Did you know that a survey conducted in the US says that around 44% of individuals prefer customer service via phone call as their primary channel? That is 21% higher than other channels available and, where live chat is the second at 23%. These numbers might give you a hint on what to expect in contact center trends.
The top trends in contact centers for 2021 to 2022 include digital transformation, AI, IVR, cloud communication centers, self-service tools, social media communication, recall technology, analytics tools, and omnichannel communication. These trends will help you provide excellent customer service.
We’ve summed up the dominant trends that will continue to make significant impacts on customer service. Having an in-depth understanding of these trends will help realign your strategies to provide your callers the best customer service experience. Learn more about it by reading further.
Top 9 Contact Center Trends
To catch up with the constantly changing expectations of customers, companies need to study the trends and statistics in contact centers to guide their every move. Below are the top ten trends and predictions for 2021 to 2022.
Today, price and quality are not enough to catch customers’ attention because they lean more on businesses providing satisfying experiences. It leads to a long-term and beneficial relationship between the brand and the customer. Hence, companies need to have a far-sighted digital transformation to deliver a comprehensive experience.
Machine-to-machine through IoT and unified omnichannel are some of the technological innovations that could be integrated into the business. They are known to leverage the collective knowledge of the whole business and deliver excellent customer service across various channels easily and consistently.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the latest technologies to enter customer service. Its integration into conversations improves agents’ efficiency through intuitive call routing, multichannel support, and immediate response based on information assimilated over time. For instance, when a caller launches a complaint, AI will take over and provide the agent with possible responses to choose from.
Interactive Voice Response
One of the earliest contact center automation trends is the Interactive Voice Response (IVR). With the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations increased their use of this trend. In addition, the emergence of AI boosts IVR technology, giving birth to advanced IVR systems such as conversational IVR.
In addition, AI pioneered speech recognition in IVR that eased the routing of callers to suitable agents and departments. IVR systems allowed pulling up of the caller’s information and historical data to provide a personalized experience.
Cloud Communication Centers
Cloud communication has already been part of business strategies for so long. Before, its application in call centers was imaginable until the pandemic happened and forced the industry to work remotely. It is safe to say that the steady growth of remote contact centers and project management platforms paved its way to the industry.
With this trend, agents can interact with all callers the same way they would in location-based centers. Moreover, it allows businesses to acquire the best talent regardless of their location since the work can be done remotely, cut costs on infrastructure and IT, and cut the number of in-house agents.
Customers in need of assistance doubled with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, not all of their concerns require a real person to solve, so self-strategies and solutions may work. Today, customers have developed an inclination towards independence and convenience in solving issues, where self-service tools are helpful.
Self-service tools benefit agents, too, because callers will just go to them as their last resort since they can easily get answers to their queries on a company’s resources.
Social Media Communication
With the growth of social media, it is not surprising to know how these platforms pull strings in customer service. Moreover, users claim that their accounts activities increased where consumers reach out to companies and brands. Hence, social networks became an inseparable part of the unified communication system.
Committing mistakes is inevitable. Thanks to the filtering technology that prevents communication errors from ruining your brand’s reputation. An example of this is recall technology that removes errors within messages without interrupting the flow of conversation. That is why its arrival in call center trends is a huge milestone.
Call centers generate tons of interactions between customers and businesses. Such exchanges turn into data to be analyzed that can provide insights to agents regarding consumer behaviors. Some of the metrics that have been the epicenter of attention in the field are first call resolution, agent idle time, and average handling time.
In addition, advanced predictive analytics can give insights to target the best opportunities for sales and customer retention. Businesses should consider using analytics because it is now becoming a driving force in contact centers.
Omnichannel communication sets apart reactive competitors from proactive brands. Business should note that consumers crave the freedom to interact with your brands through social media, calls, SMS, or live chat. They also prefer a consistent and personalized experience whatever channel they use.
To standardize service delivery and unify customer communication, you need omnichannel communication. It optimizes and centralizes customer interactions to deliver a consistent experience across various channels. Hence, an effective omnichannel approach will allow navigation on your business’ touchpoints with ease.
Competition is found everywhere in business, including contact centers. It only gets stiffer and stiffer over time. To remain on top, you should keep up with the trends and the constantly changing preferences of your current and prospective customers.