Of the industries impacted by the pandemic, contact centres have had no choice but to evolve. As a result many more services are technologically driven, and numerous transactions are done online. But that doesn’t mean they should stop evolving to meet their customers’ needs. As the sector relies on innovation to thrive, contact centre operations must continually improve.
If you’re a contact centre organisation or a service provider, you’re in the right place. In this article, you’ll find out the emerging trends in the industry that are worth investing in
1. Remote contact centre agents
With the pandemic, remote working practices have ballooned, not only within the contact centre industry. A 2020 World Economic Report indicated that 84% of business owners across all sectors are moving to automate their operations to accommodate remote working.
Because of this dramatic shift, contact centres must equip their agents with adequate resources to perform their tasks efficiently. That’s where the Contact Centre as a Service solutions, or CCaaS, come in. This predominantly cloud-based technology enables contact centres to avail of the software services they need. Furthermore, this technology allows them to scale and improve their operations—whether remote or in-office—while reducing costs.
As CCaaS solutions allow remote agents to use their existing hardware to get to work straight away via the cloud. Thus, remote contact centre agents can work immediately. Apart from enabling contact centre representatives to be more productive, virtual work has proven to help reduce agent turnover rates and increase business resiliency. As such, companies must align their systems with this operational shift.
2. Omnichannel and self-service customer support
In today’s fast-paced world, customers prefer to address issues and queries with more convenience. Instead of being put on hold to speak to an agent, they can use an automated customer service system to guide them through the resolution process. At present, self-service interactive voice response (IVR) is a staple in contact centres, but some organisations have yet to integrate the system into their operations.
Apart from digitalised self-service support, contact centres must reach their customers on all platforms. Omnichannel support means engaging with customers through multiple channels simultaneously. This helps agents accomplish more tasks by taking calls while responding to messages via chat or email. As you or your reps add data to your customer relationship management (CRM) software, you get to enhance customer query and issue resolution and their overall experience
3. Artificial intelligence integration
Artificial intelligence (AI) is seen as an essential business tool owing to its expansive operational applications. From predicting market behaviour to analysing business performance, AI technology is often integrated into various software products and specific equipment, especially in the medical industry.
You can apply AI to streamline and improve various contact centre operations. This technology can perform repetitive tasks that weigh agents down, allowing them to focus on core activities. AI-powered chatbots are the most common tools to answer customer queries to facilitate bookings and payment activities. AI can follow up prospects, send reminders about an upcoming appointment, finalise purchases, predict client needs and promote products based on transaction history.
4. Voice bots and recognition
When it comes to customer satisfaction, real-time communication is hard to beat. If agents are engaged with clients proactively, they can provide an immediate response to queries, concerns and issues. As such, live engagement communication channels can eliminate misunderstanding and frustration.
In recent years, technology giants have been releasing AI-enabled voice assistants. While speech technology is more commonly used in smart homes and vehicles, contact centres may not be far behind. To complement chatbots and other intuitive text-based messaging services, some contact centres may be moving towards live voice interactions or voice bots through AI technology.
Additionally, voice authentication or recognition is slowly making waves in contact centres. This is especially true in organisations that handle confidential client information. In this technology, the software analyses a person’s voice to verify their identity, allowing them to skip lengthy validation processes.
With all these new technologies available today, it can be challenging for contact centres to stay on top of their operations. To measure the impact of these trends and determine weak points, an organisation should be able to measure key contact centre metrics—for instance, repeat contacts, occupancy and resolution rates and customer service scores, to name a few.
It will help if contact centres have a fully-integrated platform to gather crucial data across all tools. As such, CCaaS providers must keep with these trends to provide solutions that enable seamless integration and data gathering across all fronts.