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The Evolution of Customer Service


Presented By: NICE

The contact center evolved from the call center in order to support more channels of interaction with customers, and this evolution  continues. Within 18-24 months, the contact center will transform into an experience hub – an entity that is essentially responsible for underpinning and driving the customer experience as well as for the interactions a company has with its customers and prospects.

The vocabulary we use will change to reflect this evolution in thinking. A call center, and even a contact center, conjures up an image of scores of people working shifts while sitting in cubicles being constantly monitored on productivity.

Historically, a call center role was reactive with the emphasis being to respond to customer enquiries, queries and complaints as quickly as possible – success was essentially interpreted as minimising the cost to the company. For a long time, many enterprises used traffic diversion techniques to reduce the possibility of actually talking to customers due to the perceived expense,  diverting them to lower cost channels irrespective of whether this met the customer’s need or not. Outsourcing support to third parties was another popular trend, but was not motivated by customer-centric measures such as increasing customer satisfaction or service levels, instead it was concentrated on internally-focused drivers such as cost reduction.

This thinking has essentially become obsolete by the rise of social media. Finally, businesses can see the benefits of not just being available for customer contact which is focused on resolving negative and stressful experiences,such as inaccurate billing, confusion or service failure, but on truly interacting with their customers to focus on driving more positive experiences.

Enterprises also now recognise that by focusing too much on minimising the direct cost of running their contact centers they failed to factor in the opportunity costs they were incurring. Frustrated customers, reduced customer loyalty, the loss of valuable cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and the squandering of customer ideas, comments and data resulted from treating the contact center as an afterthought or ‘necessary evil’, a silo whose performance was measured outside the full range of corporate goals.


Within 18-24 months this approach will be ancient history and contact centers will morph into experience hubs and their performance will be placed more clearly within the context of the overall functionality of the business. They will no longer be a reactive service silo focused on problem resolution or campaign-based selling, but will be a proactive and interactive experience hub that will drive positive customer experiences This is a big step forward for businesses, customers and those working in contact centers today, as this transition will have profound effects.

Not only will interactions between the customer and the business take place across an ever-widening range of channels, some of which don’t exist today, but those interactions will be very different in nature. Experience hubs will add new, positive roles and responsibilities to their remit. For example, some responsibilities will come from marketing teams acting as a social media hub, where the experience hub takes full responsibility for the role of educator in addition to problem-solver, and drives up digital adoption amongst the customer base. Experience hubs are the natural home for most social media interactions, as the staff takes responsibility for the customer relationship and integrate the disparate elements of support, marketing, education and sales. They will become the operational delivery engine of experience, with marketing, ensuring their goals are met and while adding creative ideas into the mix.     

Even the word ‘center’ will be challenged, as ‘center’ implies a large centralized facility at a time when service provision will be decentralised and include more home-working, virtual teams and more amateur or community-based support. The experience will be blended and supported across multiple channels, including brick-and-mortar stores, in order to provide a consistent, seamless, unified front-end to customers. When stores are not busy, staff can be redeployed into digital channel support, and when digital channels are quiet then staff could be positioned via presence applications to provide support to customers in-store.


For over 30 years NICE has helped customer service organizations, and contact centers in particular, evolve by uncovering customer insights, predict human intent and take the right action to improve their business. NICE has always taken great pride in our unique perspective, at the forefront of being able to support and enable contact centers to respond to the complexities and challenges of creating perfect customer experiences. 

Our core offering, NICE CXone™, is the world’s leading cloud Enterprise customer experience platform, combining smart Omni channel Routing, advanced Analytics, Adaptive Workforce Optimization, Robotic Automation & Artificial Intelligence (AI), all based on open native cloud foundation.  

CXone helps enterprises to evolve their contact centers to experience centers via the following:   

DO NOT work for your data, with CXone ANALYTICS, your data works for you!

Communication with the customer will be delivered in a channel and way that is appropriate to the customer. This includes the ability to support customers in the language they prefer. IVR systems will evolve to route calls through natural speech commands and real-time speech translation will support agents to respond to customers in their preferred language , which will be contained in their profile or detected when they initially contact the enterprise. The goal, and the metrics used to measure performance, will be making everything easier for the customer by reducing customer effort.

Speech analytics and video biometrics will provide a wide range of capabilities to the contact center including highly secure customer ID verification, the identification of buying signs and customer satisfaction, fraud prevention capabilities and so on. This type of technology will significantly reduce customer effort by replacing current inconvenient methods of verification such as security questions, while at the same time increasing security levels.

NICE CXone™ allows you to route customer requests to the best available employee across any communication channel, based on advanced employee and customer analytics. Manage the entire customer journey across all touch points, understand the context of each step in that journey and taking the right action in real time.  Additionally CXone provides the latest in Automation & Artificial Intelligence capabilities empowering enterprises to improve and streamline customer experience processes.   

Buy only what you need, CXone SCALES when you need   

Moving call center technologies to the Cloud will deliver far greater flexibility, but the enterprise will also need to consider how it delivers service anywhere and at any time, as well as how it will utilise more distributed models of operation. Such models will require support from a new infrastructure as well as a new recruiting approach.

The NICE CXone Open Cloud Platform is the enterprise-grade foundation that lets contact centers scale securely, deploy quickly, and serve customers globally. CXone delivers an industry-best 99.99% uptime with extensive integration options and extension.

CXone is the fully scalable and elastic single cloud platform you’ll never need to replace. You only pay for what you use and are free to scale up and do​wn as required.    

Focus on innovation and NOT on integration.   

Contact centers will need to move beyond supporting all channels (omnichannel) seamlessly to becoming a hub of customer interactions for the enterprise. Becoming an interaction and experience hub means that the contact center will take responsibility for customer communications rather than these being driven by individual departments’ internal timescales and goals. In contrast, the experience hub will deliver these interactions in a more customer-centric manner, at a time that is most convenient for the customer, and based on their knowledge of when the customer is likely to be most receptive, thereby mediating between intermittent conflicting corporate goals and customer needs.

NICE CXone™ offers a powerful combination of the industry’s leading Omnichannel Routing in the cloud with the industry’s leading Workforce Optimization, Analytics, Automation & Artificial Intelligence Capabilities.

In addition, adapting the ever-changing customer experience and market needs means being able to leverage additional partners and capabilities, through connectivity and integration to a variety of providers.

NICE CXone™ comes with over 250 APIs and over 65 development partners that have delivered value-added solutions.