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

2022 Challenges and Priorities

We’ve just published results from our Seventh Annual Contact Center Challenges and Priorities Survey. As with prior years, it was a short survey that asked two simple questions of contact center professionals: What are your biggest challenges today? What are your top priorities for the new year? We’ve been throwing in a bonus question the last few years, and this year we probed a topic we know is front of mind for many: agent location today and a year from now.

This year, a record number of contact center professionals participated, reflecting heightened interest in what centers are dealing with and planning for. Here are a few things they told us:

Hiring and recruiting is the #1 challenge, chosen as a top three for over 40% of participants. Increased workload was a distant #2 at 23%, followed closely by high attrition. We have labeled this combination the “triple whammy” impacting centers today.

The competition for top priorities was tighter with four garnering 20-22% each: improve employee engagement and empowerment; redesign, improve, automate processes; implement/improve self-service; and, staff properly to match workload.

Our bonus question – agent locations now and future – revealed that most centers currently have a Hybrid model with agents working remotely and onsite. That will continue to be the predominant operational model. Of those making changes in the coming year, All Remote to Hybrid is by far the most common transition.

We observed a remarkable coherence of top challenges by industry segment with some variation on top priority.

Industry Top Challenge Top Priority
Financial Services Difficulty hiring/recruiting Increase focus on coaching and development
Healthcare Difficulty hiring/recruiting Improve/automate processes Increase coaching and development
Consumer Products Difficulty hiring/recruiting Improve/automate processes
BPO/Outsourcing Difficulty hiring/recruiting Staff to workload
Insurance Difficulty hiring/recruiting Improve employee engagement
Utilities/Telecom Difficulty hiring/recruiting Improve/automate processes
Education/Non-profit/Government Increasing workload (volume and/or AHT) Staff to workload Implement changes to attract recruits

Hiring and recruiting landed as the top challenge for centers of all sizes. As for top priority, the strongest alignment was in the 251-500 band with 41% homing in on employee engagement. The next strongest alignment was 36% of the 26-50 band selecting coaching and development. The centers above 250 had a stronger focus on improving processes, and the smallest (50 or fewer agents) aligned on coaching and development and engagement.

Download the complete survey results and analysis. We’re sure you’ll find them interesting!