The last few years have seen digital technologies and artificial intelligence drastically change the contact centre software industry. In a post-pandemic world, customers are now using more channels to communicate than ever before.
As new strategies, work cultures, technological upgrades continue to flood the market, here are six trends that are paving the way for the future of contact centres:
1. Increasing demand for self-service
The concept of self-service in the contact centre has been around for quite some time now. It is becoming increasingly crucial as more customers expect increased comfort and convenience in today’s hyper-connected world.
Self-service lets customers address their own problems using channels they are the most comfortable with. Cloud-based automation tools also present a wonderful solution for brands that lack manpower for consistent and round-the-clock customer service.
As buyers become savvier with the digital landscape, it is time for brands to upgrade their tech and make self-service options highly intuitive. Integrating tools that can leverage CRM data for enhanced personalisation using AI will help in creating excellent customer engagement.
Some tools that can make self-service both simple and exciting can include:
- Video tutorials for products and services
- Virtual agents and bot assistants
- An elaborate FAQ page on the website
2. From personalisation to hyper-personalisation
This year will witness acceleration in the market’s movement towards hyper-personalisation. Offering hassle-free customer experiences across a wide variety of channels is a necessity for today’s multi-device users.
Multiple surveys and studies have concluded that customer expectations are only soaring upwards. For a hyper-personalised customer experience, businesses need to tailor every interaction according to the specific needs, sentiments and purchase history of each buyer.
While this may initially seem like a daunting task for modern contact centres, there are numerous ways for tracking and enhancing customer engagement.
Analytical tools, CRM integration and other similar contact centre solutions facilitate insightful analysis of customer experiences. This helps in reimagining and improvising services while keeping hyper-personalisation as the core goal.
3. Security policies
Defining strict security protocols has become more crucial as millions of people are now working from home. This year will see more businesses bring advanced cyber security in their operations. The future will also include measures such as video monitoring for remote employees.
Tools that track a customer’s distinct digital behavioural traits are also making a more widespread presence in companies.
They create a mutually beneficial arrangement by offering customers faster and safer experiences and causing a drastic reduction in fraudulent occurrences along with higher agent satisfaction.
In the near future, many more contact centre agents will be seen benefiting from these solutions as data losses and malware threats will reduce enormously once communication channels are bolstered with high-end security.
4. Evolving workforce trends
The sudden shift to WFH arrangements when the pandemic began forced many organisations to challenge their comfort zones. This unprecedented turbulence led to transformational changes in workforce cultures and technological avenues.
Two years into the upheaval, remote work seems to be here for the long run. Many businesses have already identified its benefits. They have either completely transitioned to remote work models or adopted a hybrid working model.
According to Forbes, remote workers are about 35-40% more productive than employees working from offices.
Business leaders are now accepting the fact that employees are in fact more satisfied and productive while being able to work from the comfort of their preferred locations.
Some other benefits that remote working offers are:
- Business continuity and 24/7 assistance to customers
- Increased scalability and flexibility of contact centre services
- Hiring the best workforce not limited by geographical constraints
5. Automation with AI integration
AI integration in communication channels is the future. AI augmentation helps businesses offer maximised support to their customers at every step of the journey. It leads to streamlining of repetitive stress-inducing processes giving agents the freedom to pay attention to more complex tasks instead.
AI also helps hasten the process of collecting and analysing customer input and feedback. With AI-based analytics, businesses don’t just understand customer sentiments but can also predict the future behaviours of their buyers. And through these analytics, customer experience can be enhanced by routing the right conversation to the right agent.
There are countless ways in which artificial intelligence makes communication simpler. Apart from intelligent call routing and data analytics, features such as chatbots will also offer unlimited support to customers.
Investing in AI for contact centre future is a step that comes only with pros and no cons attached to it.
6. Improved agent training
To ensure a flawless customer experience, provide your agents with the best kind of training. Inducing training modules that allow self-pacing and are technologically charged can also lead to a decreased churn rate.
Today, training modules go beyond the historical classroom settings and are shorter in duration. Studies have concluded the inefficacy of rigid and conventional employee training and how this trend will diminish in the future of contact centres.
Amplifying digital solutions such as AI, collecting personalised feedback of agents and senior officials, preparing shorter units that offer quick learning, virtual interactive sessions, etc. will lead to happier and smarter professionals.
Making sure your agents are well trained and aware of their roles in the business will also help in reducing agent turnover.
Is your contact centre future-ready?
The future of contact centres is going to be largely intuitive and data-driven. The call centre ecosystem will experience bigger technological advancements, which is why it is important to be well-prepared for all upcoming trends.
Keeping an eye on what the future might bring will help your company tread in the right direction. Smart IVR systems and AI augmentation will be the chief drivers of modern contact centres. And to ensure the successful intertwining of customer experiences with your business, the time to embrace these changes is now.