The economy and Web 2.0 has brought an increasing focus on what industry pundits refer to as CEM (customer experience management), or in short, the customer experience. Web 2.0 in particular has created a wealth of opportunities in this area, with new communication channels such as chat, SMS, Web self-service and knowledge bases, etc.
But it seems whenever you add new channels to a CRM process you add complexities, and it seems businesses are struggling with fostering and tying all these new channels into that seamless experience that the customer can pick up on. I think the contact center industry in general is trending towards the delivery of these channels in a more service-oriented approach.
Breaking down the silos has always been and will continue to remain a key driver of industry software and best practices. Web services, standards-based software, and open source seems to be taking the lead in tackling a lot of these issues, but on the flipside the economy isn’t leaving businesses with a whole lot of cash to pursue these interests.
For the short term future, I think businesses remain in a Catch-22 situation: the economy demands that customer retention and experience is a priority…and thus consolidating these channels into a single experience…while lack of revenue and profits doesn’t leave the financial vehicle by which to accomplish these goals.