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Contact Centers in a Post-Pandemic World: A Strategic and Tactical Guide to the Future

Published February 9, 2021

Over the last year, because of COVID-19, contact centers were forced to change how they operate. Contact centers demonstrated remarkable adaptability and agility in the early days of coronavirus lockdowns. Navigating contact centers through the pandemic has allowed industry professionals to demonstrate leadership by guiding others in how to keep moving forward. A roadmap for the future of contact centers has emerged.

DMG Consulting’s special edition report, Contact Centers in a Post-Pandemic World: A Strategic and Tactical Guide to the Future, is a playbook, of sorts. It’s a valuable collection of best practices, innovative technology, agile management practices, work-at-home policies and more, designed to help organizations navigate through the changing business landscape precipitated by the pandemic. 

Change is inevitable 

Leaders across industries are in agreement that changes in our world are driving a technology revolution. The pandemic just sped up the change process that we’ve seen in contact centers around the globe. We have experienced how a pandemic impacts digital transformation and pushes it to new levels. We know that more change is imminent, and the better prepared contact centers are to embrace it, the more beneficial the change becomes. 

Contact centers should always be anticipating a new and better reality, and that means constantly managing through changing business models. We are in the midst of establishing a “new normal.” If we don’t take advantage of the path laid out by the extraordinary employees who have set a higher bar for today’s contact centers, we are sacrificing an amazing opportunity. We are fortunate that the performance of contact centers in the face of a pandemic has been overwhelmingly positive and has provided a powerful guide on how to build contact centers of the future by leveraging the lessons learned during the COVID-19 crisis. This research report details how contact centers should address necessary changes, expected or sudden, and what they need to do to keep the momentum of transformation going post-pandemic. 

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Introduction: The Transformational Impact of the Pandemic on Contact Centers and the World of Service
  3. Digital Transformation and Contact Centers
    • 3.1 Contact Center Role in the Digital Transformation
  4. 2021 Contact Center Investment Priorities
  5. Top Contact Center Operational Challenges
    • 5.1 Work-at-Home
    • 5.2 Building a Formal Work-at-Home Program
    • 5.3 Hiring and Onboarding Work-at-Home Employees
    • 5.4 Managing Work-at-Home Employees
      • 5.4.1 Supervisor Oversight Applications
      • 5.4.2 Training and Coaching
      • 5.4.3 Employee Engagement
      • 5.4.4 Employee Compensation
    • 5.5 Security, Compliance and Fraud Prevention
      • 5.5.1 Security
      • 5.5.2 Compliance
      • 5.5.3 Fraud Prevention
  6. New Contact Center Key Performance Indicators
    • 6.1 Standard KPIs for Measuring the Customer Experience
    • 6.2 Customer-centric KPIs
    • 6.3 The World of Implicit KPIs
  7. Contact Center Technology and Innovation
    • 7.1 Cloud-based Contact Center Solutions
    • 7.2 Customer Relationship Management
      • 7.2.1 What’s Next for CRM
    • 7.3 Workforce Optimization
      • 7.3.1 The Next Chapter for WFO/WEM
      • 7.3.2 WFO/WEM and the Cloud
    • 7.4 The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Future of Contact Centers
    • 7.5 Automation and Robotics
    • 7.6 Self-Service
      • 7.6.1 Intelligent Virtual Agents and Virtual Assistants
      • 7.6.2 Zero-Footprint Contact Centers
    • 7.7 Digital First
      • 7.7.1 Digital Overview of Digital Customer Service Solutions
      • 7.7.2 Asynchronous Channels are “In Sync” with Today’s Customers
      • 7.7.3 Not Business as Usual
    • 7.8. Analytics
      • 7.8.2 Analytics-Enabled Quality Management
      • 7.8.3 Surveying
      • 7.8.4 Contact Center Performance Management
    • 7.9 Workforce Management
      • 7.9.1 Innovation in the Workforce Management Sector
    • 7.10 Knowledge Management
      • 7.10.1 The Pandemic Increases Interest in Knowledge Management Solutions
    • 7.11 Video
  8. The Return to the Contact Center
  9. Contact Center Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
  10. Final Thoughts
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