Contact Center Challenges and Priorities for 2020

We just completed our fifth annual survey and had 275 participants chime in on their top three challenges and priorities. While I encourage you to read the full report, here are some observations that stand out this year:

Top Contact Center Challenges

With attrition garnering so many votes, we see a bigger drop in the percentage of folks selecting other challenges than we have in the past. Beyond that high pain point, there is a wide diversity of other factors hindering service, sales, and the customer and agent experience. The good news is centers seem to be meeting performance targets. The bad news is that attrition, bad desktops, the lack of respect for the center’s role, and not enough staff to handle the workload can all contribute to a vicious cycle that impacts performance and the customer experience.

Top Contact Center Priorities

Self-service and employee engagement have staying power as perennial priorities, but in this case staying power is not necessarily a good thing. If these priorities were being addressed, we might see more movement in other priorities. In addition, they are priorities with very different impacts.

It’s an exciting time for technology, and the top priority shows there is a lot of hope placed in self-service (perhaps too much, especially by anyone who thinks they can just get rid of agents!). Improving self-service could take some of the burden off agents, especially for more routine informational inquiries and transactions, and for authentication. That’s the indirect impact on the agent experience.

Results by Industry

Results by Size

Here are some other interesting notes by size:

  • In line with the challenge, the smallest centers (less than 25 seats) have a high rate of prioritizing raising awareness of the center’s role and impact (22.1%)
  • In line with another challenge, the biggest centers (1000+) most frequently noted that they need to prioritize omnichannel (26.1%)
  • Training seems to be of higher interest for smaller centers (under 250)