Why and How AI and The Contact Centre Sector are an Opportunity for Job Seekers

The New Zealand contact centre industry is an opportunity for unemployed amid civil service layoffs and a deepening recession but, just as important, it is one of the few sectors offering employees the chance to collaborate with artificial intelligence (AI).

Although there can be an unfair stigma associated with entry-level positions in contact centres, the industry has evolved significantly. Modern contact centres use automation to handle repetitive and technical tasks, allowing agents to focus on human engagement.

In essence the contact centre sector is pioneering the space here humans and AI work together to solve problems meet needs and respond to emotions during contact. This is redefining personalisation in customer service.

With better training, advanced AI tools, and real-time information, agents are empowered to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

The contact centre industry spans various sectors, including hospitality, finance, IT, and telecommunications. This diversity offers a broad range of learning opportunities and skill applications. The principles of empathy, pressure management, and effective communication are universal across the industry.

AI is enhancing, not replacing, roles in contact centres because AI lacks empathy, which is essential in customer service. It serves as a quality assurance and performance enhancement tool, analysing caller behaviour and providing valuable insights. The future includes significant AI-driven advancements, such as real-time translation capabilities, to better cater to New Zealand’s increasingly diverse population.

Our sector is at the forefront of technological innovation, making it an attractive option for those seeking stable, AI-resilient, impactful careers.

For those considering a transition into this field, I offer three actionable insights:

  1. Pursue Certification: Look for NZQA-certified programmes through platforms like Skills Group or Learning Planet or contact us at CCNNZ. Certification demonstrates initiative and enhances employability, potentially leading to higher-level positions.
  2. Leverage Research and Trends: In collaboration with Spark, CCNNZ is commissioning new research to identify hiring trends. Staying informed about industry trends can help job seekers position themselves effectively.
  3. Embrace Continuous Learning: Adding certifications and staying updated with AI advancements can significantly improve career prospects. Engaging in professional development shows a commitment to growth and can provide a competitive edge.
    The future for the industry and its people is promising. Enhanced training and AI tools are starting to provide near real-time information, offering agents guidance on tone adjustment and recommending solutions during the call—two brains working together.

Contact

Elias Kanaris
CEO, Contact Centre Network New Zealand (CCNNZ)

Mobile: 021-615-449
Email: elias.kanaris@ccnnz.org.nz

About CCNNZ

Contact Centre Network New Zealand (CCNNZ) was established in April 2009 by Contact Centre professionals, created and nurtured by a group of dedicated Contact Centre professionals. Our community thrives on collaboration, shared knowledge, and the mutual goal of elevating customer contact standards across industries.

At CCNNZ, we are unwavering in our commitment to promoting excellence in every customer interaction. We believe every call, email, or chat presents an opportunity to create a positive impact, and we strive to empower our members to make the most of these interactions.

We serve as a dynamic network dedicated to inspiring, engaging, and connecting customer contact professionals from various fields and backgrounds. Through this network, we facilitate a vibrant exchange of ideas, strategies, and best practices, all aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of our members.

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