Digital technology and customer service – 5 ways contact centers have had to adapt.

In many ways, digital technology and customer service are a match made in heaven. Customers value the convenience of digital channels like chat, email, and text, and businesses have found ways to make digital customer service efficient and a boon to the customer experience. Most consumers now expect businesses to provide digital channels and many organizations have stepped up to the plate accordingly. 

But the marriage of digital technology and customer service hasn't necessarily been an easy concept for contact centers to adapt to. Offering digital support the right way means transforming call centers into omnichannel contact centers. Operations that once handled only inbound phone calls now support more novel contact types such as social media and text messaging (SMS).

The implications of combining digital technology and customer service affect just about every aspect of a contact center’s technology, processes, and staff.

Here are some examples of the required changes:


Chatting and responding to social media comments are very different activities from handling phone calls, so agents need to learn new skills. Additionally, if an organization's combination of digital technology and customer service includes the addition of more self-service capabilities, agents will be handling higher complexity issues that customers can’t solve for themselves - another outcome that may require training.

Forecasting and scheduling

The workforce management tasks of forecasting volume and scheduling agents need to be altered when an organization implements digital channels. For example, new algorithms need to be used to estimate digital demand and newly multi-skilled agents add complexity to scheduling.

KPIs and reporting tools

Digital contact types require new KPIs and modifications to reporting and analytics tools so that business leaders can get a holistic view of operations and the customer experience. Also, many of the traditional call center metrics – like Average Handle Time and Talk Time – are less relevant for digital channels.

Quality assurance

Quality management standards for voice interactions are different from those of chat interactions. For example, you don't have to worry about spelling and punctuation during a phone call. Therefore, quality management standards and processes need to be adjusted to account for these new digital technology contacts.


Okay, this an obvious one, but it needs to be high on the list because it's important. Contact center technology not only has to support more channels, but it has to adopt a unified omnichannel strategy in order to offer a consistent and seamless experience regardless of which channel a customer uses on any given day.

Digital technology and customer service: two of NICE CXone's strengths.

NICE CXone, the world’s #1 cloud customer experience platform, transforms your call center software – empowering exceptional agent and customer experiences: every channel, every time. NICE CXone Interaction Channels provide over 30 options to connect with customers in their channel of choice – including chat, messaging options like WhatsApp and SMS as well as voice. Learn more about what it takes to successfully implement digital customer service by reading our white paper, Digital-first Contact Center: The Innovator's Guide.

Any digital channel

Your customers are trying to reach you for service on digital channels – even if you’re not there yet. How many SMS text messages go to your call center phone number with no response? Who’s trying to find you on Facebook, Twitter, or WhatsApp and not finding you? Now with CXone it is easy to provide digital-first omnichannel service in all the channels your customers expect.

  • Personalized digital interactions: deliver native experiences in each of 30+ messaging channels, such as rich media, emojis, and other collaboration tools.
  • Simple to Activate: pre-integrated channels make it easy to offer to customers and agents.
  • Easy to Say “Yes”: simple packaging removes barriers to offering all channels to customers and agents.
CXone digital channel
Empowered agents

CXone empowers all your agents to deliver a true digital-first omnichannel customer experience by simultaneously combining all customer interactions in one intelligent inbox across multiple digital channels and voice for agents to select ("pull"), while dynamically prioritizing the most time-sensitive or real-time interactions according to service levels ("push"). All delivered in a single application – complete with full customer context, journey history, and sentiment.

  • Single Interface: one inbox for all digital messaging and real-time (voice/chat) channels – retaining native experience of each messaging platform.
  • Agents in Control: ‘pulling’ work in natural flow, while dynamic prioritization maintains SLAs – and prevents ‘cherry picking’.
  • Customer Card: full customer context, journey and conversation history, plus sentiment.
Holistic management

With CXone, omnichannel interactions are managed holistically, from agents to supervisors and beyond. Integrated workforce optimization, analytics, automation and artificial intelligence across digital and voice interactions ensure complete management across contact center operations.

Related resources
Case Studies

Best Practice: The Power of a Digital First Contact Center

Your customers have different preferences in how they want to contact your business. Hear from NICE customer, ESCI on how opening digital channels transformed their contact center, improved agent productivity and drive down costs for their contact center.