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There are two diverging trends in customer support: non-interventional options such as self-service, IoT automation, and peer support on one end, and high-touch, thorough, expert assistance on the other.


  • Business technology trend reporting can begin to look like doublespeak when two developments seem to state the exact opposite. This is the apparent case in customer support, where there is effort both toward moving some support functions away from the contact center, and using subject-matter experts, team-based service, and similar methods for incoming tickets. Looking beneath the surface, these trends are less a contradiction than a case of dual specialization.

Features and Benefits

  • Clarifies the state of two opposing trends in contact center management and technology.
  • Delineates the ways that self-service, peer support, and automation are supplanting traditional contact center agents.
  • Explains how high-touch methods like guided co-browsing and super agents add to customer experience.

Key questions answered

  • What are the customer engagement trends in today's contact centers?
  • Why do so many customers prefer not to talk to a CSR?
  • How do more expensive, agent-intensive support methods fit into contact center strategy?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

Customers are doing it for themselves

  • Self-service and automation advance
  • Peers seen as trustworthy and knowledgeable

White-glove service comes to the contact center

  • Agents focus on success, not speed
  • Actual experts are taking tougher calls


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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