In January 2017, HDI presented the Top 25 Thought Leaders in Technical Support and Service Management. To help you get to know them better and learn what it means to be a community leader, we’ve interviewed each of our thought leaders. Today, we hear from Jeremy Watkin.
Tell us about your day job and also how you are involved in the community.
I am the Head of Quality for FCR, a provider of outsourcing services located in Oregon. I’ve worked in a variety of contact center and customer service roles during my career and a few years ago decided to chronicle my experiences on my blog, Customer Service Life. This work has opened up a variety of doors including the opportunity to network with some amazing folks in the ICMI and HDI communities, and I’ve been afforded the opportunity to speak at multiple ICMI events.
What motivates you to be active in the community?
There are so many great ways to get involved in the community—and it really is a community. I regularly participate in #ICMIChat on Tuesdays and the ICMI Book Club, and I attend at least one ICMI conference each year. I love it that this is a welcoming community of people that supports one another and is also incredibly passionate about making the lives of customers and contact center agents a whole lot better.
What suggestions do you have for tech support professionals interested in getting more involved in the community?
It can be intimidating to meet a new community of people. The opportunities to get involved via social media abound and make it a little less intimidating to attend conferences when you’ve built relationships ahead of time. The biggest two benefits for me have been the ability to connect with other like-minded professionals who I can work through challenges with and the accountability to learn new things about customer service and customer experience. If you’re stuck in a rut in your current role, this community will get you unstuck!
What trends do you anticipate for customer service strategies over the next few years?
The biggest trend for years to come will be artificial intelligence (AI) and the role it plays in support. While I think there will always be a place for humans in this profession, there are a lot of areas where AI can enhance and sometimes automate agent performance and make the overall operation more efficient. We need to continue to explore these opportunities.
There are a lot of areas where AI can enhance and sometimes automate agent performance.
Amy Eisenberg is the editor for HDI where she works with industry experts and practitioners to create content for technical support professionals. She has worked in B2B media and scholarly publishing for more than 20 years, developing content for print and digital magazines, print and email newsletters, websites, conferences, and technical seminars. Follow Amy on Twitter @eisenbergamy, and connect with her on LinkedIn.