Contact centres vs. CX – where are we now?

Remember the days when we fondly referred to the contact centre ­– or back then the call centre – as the heart of the organisation. The contact centre and direct sales engagements were the only ways customers interacted with a brand.

We’ve come a long way in a very short time…

Customer experience (CX) is not just about the contact centre anymore. CX requires connections with customers that not only include multiple channels, but the interconnection of those interactions. The world has formed a digital skin, and CX is now at the core of digital transformation (DX).

What’s clear from the results of our recently launched 2017 Global CX Benchmarking Report, is that organisations and customers alike are embracing digital capability. Yet the transformation and challenges to provide great CX is becoming more complicated.

5 things holding you back from creating a great CX journey

1. Your omnichannel capabilities aren’t integrated

You cannot claim DX without having a connected CX. Yet, nearly seven in 10 organisations currently have none, or very few, channels connected. It’s not that organisations don’t understand the CX benefits created by an omnichannel approach. They do, and they believe in the value CX presents to the organisational objectives.

It’s just that so many still struggle to deliver on areas receiving so much attention. The biggest obstacle is caused by organisations that are managing their contact channels via individual silos.


Management of channels by silos stops visibility, management control, focus, education and enrolment in a broader CX strategy. Organisational change is required to facilitate the omni-channel vision.

2. Legacy technology hinders your DX and hybrid IT is the answer

For many organisations, the primary hindrance to becoming digitally mature lies within the legacy systems that still exist in the business.


Hybrid cloud solutions are heavily acknowledged as helping connect legacy solutions to new technology, as well as facilitating the organisational journey towards omnichannel capability. Hybrid IT models are now forming the base of most architectures, as hybrid cloud/hosted solutions gain in popularity. In fact, hybrid cloud is set to treble from 10.3% to 32.7% by the end of the year.

3. You lack analytics to deliver personalised experiences

Analytics was voted the top factor that will transform customer experiences in the next five years – yet, only 48% have customer analytic systems, and 36% possess big data analytic solutions. It’s clear that organisations need to analyse, or fall behind their competitors.


Without a strong practice focused on collection and analytics of data, it’s impossible for an organisation to deliver personalised experiences to customers. A wealth of information can be gathered from alternate sources to provide a more objective view of the customer’s digital interactions, such as web site traffic and social media interactions.

4. Change your old-fashioned approach to new working styles

Organisations are increasingly feeling the pressures from employees, especially ‘millennials’ (e.g. those born after 1990) in the workplace. There remains a lag as operations attempt to catch up and adapt their old ‘tried and tested’ methodologies, metrics, reward mechanisms and management styles.


The role of millennials in supporting organisations’ profitable growth and transformation is mission critical. This generation has grown up in a far more real time and review-based society. They require the ability to provide feedback, share ideas and expect more review and personal feedback than previous generations. For millennials, personal time and strong work-life balance is crucial and often ahead of more remuneration. Consider alternative scheduling and homeworking options to alleviate this.

5. You’re managing social media separately from other channels

Many organisations are starting to establish an online presence. However, these practices and customer engagements tend to be structurally removed and distant from the operations of the organisation.

Integrating social media channels more seamlessly into the customer lifecycle, including core enterprise applications like CRM and ERP, will drive a richer experience and ultimately a more customer-centric service delivery.


It’s not important who manages social media channels, as much as how it is formally seen as part of the customer journey and product lifecycle. Essentially, the product lifecycle should be created with the customer journey at the centre.

Social media should form another element of the many well-defined and managed channels to market. Managing social media separately from other channels will inevitably lead to a less than expected CX.

CX is not a debate, but a necessity to compete

At Dimension Data, wherever we talk about organisations that aren’t as digitally transformed as they may think, we call it the ‘uncomfortable truth’.

There is a growing gap emerging between organisations that commit to digitising their CX to the standards expected by modern/evolving customer types, versus those procrastinating on when and how to make their move.

I urge you to download the 2017 Global CX Benchmarking Report – it includes information on all aspects of CX in the organisation.

Benchmark yourself against your peers and find out where you are on your CX journey. Make sure you’re not a laggard in CX – be a leader!