SPAR UK saw an immediate return on that investment as employees no longer have to commute from branch to branch for meetings, and they're now more organised and productive in those meetings. We're starting to see a true democratisation of video and this trend will continue in 2014.
The contact centre will adapt even more to the next generation
The rise of this hyper-connected generation will continue to impact the contact centre in a major way. Consumers who contact companies via digital and social channels expect outstanding customer service regardless of the platform they choose.
The customer service industry is changing dramatically as a result; businesses need to have the capability to allow customers to move seamlessly from one channel to another, without losing the thread of the interaction. And they need to provide a consistent service across all channels.
We'll see this trend persist in 2014 as it forces companies to re-evaluate their customer experience strategy to include those new platforms.
Companies are already looking to the contact centre to find ways to generate additional revenue without adding cost to the operation. Similarly, they are looking at how to automate more of the customer services model and drive more customers to self-service options to reduce time.
Integration and application development will therefore be an area of rapid growth in 2014, particularly as companies look to develop a customer service experience on new devices such as mobile applications, video or social networks.
Moving into 2014 – as our uptake of smart devices, and digital and social applications continues to intensify – I believe businesses will above all need to focus on investing in technologies that embrace and enable the new era of communications we live in today. It's an exciting time for the communications technology industry, and I'm eager to find out what next year has in store.