Contact centers make the spine of your customer experience. Any piece that you miss in the contact center eventually disturbs the experience for the customer. Over the last few years, AI and digital transformation have evolved some new trends, and contact centers fall under that transitioning verticals. As a result, customer expectations are growing/evolving and becoming more demanding in the context of customer services.
There was a time when contact centers were only rooms jammed with workstations and agents on headsets. Todays’ contact centers are not just the interaction center point of the enterprises, but also the revenue driver. At the same time, they have become a compelling resource for finding out what customers think of the companies and capture sentiments, feedback, and required intels. They have evolved into advanced communication hubs where agents can interact with customers for all three customer experience needs: sales, support, and service.
A Forrester report says, 23% of B2B CMOs see improving the customer experience as a top three objective.
Nowadays, businesses are evolving at a relatively faster pace due to AI and business analytics technologies. They have enabled contact centers to lead incredible innovations and tremendous achievements, allowing them to do things with user data that people only manifested about years ago. Contact centers now focus on customer satisfaction, improved experience, and refined service while enhancing organization sales.
There is no denying the fact that consistent, incredible, and satisfactory consumer experience has a significant positive impact on the business results. In consequence, enhancing the customer service experience has become a top priority for businesses.
The global contact center market size amounted to 339.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and is expected to grow and reach a value of 496 billion U.S. dollars by 2027.
Looking ahead, it’s time to assess the future of call centers and key pieces your contact center is missing. What new trends will allow enterprises to gain an advantage over competitors?
A workflow is a sequence of tasks, comprises the interdependent business processes that need to be completed in one go to reach a certain goal. It makes work more efficient while keeping everyone on the same page.
Workflows at contact centers automate these processes to optimize task performance and reduce the processing time by integrating all departments. Workflow enables end-to-end orchestration of work and better collaboration to provide greater visibility of processes and establishes clear accountability.
The purpose of contact centers systems is simple – to route and monitor interactions for seamless customer engagements. And to accomplish this purpose, a wide range of processes are in place. These processes may involve different agents, departments, and stakeholders within an organization.
Workflows at contact centers automate these processes to optimize task performance and reduce processing time. Workflows integrate with other department’s systems like finance, logistics, admin, etc. to enable end-to-end orchestration of work and better collaboration. It gives greater visibility of processes and establishes clear accountability.
- Improved efficiency
- Simplifying delegation of tasks
- Reduced processing time
- Greater visibility
- Integration with other department systems
Contact centers are gradually becoming increasingly sophisticated with automating workflow tasks. Workflow automation acts as an opportunity to the contact centers by reducing labor costs and making tasks less labor-concentrated. In addition, automating mundane workflow tasks increases work efficiency as it provides agents more time to address other pending tasks.
2) Experience as a Service
The customer experience isn’t all or only about customer service; it is much more than that, and customer service is not just about a department or one department’s job. Servicing customers, listening to their pain points, resolving them, and offering them what they need is a step towards better end-to-end customer experiences. Contact centers always put their best foot forward, ensure customers are well served, and resolve their queries.
Ensuring that the customer is satisfied at the end of the call is no easy task; it requires making the experience smooth as butter. To deliver exceptional customer experiences, businesses must manage customers’ journeys starting from the first point of interaction. Prerecorded or actionable data act as a catalyst to solve the customer’s problems and let the agents know and understand them better. AI tools enable the agents to create real-time insights that allow them to personalize interactions at the right time based on the circumstances.
While there are no sure shot algorithms that make sure delivering the best customer experience, there are methods that make sure that the interaction is a positive one, both for the customer as well as the agents.
Three key points to remember:
- Utilize omnichannel contact center approach to assist customers on the platform they prefer
- Minimum on hold call time to save the critical time of the customer
- Efficient ticket management to ensure customers issues are resolved as per the priority
- Proper integration with contact center CRMs and other critical tools
- Adopt industry-specific contact center solutions to deliver relevant and customized customer experience
Explore More: Customized Contact Center Solution for your Industry
3) Precision in Predictions
Prediction is a classic win-win scenario that enables managers to closely align demand and supply, resulting in optimal cost and profit performance. Forecasting for the contact center is arduous, but contact centers can deliver precise predictions based on the recorded intel into their systems.
A precise prediction means you have the right agents available with the right skills at the right time. Prediction accuracy is crucial to a contact center as it consistently meets customer needs, while inaccuracy can result in long wait times for customers and leave agents frustrated and even unmotivated. Nevertheless, if the situation is predicted precisely, it improves the experience for both employees and customers while effectively managing budgets. Contact center managers can create an accurate forecast, assuming business as usual, every single time with the right metrics and data.
We have curated the top three metrics contact center managers should use to ensure a precise prediction:
- Query volume: A critical piece of the predicting puzzle is how many calls, chats, emails, social mentions, and other forms of queries the contact center receives daily.
- Agent Handle time: How long does it take for the agents to resolve an inquiry or the handling time. These two factors can give an idea of agent availability to answer new requests.
- Daily contact arrival pattern: It shows the peak hours of a day, i.e., busiest and slowest times of the day. It helps to determine the number of agents required to manage daily peaks and valleys.
Contact centers are usually the last place to find enthusiasm, energy, and excitement in the company. There are some genuine reasons for that, such as most of the agent’s tasks are mundane, they often interact with annoyed customers, and contact center jobs are not considered to be the most respected ones in most societies. That lack of empathy among the agents can transmit to the customers as well and can hurt your business. You can take the AI-way to infuse the energy and excitement in your contact centers.
AI is the subject of a lot of buzz and speculation about whether it will take over mundane tasks or not. While it is believed that AI technologies will never replace humans in customer service and contact center roles completely, they are ready to take on the monotonous work and support humans in carrying out their functions more effectively and efficiently.
Delivering better customer experiences requires agents to understand the customers and show empathy towards them. You need to plan out the ways to transform your agents into solution consultants, subject matter experts, and make their roles exciting. To accomplish this, technology can provide context and insights into the whole customer journey.
Here is how it works in a contact center:
- AI tools, such as sentiment analysis help in determining the tone and choice of words by the customer. Leveraging such insights, you can train agents to deliver more empathetic conversations.
- With the targets for agents, introduce the gamification to give them motivation and fun with work.
- Introduce AI-enabled bots to take care of repeated tasks to save the effort of agents and let them focus on more humane and interesting/challenging tasks.
The future of cloud call centers will be more data-driven and predictive. New technological advancements are likely to impact the ecosystem of contact center operations and communication. To stay ahead of the competitors and to have a competitive advantage, contact centers must rely upon the latest buzz and trends.