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In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the new European Privacy law, will hit American companies like a ton of bricks. The possible fines and headlines are enough to make any business pause. In fact, according to Forrester Research, 80% of firms affected by GDPR will not be ready to comply with the regulation by the deadline.

But how many of the requirements are new and how many are just good business practices? And what is the role high-quality data plays in achieving compliance?

Register today for this complimentary webinar.

New 2018 Guide to Salaries in Contact Center, Telesales & Customer Service Available
Just published: The Contact Center, Telesales and Customer Service National Salary Guide provides an abundance of information on dozens of job functions and provides regional variations. Just some of the positions covered include Vice President Contact Center, Regional Director, Contact Center Manager, Supervisor Contact Center, Director Client Services, Account Manager, Sales Director, and Account Executive.

NICE Releases End-to-End, Dedicated GDPR Compliance Solution for Contact Centers
NICE announced the release of the GDPR Compliance Center, its groundbreaking mission-specific solution for meeting the requirements of the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the contact center. The NICE solution streamlines the implementation of mechanisms for the adequate processing of private data recorded in order to achieve greater transparency. NICE’s solution offers a one-of-a-kind answer to the challenges faced by organizations globally in their efforts to comply with the regulation. This is done by simplifying the implementation of a “privacy by design” approach, through the monitoring of their data governance practices.

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Forrester Predicts US Business And Government Tech Spending Will Reach $1.5 Trillion In 2018

Forrester predicts that US business and government tech spending will surpass $1.5 trillion in 2018, up nearly 6% from 2017. In its newly published 2018 outlook for US industry tech budgets, Forrester reveals industries with the fastest-growing tech budgets as well as the technologies they’re choosing to invest in.

Below are key findings from the research:

The 5.8% increase in US tech spending is concentrated in tech staff salaries and benefits, tech outsourcing purchases, software and tech consulting, and systems integration services.

The US tech budget will grow faster than nominal GDP in 2018 due to the rising adoption of cloud solutions and an increased use of business technology.

Although US industries vary widely in terms of growth, half will have growth rates that exceed the overall US tech growth rate (5.8%). Ten industries will see growth of 7% or more in their 2018 tech budgets.

The chemicals and insurance industries will see the biggest tech budget growth in 2018, with an increase of approximately 11% and 10%, respectively
Although the retail industry will experience lower growth in its tech budgets, it is expected to dedicate 45% of that budget to business technology.


Gartner: By 2020, Artificial Intelligence Will Create More Jobs Than It Eliminates

2020 will be a pivotal year in AI-related employment dynamics, according to Gartner, Inc., as artificial intelligence (AI) will become a positive job motivator.
The number of jobs affected by AI will vary by industry; through 2019, healthcare, the public sector and education will see continuously growing job demand while manufacturing will be hit the hardest. Starting in 2020, AI-related job creation will cross into positive territory, reaching two million net-new jobs in 2025.

IT leaders should not only focus on the projected net increase of jobs. With each investment in AI-enabled technologies, they must take into consideration what jobs will be lost, what jobs will be created, and how it will transform how workers collaborate with others, make decisions and get work done.

Gartner identified additional predictions related to AI’s impact on the workplace:
AI has already been applied to highly repeatable tasks where large quantities of observations and decisions can be analyzed for patterns. However, applying AI to less-routine work that is more varied due to lower repeatability will soon start yielding superior benefits. AI applied to nonroutine work is more likely to assist humans than replace them as combinations of humans and machines will perform more effectively than either human experts or AI-driven machines working alone will.

By 2022, one in five workers engaged in mostly nonroutine tasks will rely on AI to do a job.
Leveraging technologies such as AI and robotics, retailers will use intelligent process automation to identify, optimize and automate labor-intensive and repetitive activities that are currently performed by humans, reducing labor costs through efficiency from headquarters to distribution centers and stores. Many retailers are already expanding technology use to improve the in-store check-out process.

Through 2022, multichannel retailer efforts to replace sales associates through AI will prove unsuccessful, although cashier and operational jobs will be disrupted.
However, research suggests that many consumers still prefer to interact with a knowledgeable sales associate when visiting a store, particularly in specialized areas such as home improvement, drugstores and cosmetics, where informed associates can make a significant impact on customer satisfaction. Though they will reduce labor used for check-out and other operational activities, retailers will find it difficult to eliminate traditional sales advisers.

In 2021, AI augmentation will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity.
However, some industries, such as outsourcing, are seeing a fundamental change in their business models, whereby the cost reduction from AI and the resulting productivity improvement must be reinvested to allow reinvention and the perusal of new business model opportunities.


Click here for more Industry Stats

5 Strategies for Boosting Agent Morale
Increased wait times, low closing percentages and poor productivity; that's what was in store for me as I entered the contact center. Sounds like fun, right? As I completed my evaluation, I identified five strategies for boosting agent morale and preparing them to succeed.

2018 IT Career Outlook: One-third of IT pros plan to seek new jobs
Millions of IT professionals around the globe work hard to support computer networks, protect company data, and make sure technology that companies rely on “just works” so employees can get their jobs done. But how satisfied are these technically-savvy men and women in their line of work? In our survey, 70 percent of IT pros told us they’re satisfied with their jobs, and this hold true across different generations. But things could be better for IT pros when it comes to their compensation. In the same survey, 63 percent of IT pros said they feel underpaid.

Reversing the Momentum of Dysfunctional Customer Information: Three Benefits of a Customer-Centric Approach to Data
Companies are still struggling to find ways to manage massive amounts of data in a way that drives their customer-centric strategic initiatives without becoming a bottleneck to the entire organization. Data quality, governance, and other data-based critical decisions can significantly impact a company’s growth and are criteria that should not be taken lightly.

4 CRM Trends to Watch Out for in 2018
There's no denying that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has changed a lot since the 1990s. These days, CRM software is the go-to tool for managing business relationships and closely studying customer data and interactions. CRM systems are continuously evolving, but what can it offer businesses next year? Here are four CRM trends to watch out for.

The Difference Between Customer Experience And User Experience
There are a lot of buzzwords thrown around in the customer sphere, but two of the big ones relate to experiences—customer and user. Although CX and UX are different and unique, they must work together for a company to have success.

Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit
by Anne Bahr Thompson

For many businesses, success comes in unexpected ways. Toms grew into a $600 million company by giving away 35 million pair of shoes. Patagonia's profits have climbed year after year even as it funnels heavy investments into sustainability.

And it's not just millennials rewarding companies with causes. In every age group, people commit to brands that show good citizenship. From CVS's destocking cigarettes to Chipotle's ethical sourcing, people want to see fair employment practices, social responsibility, and charitable giving--and they quickly call out negligence.

Based on extensive research with thousands of consumers, Do Good documents this sea change and explains how to embed social consciousness into a company's DNA.

Click here for more information

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