The contact centre in 2023 and emerging 2024 trends

AI, human agency, and the customer

In 2023, a key trend in the contact centre industry was the role of AI, especially its impact on human agency in customer service operations. As we reflect on other perspectives of the year and anticipate emerging trends for 2024, what’s becoming clear is that the industry is evolving, developing a stronger focus on understanding customers, empowering employees and embracing new technology responsibly.

Here are some of the industry’s key perspectives on the contact centre industry’s year in 2023 and predictions for 2024. 

Employee wellbeing and development

The spotlight on working conditions,  employee benefits and professional development shone strongly this year. Increasing numbers of contact centres are providing mental health resources and wellness incentives while fostering caring and inclusive cultures. Wellbeing benefits everyone. For customer service, going beyond transactional interactions to forge human connections with customers requires motivated, satisfied agents – making culture a vital investment.


Introducing mentorship programmes where team leaders or experienced agents pair up with new starts to show them the ropes is proving a successful strategy for nurturing a positive team culture.

Providing experienced agents with the opportunity to mentor less experienced colleagues, such as a buddy system, is also a great way to share experience, encourage a sense of teamwork and ultimately improve CX.” [4] 

Another aspect of workforce wellbeing is work patterns. Flexible scheduling has allowed more agents to work part-time schedules or compressed work weeks for better work-life integration. “Around 3 in 4 agents are still working remotely to some extent at the moment.” [1] In mid-2023, 50% employees were hybrid, 27% fully on-site, and 23% fully remote. Industry leaders predict hybrid working will increase slightly by mid-2024, but with little change on 2023, suggesting that contact centre leaders will continue to support flexible work patterns. Contact centre leaders recognise that without satisfied, engaged agents, quality customer service is impossible.  

Anxiety over AI 

“Reps who are very worried about being replaced by technology are 84% more likely to be actively looking for a new job than those who aren’t worried.” [5] 

“The hype around workforce reduction needs to be quelled.”  [5]  

Anxiety over the threat of AI replacing agents loomed over last year, but industry experts advised on measures to manage that anxiety to prevent negative impacts on the workforce. For example, customer service and support leaders must communicate transparently to their workforce about how generative AI will be introduced to the business. And, they need to share information with employees about the changes GenAI will bring to the role of the agent, especially the skills development opportunities that will be created.

In addition to those changes to existing customer service and support roles, new roles are likely to be introduced. Entirely new positions will be needed to take care of the implementation of GenAI and leverage its capabilities. [6]  Effectively managing this transition is crucial for future-proofing the workforce and ensuring the success of customer service and support businesses.

Know your customers and use cases

“The human touch is still very much valued”. [1] 

“78% of those polled believe live support is more reliable than AI”. [2]

What contact centres should know after 2023 is that customers do not view automation on equal terms with human contact. Automation is far from being their preferred method of contact with a business. Conversely, surveys and polls conducted in 2023 showed an upward trend in live agent contact for interactions involving urgent or sensitive matters. [1,2]

For over a third of business leaders, AI’s primary purpose is seen as improving customer experience and retention. [6] To achieve those goals, industry analysts highlighted the growing importance of knowing which use cases will benefit the business the most. Given that customers prefer automation and GenAI for everyday transactional queries, those routine tasks are a use case which businesses can confidently invest in. [2]

Another reliable use case is customer relationship management, where “GenAI […] will make CRM data more complete and processes more accessible and useful to the front office.” [3] Implementing GenAI should be prioritised where it will free up agent time to let them focus on the customer interaction. For instance, applying the technology to surface things like next best actions to the agent or to automate manual tasks, such as entering notes that summarise an interaction, will boost productivity, improve the agent experience and reduce the risk of losing the human touch.

Businesses need to target the internal, front-office use cases of AI technologies first and, while those use cases are rolled out, spend time preparing how to manage the risks brought by the technology. 

Data security and cyber threats 

A major trend in contact centres is applying AI to detect data security threats, particularly regarding payment data protection. New, stricter controls to safeguard data in payment transactions have been introduced by PCI-DSS 4.0.The standard defines the requirements that organisations must meet to protect credit card payments from fraud and cyber-attacks. Version 4.0 allows organisations until 2025 to comply. Over the course of 2024, those new rules will continue to be a priority for contact centres who have not yet revised their policies and practices.

However, the expense and effort of achieving and maintaining PCI DSS compliance is said to be a factor in the declining number of contact centres taking payments. [7] But the standard’s challenges are not the only factor. Data breaches remain a key vulnerability; they can incur heavy fines, as well as reputational damage.  

“The damage to brand and trust that a high-profile card payment data breach could cause is potentially even more damaging than financial sanctions. As payment card data is personal data, a data breach opens entities up to potential ICO fines as well.” [7] 

So how could AI play a role in this? Industry analysts predict that in 2024 and beyond, AI tools for improved threat detection, monitoring suspicious activity, and automated incident response will gain more investment, not less. From a legal perspective, there is legislation on the horizon to help businesses.

The use of AI technologies in safeguarding businesses is something that the UK Government has been working to support. The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill was introduced in 2023, which seeks to strengthen the UK’s data regime to save the economy more than £4 billion by 2024. And, to ensure that privacy and data protection are securely protected. [8] Data privacy concerns about GenAI are addressed by the Bill. In fact, the Bill specifically looks to build public and business confidence in AI tools by clarifying safeguards around automated decision systems. [8] In Europe, the AI Act will provide similar (and more) for the private and public sectors in EU Member States. [9] 

The AI Act is a flagship legislative initiative with the potential to foster the development and uptake of safe and trustworthy AI across the EU’s single market by both private and public actors. [9]

Other considerations for AI and compliance include consumer data protection. Information and data protection authorities expect organisations to carefully evaluate AI systems for biases or errors to avoid unfair outcomes. As contact centres continue to adopt AI for tasks like chatbots and process automation, they need to ensure their technologies uphold ethical codes and security standards. 

What industry leaders talked about

At the end of every year, London hosts the industry-leading Call Contact Centre Expo. In 2023, Martin Teasdale (host of the podcast, Get Out of Wrap, which looks at the contact centre sector) recommended several talks and panels from day one of the conference. [10] The topics he focused on were:

  • Team leaders: managing relationships with senior leaders, how to support team leaders with their challenges, what skills they will need in the future. 
  • Operations culture and development: building culture, cultivating commitment, employee retention and development. 
  • Digital customer services: how to develop a successful CX digital transformation strategy, and how to select a vendor who addresses your unique business requirements. 

Despite last year’s widespread cautionary commentary about risks posed by GenAI to the contact centre workforce and to its operations data security and compliance responsibilities, the trends we’ve seen emerging for 2024 bring a much-needed bout of optimism. They demonstrate the strength of the industry’s commitment to investing in its people.

And from Inisoft…

At Inisoft, 2023 was a year of phenomenal organisational change and progress. As a contact centre technology provider, we have been excited about the game-changing possibilities of AI for customer engagement. But there are other fascinating technologies in our sector which have captured our attentions, too. In 2024, we will be diving in to a number of new developments in our software solutions.

Thanks for reading, and wishing you all a happy new year in 2024!


[1] ContactBabel, The UK Customer Experience Decision-Makers’ Guide 2023-24, available at The UK Customer Experience Decision-Makers’ Guide | ContactBabel, accessed 20 December 2023.

[2] Scott Clark, ‘2024 Contact Center Trends: AI and CX Transformation (‘, CMS Wire, 11 December 2023, accessed 20 December 2023.  

[3] Kate Leggett, ‘How GenAI Will Reshape CRM’s Value (‘, 6 October 2023, Forrester, accessed 20 December 2023.

[4] John Driver, ‘9 Ways to Create a Thriving Contact Centre Culture (‘, 6 December 2023, Call Centre Helper, accessed 20 December 2023.

[5] Matt LoDolce and Jordan Brackenbury, ‘Customer Service and Support Leaders Should Assess Generative AI Technology Options to Enhance Their Organization’s Function (‘, 3 August 2023, Gartner,  accessed 20 December 2023. 

[6] Matt LoDolce and Jordan Brackenbury, Gartner Reveals Three Technologies That Will Transform Customer Service and Support By 2028, 30 August 2023, Gartner, accessed 20 December 2023.

[7] ContactBabel, Inner Circle Guide to Fraud Reduction and PCI Compliance 2024 Edition (UK), December 2023, available at The Inner Circle Guide to Fraud Prevention & PCI Compliance | ContactBabel, accessed 20 December 2023.

[8] Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and The Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, ‘British Businesses to Save Billions Under New UK Version of GDPR – GOV.UK (‘, 8 March 2023, GOV.UK, accessed 20 December 2023.

[9] Dimosthenis Mammonas, ‘Artificial intelligence act: Council and Parliament strike a deal on the first rules for AI in the world – Consilium ( ‘, (Press Release), 9 December 2023, Council of the EU, accessed 20 December 2023.

[10] Martin Teasdale, Episode 174 Day 1 Call Contact Centre Expo, London, November 29-30, 2023, Get Out of Wrap, available at, accessed 20 December 2023.


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