Independent Contact Center Consultants: Bridging Strategy, Technology and Operations Since 2004

2019 Challenges and Priorities Survey

With nearly 300 participants, our fourth annual Challenges and Priorities Survey gave us a brief snapshot at what’s happening in our industry. I’m excited to share the results. This year, change is the theme!

While I encourage you to download the complete report, here is a sneak preview into what we found in the results:

  • Attrition was knocked off the #1 challenge position for the first time! (It came in a close second.)
  • Our new #1 challenge is the desktop tools, and they made a BIG MOVE up the chart
  • Coaching and development dropped as a priority while employee engagement and empowerment moved up significantly and took over the #1 spot
  • Technology landed high on the priorities list, taking spots 2-5
2019 contact center challenges

I like that we have some noticeable movement this year. It reflects our dynamic industry in what the vendors are offering, how the labor market is changing, and how centers are maturing. Our results also show the great dilemma centers face: how to deliver great, cost-effective service while being hamstrung by a shortage of tools and staff (and correspondingly, budget limitations). If centers can successfully pursue the priorities, we will continue to see more positive changes. Let’s dive into the results and their implications for your center and the contact center industry.

Here are the interesting comparisons we see in the results from our 2019 survey compared to 2018. This table also reflects some aligned movement of challenges and priorities.

The top challenges have changed after years of consistency

Workload and performance moved down, while technology moved up

Desktop tools

Core technology

Performance tools

Not enough staff

Lack of support resources

Lack of understanding and respect

Lack of focus on Coaching/ Development

Poor training

Employee engagement leap-frogs other priorities, while coaching and development move down

Self-service holds strong at #2 but it is joined by other technology priorities focused on performance management

Improve reporting/analytics

Improve employee engagement and empowerment

Staff to match workload

Improve recruiting/hiring

Increase coaching and development

Implement/integrate Omni-channel

Improve training

Raise awareness of center’s role

Here is the view by industry. Where more than one challenge or priority is listed, there was a tie for the top item.

Industry Top Challenges Top Priorities
Financial Services Desktop tools Improve employee engagement
Healthcare Self-service Improve self-service
Consumer Products Cross-departmental collaboration Tech budget Desktop tools Improve reporting/analytics Improve performance tools Improve self-service
BPO/Outsourcing Attrition Improve employee engagement
Insurance Adding new channels Improve performance management Redesign processes Improve self-service Improve employee engagement
Telecommunications Attrition Improve self-service
Government Tech budget Redesign processes
Software/B2B Software Cross-departmental collaboration Improve reporting/analytics
Education/Non-profit Frontline staff Desktop tools Improve desktop tools Improve KM
Professional Services Frontline staff Core technology Performance tools Lack of respect for CC Improve KM Improve performance management
Manufacturing Tech budget Improve routing/skills Redesign processes Improve reporting/analytics
Utilities Self-service Improve employee engagement Improve self-service
Transportation Security/fraud requirements Improve recruiting/hiring Improve KM Improve employee engagement
Hospitality/Travel Attrition Hire more frontline staff Increase focus on coaching/development Improve performance management Redesign processes Add new channels Improve reporting/analytics Improve performance tools Improve desktop tools Improve employee engagement

For additional information, download the full report »