Q & A with Contact Center Industry Expert Sheila McGee-Smith [Part 1]

Sheila McGee-Smith, who founded McGee-Smith Analytics in 2001, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the contact center and enterprise communications markets. She has a proven track record of accomplishment in new product development, competitive assessment, market research, and sales strategies for communications solutions and services.

In January 2017 McGee Smith published the "Top Contact Center Stories of 2016" to No Jitter which included stories about digital transformation, Artificial Intelligence, bots, and more.

This week McGee-Smith spoke at the Five9 2017 Sales Kickoff sharing her insights about the contact center industry and the 2017 forecast. After her presentation we had a quick conversation, diving a little deeper into the contact center.

Q: What are some of your predictions for the contact center industry in 2017?

A: The direction of change is cloud. Not everyone is going to move to cloud in the next two years but cloud is part of the conversation in every deal today.

Q: What are your predictions specifically around omnichannel in the next 12 months?

A: Global research shows that in 2017 the tipping point will be reached. It is expected that this year, more interactions entering the contact center will be digital versus traditional voice, so the importance of having omnichannel support is growing every day.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing customer experience professionals and what's one big tip you have for them to resolve them?

A: More than ever before, customer experience is part of every department in a business; it is no longer part of an isolated silo. Building the bridge to marketing, IT and web applications is difficult but absolutely required.

The one tip I have for every customer experience professional is to find the Internet of Things (IoT) project that is happening in your business. Even if you are not aware of an IoT project at your company, somewhere there is a project going that will impact customer experience. Find the IoT project and get involved with it.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog, more Q & A with Sheila McGee-Smith coming this week!

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