Contact centers are fast-paced, often “hair on fire”, environments. A leader’s day can be consumed with personnel issues, customer escalations, technology glitches and scheduling challenges. With so many short-term priorities that need to be addressed, it can be difficult to shift mental gears and think strategically. Plus, who has the time?

Good leaders MAKE the time to think about and discuss strategy. Part of this means understanding and assessing technology, demographic, industry and cultural trends that will have a future impact on the business.

Need some help getting started? Here are five statistics that should jumpstart the conversation.

1. By 2025, as much as 75% of a company’s work force could be composed of millennials.

This has huge implications for recruiting, training, career pathing, management approach, technology tools and culture. Is your call center positioned well to attract and retain millennials and help their careers thrive?

2. In 2016, the number of reported data breaches in the US increased 40% year over year.

Nothing spells customer experience disaster like a data breach. Is data adequately secured? If you’re working with a vendor, what controls do they have in place? Are there procedures in place on the call center floor to protect customer data from rogue service agents?

3. “33% of contact centers plan to invest in robotics and process automation in the next two years.”

Although still fairly new, technology such as bots have at least progressed to a level that requires contact centers to pay attention and form a strategy. Are you doing that?

4. In a Deloitte survey, 96% of respondents expected to grow their contact centers.

This, of course, is about capacity planning. Do you have a multi-year volume and staffing projections? How will you flex up or down? What role do vendors play in your capacity plan?

5. By 2020, customer experience will become the key brand differentiator, overtaking both price and products.

No pressure! This is already an area contact centers spend a lot of time on. It’s about delighting the customer. But sometimes it’s important to pause and honestly assess whether the center’s people, processes and technology are truly in a position to meet this goal.

There you have it – five conversation starters for your strategic planning discussions. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part, but when you’re armed with thought provoking facts you can’t go wrong.

Our clients have made us a key part of their capacity plans. Whether it’s handling 100% of the volume or just supplementing capacity during peak seasons, USA800 can design and execute a program to meet your needs. Contact us for a free consultation.