Here are five 2017 trends and events to consider as you plan your 2018 call center operations strategy. Keep an eye out for big picture realities and how they have affected your call center, and you’ll be able to better manage or leverage similar events in 2018.
Avaya Declares Bankruptcy
In the spring, Avaya, an on-premise call center provider, declared bankruptcy. The reason could lie in the business’ inability to respond to existing trends, such as customers’ desire for on-demand contact center software. Avaya is still in business, but its future could be bumpy.
Lesson: In 2017, and heading into 2018, you don’t want to be so late in adopting technology that it affects business opportunities. Upgrades to the cloud have created cost savings for thousands of businesses. For those “wait and see” strategies, the waiting is over. On-premise systems continue to lose traction as businesses realize the savings of more flexible computing, billing and operations.
Ajit Pai Heads the Federal Communications Commission
Ajit Pai was designated Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2017. His pro-business stance made him a popular figure, with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) hoping Pai would overturn several federal regulations. It’s uncertain whether their hopes have been fulfilled; the recent net neutrality ruling may or may not help businesses.
Lesson: With the FCC in flux, it’s difficult to know the regulatory outcomes in store for 2018. Net Neutrality was tossed out. Will that affect the price of doing business over the internet and phone lines? Only time will tell.
TCPA Compliance Concerns Continue
Speaking of TCPA compliance, TCN’s “State of the Collections Industry” report revealed executives and owners of small- and medium-sized businesses are still deeply concerned (and a bit confused) by the TCPA and potential consequences for violations. They shared that the TCPA regulation is the most difficult to “navigate because of variations in interpretations and applications, coupled with the extreme costs associated with compliance failure.” Specifically, 41 percent of survey respondents find the TCPA to be a challenge, as compared to 18 percent for the CFPB ruling.
Lesson: TCPA compliance is challenging. However, don’t let it overwhelm your business or paralyze communications and collections. Take a forward step today by downloading TCN’s TCPA Compliance Checklist.
Customer Communications and Collections Efforts
It’s been a consumer’s world for several years. But that reality influences more than marketing, advertising, and sales. It also affects customer service throughout the buyer’s lifecycle. Businesses that regularly communicate with customers or collect on debts will need to change how they interact with people, investing in applications like web chats (chatbots), mobile apps, and social media monitoring.
Lesson: Customers want more from your company today. Deliver on their demand by investigating mobile applications and chatbots and employing social media monitoring and management. Doing so gives you an edge on the competition. It can also increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The Cloud Offers More Advantages than Ever
It might seem odd to bring up the cloud, but its reach has yet to fully impact the call center. That will change as the virtual call center becomes more normative, and businesses desire more robust — and automated — contact center features like predictive dialer software. Plus, the cloud-based contact center offers huge advantages over on-premise, including lower costs and easier upkeep.
Lesson: Cloud-based contact center technology might seem like a big leap for your company. Make it a smaller one by requesting a demo. You’ll experience what the cloud can do for your business and its communications or collections.
January 2018 will be here in only a few days. Let’s make it a good year by learning from the past and using its lessons to inform the future. Get started today by downloading the TCPA Compliance Checklist. It’ll set your 2018 communications and collections on the right path.