Will Technology Kill the Call Center?

Customer Loyalty,Original Content,how to increase backlinks,how to generate business,brand imageCustomers love instant gratification of call-in service. Until recently, that’s what phone service got them.

But these days the majority of people have tired of extended holding, automated prompts, unhelpful agents and getting lost in a sea of transfers. Couple this with new technologies for better, faster self-service and you’ve got a change a brewing in the consumer support industry.


Later this month, I will host a Software Advice live debate on this topic called, “Will Technology Kill the Call Center?” The event will begin at 1 p.m. Central on September 27 in a Google+ Hangout. To watch the event and chime in with your own questions, visit my Google+ page that day and comment in the feed. Add me to your circle on Google+ and I’ll send you an event reminder.

I will run the event similar to a political debate. A panel of four experts will answer a set of questions one by one, with opportunities for a rebuttal after each response. I will also close with a few questions from the audience, collected via comments in the feed on my Google+ page. To watch, just go to my profile page and click the round play button in the “Hangouts” box.

Customer Loyalty,Original Content,how to increase backlinks,how to generate business,brand image

Here’s a list of the speakers:

Jim Iyoob is the senior vice president of global development for Etech Global Services. He has more than 15 years contact center outsourcing experience in domestic and offshore inbound, outbound, and live chat operations.

Shervin Talieh is the founder and CEO of Drumbi–a technology startup focused on mobile and social customer service. Drumbi leverages voice and data synchronization to streamline call routing and phone customer service. Previously, he also served in leadership positions for Goldeneye Solutions and Accenture.

Laura Bassett is the director of customer experience management and emerging technologies for Avaya Inc. Avaya designs, builds and manages business communications applications for more than one million businesses worldwide, including more than 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500 companies.

Mike Hennessy is vice president of marketing for IntelliResponse. His company provides “Virtual Agents” and other customer self-service offerings. Previously, he worked for Truition and as a communications consultant for Amazon.com, Dell, The Royal Bank of Canada, Hewlett-Packard, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

See you there!


About the author:

Ashley Furness Eloqua Announces Chatter Integration Ashley Furness is a Market Analyst for research firm Software Advice. Her professional experience spans journalism, sales, advertising and SEO marketing. She’s a seasoned writer having produced copy for business journals, a sports magazine, daily deals advertising and industry blogs. She can be contacted at Ashleyfurness[@]softwareadvice.com, or by calling 512-582-2314512-582-2314. LinkedInTwitterGoogle +
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5 Replies to “Will Technology Kill the Call Center?”

  1. Based on the title, i believe not. The call center industry is living off Customer Service Branding. Technology or automated systems cannot provide that. Customers are looking for a good experience to maintain their brand loyalty. Technology cannot provide that, honestly.

  2. Hi James,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s a complex topic – I 100% agree that people will never stop calling, and that a real person will always be needed to respond to those customers in some way. The larger context here though is how trends in customer-company communication will affect the traditional call center. I would argue the traditional call center is on it’s way out, and is already being replaced by the “contact center.” These facilities employ more highly-skilled, tech savvy agents that are comfortable responding to customers in the channel of their choice, be that social media or chat.

    Thanks for reading!



    1. Hi,

      Thanks so much for checking out my article. We ended up in agreement that a person will always be needed to respond to the customer, but an argument was made for the existing call center model being phased out because technology has better equipped customers to help themselves. At the same time, technology has made phone / email / chat response more efficient, once again decreasing the need for live agents.

      Thanks again for joining the conversation!


      Ashley Furness

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