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The Tech Struggle

Six Sigma Daily and Harvard Business Review posted that the Project Management Institute reports global spending on digitally transformative technologies and services will reach $1.97 trillion in 2022, and 80% of organizations "have undergone a significant transformation."

The Project Management Institute also reports that only 25% of organizations say their digital transformation projects have given them tangible benefits. It is reported that 75% of the projects failed. Digital transformation projects reportedly offer a 1 in 4 chance of success.

The call center industry seems to reflect these numbers as we routinely see investment in digitally transformative technologies failing to deliver. What is going on?

In a nutshell, tech companies with much pressure to sell products have unleashed a barrage of advertising, conference booths, and sales teams to shape a narrative that call centers are behind the times and must invest in technology products to remain relevant.

This narrative includes the claim that consumers are clamoring for chat, text, social media and self-serve options when they are not. It also includes the claim that measuring 100% of recordings and digital sentiment scoring effectively manage agent performance when they do not.

And there is the general message that the future of contact centers is tech, and call center agents are relics from the past. But the future of contact centers will be most defined by call center agents talking on the phone while tech will offer only peripheral tools, such as chat, text, etc.

As a top consultant recently wrote, "Resist the urge to jump to solutions or be seduced by promises made by technology. Too often, acquiring some sexy new technology only gives you a more expensive and messed up process."

The tech industry is a numbers-based culture that could not be a more polar opposite to the communications-based call center culture. Yet, tech has set about to convince organizations with call centers to put tech in charge of their communication with their customers. What could possibly go wrong?

According to Six Sigma, Harvard Business Review, and the Project Management Institute, it is a good bet something will.


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