The Future Call Center: 10 Predictions for the Next 10 Years

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What will the call center of 2025 look like? Well, to start with, it's unlikely to be a central physical center anymore. The rise of cloud technology is predicted to lead to an increase in remote call center agents.

But this move is not a sign that businesses are shunning the contact center. The omnipresent eye of social media has put companies in the limelight—for good and bad, pushing customer service to the top of the priority list.

As a result, customer service appears set to become a key differentiator from now on, and the call center will be at the forefront of this strategy. Here are some trends we can expect to transform the call center over the next 10 years.

The Call Center Will Become a Relationship Hub

For years, many have considered the call center as a means for dealing with immediate problems. This has led to a short-term strategy of businesses dealing with one customer emergency after another—reacting instead of adapting to the needs of the customer. Instead of picking up the pieces when things go wrong, we predict that the contact center will become an integral part of business strategy, acting as a relationship hub. Contact center agents are the first to know if something isn't working and are therefore perfectly poised to advise the business. It's the people on the other end of the phone that know what customers really think.

Customer service can be seen as an afterthought—what happens after the marketing department has reeled customers in—but really, it should be part of every stage of business development, supplying sales and marketing with repeat purchasers and advocates, as well as an essential data point for product management and development.

Customer Service Agents Will Become Super Agents

As the call center becomes an increasingly important part of the business, so, too,  will the people that work there. They will need to adapt their skillsets to meet the demands of the future customer and expectations directors place on the contact center.

Plus, with the rise of self-help and user communities, only the most complex problems will end up in a call center. Agents will need to be ready to tackle challenging issues and be able to pinpoint what exactly went wrong. It's therefore not surprising that in the next 10 years, the average customer service agent will need to have a much wider range of skills.

Aside from excellent communication skills, agents will need analytical problem-solving skills, project management skills, and in some cases, technical training, to understand the finer details of their product or service. Customer service agents will need to adapt to changes in technology, from becoming experts in apps and social networks to utilizing the increasing range of data on their CRM system.

Call Routing Systems Will Find the Perfect Match

Intelligent call routing is already available, but these tools are predicted to improve in the next 10 years, matching the customer with the right expert almost instantly. As CRM and workflow management systems develop, a complex matchmaking process will occur every time a customer calls, to ensure the right expert is on hand to solve every problem.

Many people also believe that organizations will begin to publish their agents' availability online, so that customers can pick the agent that best suits their needs and call them directly.

Web Chat Will Become an Increasingly Popular Customer Service Channel

Telephone support has its limits. The success of Amazon Mayday has 

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