Like it or Not: Compliance Fuels Innovation in the Contact Center

Aug 15, 2023, 15:39 PM by Natalie Mackay

The transformation from service hub to brand experience center is one of the most significant changes in the lifecycle of the contact center. What started out as a glorified information desk and complaint department now serves, along with social media, as the primary point of contact between companies and their customers, playing a vital role in addressing inquiries, resolving issues, and maintaining customer satisfaction. As touchpoints have increased, so has the need for governance. It’s no coincidence that as regulations have become more restrictive and defined, the contact center has become more reliant on new technologies, processes, and strategies in order to comply. These innovations in process and tech not only ensure adherence, but drive the enhancement of customer experiences and elevate overall operational efficiency. While for some organizations, adherence may be the bane of our existence, there can be little doubt that it encourages contact centers to think creatively and find innovative solutions while raising the bar for our workforce, industry, and our service.

There is no doubt WFM strategies have changed for the better due to increased regulatory attention. Internally, there’s just no way to communicate how much better employee training and development has become in the last five years. Interactive training modules, gamified learning platforms, and virtual reality simulations are standard. Employee onboarding and enrollment time has dwindled, KPIs and SLAs have soared, and incentive-based competitive pay structure drives perpetual individual and team improvement. Teams are filled with subject matter experts who anchor a deep understanding of their products and services but also ensure that compliance becomes an integral part of the organizational culture.

It goes without saying that regulations that include provisions and standards for working hours, breaks, and fair pay have also elevated contact center culture as well. The result is a sharp decrease in burnout, improved job satisfaction, and lower reported effects on mental and physical health; fostering an environment of trust, fairness, and accountability.

The most obvious way that compliance continues to fuel innovation in the contact center is through technology. In a post-COVID, globalized economy, we can point directly to the companies that invested heavily in research, development, and testing of AI-driven chatbots, voice recognition systems, and data analytics tools as the pioneers. These organizations were prepared for a reduced workforce and geographic hybrid workforce shift with minimal change to KPIs and SLAs as others sputtered.  Regulatory statutes forced many businesses to rethink the implementation of remote work options and flexible scheduling arrangements long before 2020; developing strategies to harness the potential of a diverse and adaptable workforce. These compliance challenges also forced contact centers to rethink their data management strategies. As regulations increase, organizations will demand stricter control and segmentation of customer data, driving the need for innovative data storage and retrieval systems. The explosion of cloud-based, sophisticated database management tools, and data anonymization techniques have emerged largely as responses to compliance requirements. As regulations persist, the need for even more advanced encryption methods, biometric authentication systems, and AI-powered data analytics tools will increase as well.  The byproduct of these innovations is multifold; tools developed to enhance security also facilitate efficient data access, contributing to more informed customer interactions. The capacity of the contact center to produce these new, high-level, experience-based interactions, now drive innovation in customer engagement.

Organizations at the forefront of this new brand experience hub era know that they can benefit tremendously from technology when keeping up and enforcing regulatory compliance. The innovations that facilitate adherence also strengthen the efficacy of regulation efforts. Emerging technologies enable contact centers to proactively identify risks and deviations. AI can detect language patterns, and predictive analytics help pinpoint areas of focus. These platforms allow administrators to take preemptive actions to address compliance issues before they escalate.

The relationship between compliance and innovation is not one-sided; The need to protect employees, data, and their customer interactions will continue to drive call centers to explore advanced technologies. The risk of non-compliance poses great risk to the strides we’ve made as an industry. On the surface, regulations serve to promote fair competition and protect consumer interest. What’s emerged is an industry motivated by processes improvement, strategic campaign management, and technological breakthroughs. It’s these relationships between technology and compliance that make a partnership between Google Cloud, Alvaria, and UJET so valuable and effective.

Join us for a special webinar, Tuesday, August 22nd at 12:00 PM EDT / 9:00 AM EDT to hear about How UJET and Alvaria Fuel a Compliant, Proactive, Outbound Customer Journey and how cultivating and nurturing the relationship between compliance and innovation will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping our success.

Register now!