2020 Contact Center Investment Priorities

DMG’s annual survey of contact center investment priorities for the year has confirmed the anecdotal data we’ve been hearing from companies. 2020 is looking to be an outstanding year for contact center investments.

As it’s difficult to get enterprise executives and managers to participate in any kind of a survey, this year we decided to ask only 3 questions. As artificial intelligence (AI) is a top investment priority for most companies, we elected to inquire about a few specific AI-related topics, as shown in Figure 1. The three survey questions were:

  1. Do you plan to implement any new or replacement contact center infrastructure applications in the cloud in the next couple of years?
  2. Do you plan to implement any automation solutions (e.g., IVA, bots, RPA, AQM, self-service, WFM, etc.) in the next couple of years?
  3. Do you plan or are you engaged in a digital transformation that includes digital and social media channels?

The findings for the three questions were extremely positive and reflect the very upbeat attitude of enterprise executive and contact center leaders toward new technology investments. See Figure 1. 

Figure 1: Contact Center Technology Investment Priorities for 2020

Cloud-Based Contact Center Solutions

67.9% of respondents indicated that they were planning to implement a new or replacement contact center infrastructure solution in the cloud, such as an automatic call distributor (ACD), self-service solution (interactive voice response (IVR) or other type of application), workforce management (WFM), interaction analytics (IA), within the next couple of years. The answer to this question makes it clear that the future of contact center systems is in the cloud, although some companies will continue to use premise-based systems. It also shows that many companies anticipate substantial investments in many types of contact center systems and applications. 

Contact Center Automation Solutions

A strikingly high number of respondents, 81.0%, indicated that they were planning to invest in technology to automate contact center activities in the next few years. Systems in which they plan to invest are: intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs), bots, robotic process automation (RPA), analytics-enabled quality management (AQM), self-service, WFM and more. The drivers of contact center technology investments have always been cyclical, but this survey answer tells us that leaders are going to concentrate on systems and applications to improve the effectiveness and productivity of their operating environments. This is interesting given the mega trend to improve the customer experience.

Digital Transformation and Omni-Channel Support

72.3% of respondents are engaged in or plan to invest in a digital transformation initiative that includes the use of digital and social media channels. As these, along with self-service, are the preferred channels for consumers to use to interact with a business, it’s good to see companies moving in the right direction. DMG hopes that contact center leaders are involved in these initiatives, as a surprisingly large percentage of customer communications via digital channels are service-oriented.

Final Thoughts

2020 is expected to be an outstanding year for investments in new systems and applications for contact centers and customer service organizations. 2020 is also the year of the customer, as reflected by the mega trend to enhance the customer experience, and the findings from this survey make it clear that executives are willing to make new investments that yield quantifiable benefits.

DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.