The Contact Centre Skills and Knowledge of The Future

This week Douglas Jackson attended the CCMA (Call Centre Management Association) seminar; The Contact Centre Skills and Knowledge of the Future.

Contact Centre skills of the Future half day seminar with the CCMA

Here were some of our key takeaways:

The event kicked off with BT Futurologist, Dr Nicola Millard, who talked about the ‘Super Agent 2020′:

  • The future of customer contact may well see the contact centre more likely to handle complex problem solving queries, as the customer evolves to do much more themselves, through self-serve; website (FAQ’s), IVR etc.
  • This level of additional complexity within Contact Centre enquiries may require a potential new breed of ‘super agents’, which will impact significantly on future recruitment strategy and agent profiles.
  • The Call Centre ‘Super Agents’ of the future, will need to deal with increasing “cognitive load” – their ability to deal with multiple tasks which will impact on short-term memory.
  • “Loyalty” is in decline as consumers are presented with more choice than ever before, this in turn affects NPS scores, as customers are therefore less likely to recommend a particular organisation.
  • Webchat / Livechat is becoming an increasingly popular contact channel, especially with “millennial’s” as a means of communication with organisations; whereas e-mail contact is falling significantly.
  • Growing use of “customer effort” as a metric, increasing data to suggest that the ease with which customers transact with a business is of growing significance and possibility that NPS may be replaced with “Net Easy” as a measure of the above.
  • Social media considerations need to include , on-line forums in addition to facebook / twitter etc. Information can be found on forums years later, whilst Twitter posts can be gone in hours unless re-tweeted

Dr Nicola was followed by Jo Thomson, Managing Director, Procter who followed on with ‘Leadership in 2020’.

  • Desirable Leadership traits would be; Curiosity, Empowerment & Listening  for the future.
  • This presentation also talked about the profile of the Millennial and how their expectations will have to change our previous leadership perceptions due to the following:
  1. Millennials are far less willing to compromise on work-life balance than previous generations
  2. They Want to work within a collaborative rather than “command and control” environment
  3. More likely to tell CEO (to their face) their opinion, or, to “whistle-blow”
  4. Influence through social networks, outward looking, flexible attitude through technology
  5. Want to feel part of and share in the “bigger picture” of the organisation.

Next up was  a very engaging presentation from  Natalie Keightley from Avaya on the Contact Centre Environment in 2020.

  •  Omni-Channel Self-Service will be available in every Customer interaction
  • “Big Data” analysis – Currently huge amount of data are collated, but, only small samples are presently used – e.g. a few % of calls are monitored by compliance teams – however, increased sophistication of speech analytics software allows much more of this to be used – giving a much deeper “Actionable Insight”
  • Increased used of Voice BioMetrics – individual voiceprint, like a fingerprint will enable much better security etc
  • Key characteristics of exceptional experience; Timely, Relevant, Personalised, Frictionless

Russell Anthony @russell1972 also added via twitter; ‘Interesting concept at @CCMATALK today , not contact centres but relationship hubs…like it!’

The event was hosted by Ann-Marie Stagg, who, with all the team at the CCMA, put together a great, thought provoking event.

The seminar was a prelude to the much anticipated and sold out UK National Contact Centre Awards, also held at 5 Star Grand Tower Bridge Hotel in London, where it seems a great night was had by all!

#ukccawards #ccma UK NAtional Contact Centre Awards

Congratulations to all the Finalists and Winners of the evening!

The full list of winners are:

Contact Centre Manager of the Year– Claire Moir, Sykes

Contact Centre Manager – under 100 seats – Sophie Fox, British Gas

Team Manager of the year– Craig Lynn, Capita

E business/Social Media Manager of the year– Vanda Nena, Air France

Call Centre Support Manager of the year – Steve Siddle, British Gas

Customer Services Manager of the year – Helen Notton, Directline Group

Learning Champion of the year–Alison Avo, DVLA

Customer Experience Champion – Michael Sherwood, Tesco Bank

Business Improvements Manager of the year– Gemma Holden, BT

Recruitment Manager of the Year– Deedee James, Conduit

Customer Relations Manager of the year– Lynne Humm, L&Q Housing

Quality Manager of the Year – Adiba Ghauri, Harrow Council

Team of the Year – Directline Group

The UK National Contact Centre Awards are the longest established Contact Centre Awards in the UK.

Over the coming months the CCMA will be organising member best practice visits to all of the award winners contact centres.  For further information you can visit the awards website at, or, the CCMA website at


Tel: 0844 8000623.

What do you think the Call Centre of the  future and skills required will be?Let us have your thoughts and comments here.

About Douglas Jackson Executive Search and Recruitment Consultants

Douglas Jackson are an Executive Search and Independent Recruitment Consultancy offering professional executive recruitment and managerial appointments on a permanent and fixed term contract basis. We work with customer and experience focussed organisations, who want to develop, or, improve their operation, sales, strategy, service, experience, or success. We recruit for Chief Customer Officer, Director, Head of Department, Manager and skilled strategists for; Customer Service, Customer Experience, Customer Contact, Resource Planning, Operations, Strategy, Insight, Analytics, Sales, Success, CRM, Data, Programmes, Transformation, Continuous Improvement, and Contact Centre. We work in partnership with our customers across the UK and internationally, many of whom are FTSE 100, blue-chip brands but also challenger, fintech and start-up organisations, to design, develop, deliver and manage your Customer strategy. Revolutionise your Recruitment and Retention of New Hires. Douglas Jackson Search takes the guesswork out of your hiring. Sourcing Exceptional Talent….Define your Customer Strategy. Lead your Operations. Design your Customer Experience. Direct your Digital and Customer Contact. Transform your functions. Develop your Customer Insight. Manage your Data/CRM, Deliver your Sales and Customer Success. Differentiate your business and brand.
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1 Response to The Contact Centre Skills and Knowledge of The Future

  1. Pingback: Who Should Own the Digital Experience? | Douglas Jackson Executive Recruitment Consultants for Call Centres & Customer Services

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