The popularity of work-at-home model led to a revolution in the call center technology. Hiring remote agents became a very profitable option both to the providers as well as the employees. This increased the choices for customer care providers in a remarkable way. Hiring remote agents reduced their overhead costs too. Also, the agents who worked availed jobs that offered flexible timings so that they could easily strike a balance between their work life and personal life.
Outsourcing has become the main mantra of call center technology in today’s world. Nevertheless, there are a few trends that are going to top the list in the world of call centers in the year 2015.
- Omni-channel customer experience: Today’s customers use different devices and channels to communicate with businesses, which is why call centers need to go the Omni-channel way. They need to be available at all times so that customers find it easy to contact them whenever and however they want.
- Gamification: Competition is the name of the game in Call Center. In order to increase the efficiency of their employees they have to adopt the trend of gamification. They will have to turn their work processes into competitive activities and award the employees whenever they achieve their goals. It is all up to the manager what methods he/she uses to explore the potential of a call center agent to the maximum extent.
- Immersive learning: Earlier call center agents had to attend a classroom training in order to understand how to interact with customers. However, today this trend has been replaced by immersive or flexible learning which combines this classroom study along with other methods such as eLearning, group studies and side by side learning with a few texts, quizzes and exams. The agents can learn in their own pace, testing their knowledge and gauging their own progress, in the process. This definitely leads to faster as well as better learning, while reducing the costs of the contact centers to a great extent.
- SMS: Today’s customers just do not have the time to be kept on hold during their calls to contact centers, which is why SMS has hit the top trend list. Through mobile messaging a call center can easily transmit the required information to the customers, without taking away their precious time.
- Mobile: Today’s customers use their mobile phones for all activities such as paying bills, accessing emails, communicating with their friends and banking. There are apps for everything. Call centers need to have their own mobile apps in order to communicate with their customers and receive their feedback in order to enhance their customer experience.
- Video conferencing: Video conferencing is as good as having a face-to-face conversation today, which is why most call centers adopt this method to communicate with their customers. With more and more applications coming up to enable easier and faster video conferencing, this has become a very cost-effective way of communication.
- Live chat: Live chat support is something every customer loves for it offers minimum or no distractions. The communication becomes easier as you will have the full attention of the customer. Also, since one call center agent can handle multiple customers at the same time, it is faster too.
- Agent Empowerment: In order to reduce the call transfers and the process of putting the customers
on hold, call centers need to adopt the trend of agent empowerment. Each agent they hire needs to be taught how to solve certain standard problems or issues that most customers may have. This will lead to happier customers and more efficient employees. Workforce management and agent engagement becomes easier too.
Offering excellent customer service is the only thing that can give that competitive edge to call centers. This is what they should focus upon. They need to adopt every method possible that can help them stay closer to their customers and increase their loyalty.