The evolution of technology has been significant in the past few years, and that can also be witnessed in the contact center industry. Customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) are keys to success, and leaders are now focusing on the best way to use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their competitiveness. Today we analyze some contact center trends that should still be considered for the upcoming year.
We have watched the rise of omnichannel solutions, and virtual assistants, and we are now even entering the metaverse era! The adoption of new technologies is increasing, as are customers’ expectations to have their issues resolved in as few interactions as possible. Although some things are in constant change, others came to stick, and today we are here to discuss some of them.
Here are some contact center trends you cannot stay away from:
1. The omnichannel contact center
The pandemic brought a natural evolution of digital transformation. With that, people started to turn more than ever to digital channels to connect with companies and ask for support. People now expect to connect with you however they prefer, whenever they want.
Customers now do not accept being confined to one touchpoint or communication channel. They demand the freedom to interact with your company in their preferred way: social media, live chats, SMS messages, email, phone, or a virtual assistant.
An omnichannel contact center solution allows agents to access information from every interaction across every touchpoint in one single platform, collecting important data and helping them provide optimized and customized customer service, and deliver a consistent experience across devices and communication channels.
An omnichannel solution is fundamental for an improved customer experience and must be considered as a customer engagement strategy if a company wishes to deliver an enhanced and competitive service.
2. The cloud contact center
According to Gartner, over 95% of businesses will use cloud computing by 2025. This is explained by the numerous benefits that a cloud contact center solution may provide to organizations that aim to optimize the agent and customer experiences.
A cloud-based solution allows companies to hire agents from different time zones, based in different countries across the globe. This not only allows a company to provide customer support 24/7, but it also enables businesses to cut the number of in-house agents, saving costs. Also, you can hire the best talents regardless of their location.
3. Optimized IVR
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is still considered to be the core channel for all contact centers. It is one of the earliest call center automation trends, contact centers have been using it for years now, and it is here to stay.
The emergence of AI has positively impacted IVR. The combination of both technologies has optimized processes and given birth to advanced IVR systems like conversational IVR in more modern contact centers. AI introduced speech recognition in IVR, resulting in easy call routing to agents that are best skilled to answer each customer’s issues.
Although customer service is now possible across multiple platforms, the phone is still one of the preferred ways to manage sensitive or high-priority queries.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) for an improved CX
The power of technology has impacted nearly every change in the call center space. Innovation has been truly accelerated, and new call center solutions have been emerging very fast.
AI is one of the latest technologies that has been applied to the call center industry and has brought multiple benefits with it.
AI-based applications allow businesses to implement intuitive call routing and provide multichannel support. It has created routing algorithms, saving call center managers long hours of coding. AI also helps to generate automatic responses based on information that is assimilated over time, creating patterns that can be easily addressed.
AI allows a company to provide a consistent service to each customer, contributing to an improved brand image.
Artificial intelligence is here to stay. We can only expect more significant contributions on the path of the digital transformation of contact centers.
5. Advanced self-service tools
We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a much higher need for virtual and contact center assistance. With this came the customers’ demand to independently solve their issues and find the answers they are looking for. Self-service tools have then become the customer service method of choice.
Besides offering answers to the most common questions, self-service tools are also beneficial to agents since consumers view call interactions as a last resort. This reduces call queues and waiting time while also freeing agents to more complex issues.
Customers’ self-service tools will continue to increase, and companies should focus on the availability of improved online self-service tools, linking content on FAQs, articles, video tutorials, and troubleshooting pages to the most common customer issues.
After a period of restricted in-person access, customers have come to rely on contact centers more than ever. Contact centers come with competing demands. In order to meet these demands, adopting and implementing new technologies and the above trends should be seen as strategic initiatives that enhance CX, contact center metrics, and boost business growth.
How Collab can help you
Collab’s OneContact is a next generation contact center software. A 360º solution that combines multiple communication channels: voice, video, e-mail, social media, and chat (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Bots), all in the same interface. You can download our brochure for more information.