Customer Service is recognized by 75% companies as a competitive differentiator, according to the 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report. It is no wonder then that the industry has seen major technological innovations in order to improve C-Sat levels and increase sales. One of the biggest changes in terms of software has been the migration to cloud platforms. This has allowed for further integration with business tools and better analytics, along with more efficient customer service. However, these changes are the foundation for bigger changes in the way that a call center software transforming into an agile customer engagement hub.
Technological Innovations that Can Give You the Advantage
- Intelligent Dialing: Thanks to the dialing algorithms configured by call center operators, there can be better segmenting of customers for outbound dialing process, instead of calling a list of randomly selected customers. Based on call history and other data, a list of customers who are likely to be interested is generated, which in turn allows for better lead selection and reduced nuisance calls. In recent times the predictive dialer has undergone further advancements in order to become more intuitive and enhance the experience of both, the customer and the agent.
- Internet of Things: An estimate of 15 billion IoT connected devices will be sold in 2015, according to an article in Computer World. Having a contact center technology that is able to cope with this will be a definite business advantage. For instance, a smart refrigerator that can identify that its condenser coil is failing, will automatically send off a message to its contact center. The contact center should then be able to route the complain to a suitable agent, who after having sourced the ownership information through the CRM connectors, will call the owner to advise him on how he can avert the problem with his fridge, even before he knows that there may be one!
- Self Service: While Interactive Voice Response (IVR) has existed in the contact center scene for a while, it has undergone drastic evolution in a bid to provide better self-service option to customers. While previously IVRs used pre-recorded prompts, menus and touchtone telephone keypad entries (DTMF), to gather information, modern IVR systems have enabled voice responses to be incorporated as inputs and responses via voice recognition. Moreover, data integration allows for accurate and personalized service without the customer having to repeat himself, thereby allowing for a seamless self-service mode.
- Mobile Applications: While mobile contact center apps are still maturing, they may grow to be the new default given the way customers respond. The trend has been adopted widely in the banking, airlines and insurance industries wherein the customer service mobile applications are enabled to provide crucial information just at the time when he or she requires it. For instance, a person who has met with a car accident and wants to claim his insurance can simply take a picture of the accident site on his mobile and begin to file his claim through the customer service app. An agent will be routed to settle his claim on the spot, no sooner than it has been processed online.
- Web RTC: Web Real Time Communication is another factor that will affect contact center interactions significantly. This open source project was released by Google in 2011 and currently it is under the process of standardizing protocols. It is an API that will support browser to browser applications for voice calling, video chat and P2P sharing without additional plug-ins. This could be important for contact centers as it would also allow for strong peer-to-peer data communication protocol which will enrich communications and routing processes in a contact center.