even the most efficient contact centres are not often viewed or operated as strategic assets, and companies miss clear opportunities to generate significant enterprise value by failing to invest in unlocking the true potential of contact centres. In direct response to this, Talkdesk has launched the ‘Cost-to-growth’ campaign which leverages the contact centre as a growth centre through 3 stages: Assess, Dream, and Launch.
What is the biggest priority for the Contact Centre/Customer services industry in 2021/22?
I think the biggest priority for the contact centre industry in 2021/22 would be to upgrade legacy technology and take advantage of cloud based technologies. The cloud has allowed so many people to work from home and been one of the main reasons businesses have been able to continue over 2020. Businesses are now recognising that every aspect of their organisation needs a cloud based solution to operate as efficiently as possible, as well as safeguard against unusual events.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2022?
I would definitely expect to see an increase in the adoption of AI and automation. We are seeing an increased recognition of the benefits of AI for providing agents with real-time contextual information, better managing the contact centre workforce, as well as delivering personalized, 24/7 customer service. I would expect this to be a growing priority in the contact centre industry in the near future.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?
This year, cloud-based intelligent security solutions are having a huge impact on the market. Intelligent Security, such as Talkdesk’s ‘Guardian’ enables businesses to gain better visibility of their remote workforce and effectively mitigate risks such as insider threats, noncompliance, negligence, and unpredictable work-from-home infrastructure. This technology can also ensure that customer interactions are handled securely and compliantly, regardless of where agents are located.
In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?
In 2025, I think AI will become mainstream. We’re seeing more businesses across industries, big or small, who don’t necessarily have the technical clout of a technology giant like Amazon, but want to transform their contact centres with AI to offer an Amazon-like customer experience. With 84% of organisations now believing customers expect self-service options 24/7, AI is providing contact centres with the tools to deliver impressive, frictionless customer experiences outside of the call centre operating hours. AI is also being used to empower agents by providing them with real-time, contextual information so they can answer customer questions more quickly and accurately. Finally, contact centres are now able to intelligently uncover friction points in customer journeys. I expect AI will be essential to the operation of the most successful contact centres in 2025.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Contact Centre/Customer Services sector?
The contact centre is often positioned as a cost centre despite sitting at the heart of customer experience. I was surprised to learn that businesses are extracting more value from their contact centres by enhancing their customer experiences. Delightful customer experiences that boost customer satisfaction and brand loyalty can catapult contact centres from a cost centre to a profit centre.