By Uthaman Bakthikrishnan, Executive Vice President, ClearTouch
The evolution of technology has been significant in recent years, as can be seen in the contact centre industry. Customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) are critical success factors, and leaders are now focusing on how to best use artificial intelligence (AI) to boost competitiveness.
We’ve seen the rise of omnichannel solutions and virtual assistants, and we’re now entering the era of the metaverse! Customer’s expectations of having their issues resolved in as few interactions as possible are increasing as new technologies are adopted. Let’s take a look at some contact centre trends that are expected to be in limelight in 2023.
1. Omni channel Contact Center: The pandemic brought digital transformation made people turn to more digital channels than ever to connect with companies and ask for support. Consumer expectations changed, they now demand the freedom to interact with companies in their preferred way: live chats (Chatbots), SMSs, email, phone, or through virtual assistants as they refrain to be confined to one touchpoint or communication channel.
This is where the Omnichannel contact center solution comes into the picture. It enables agents to access information from every interaction across every touchpoint in a single platform, collecting critical data and assisting them in providing optimised and customised customer service, as well as delivering a consistent experience across devices and communication channels. An omnichannel solution is critical for a better customer experience and should be considered as part of a customer engagement strategy if a company wants to provide a more enhanced and competitive service.
2. Conversational IVR: Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is one of the earliest call center automation trends, and contact centers have been using it for years. It is still, very rightfully so, considered to be the core channel for all contact centers and it is here to stay. The rise of AI has had a positive impact on IVR. Both technologies have been combined to optimise processes and give birth to advanced IVR systems such as conversational IVR in more modern contact centres.
3. Cloud Contact Centers: A Gartner study underlines that over 95% of businesses will use cloud computing by 2024, further elaborating the numerous benefits that a cloud contact center solution may provide to organizations that aim to optimize the agent and customer experiences. A cloud- the based solution enables businesses to hire agents from various time zones and countries around the world. This not only allows a company to provide customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but it also allows businesses to reduce the number of in-house agents, saving costs. It also aids in hiring the best talents regardless of their location.This technology enables businesses to scale quickly and easily, and provides reliable performance and cost savings.
4. Voice Analytics: Voice is the primary form of communication in a call center. With customer experience becoming the key competitive differentiator, every organization stands to gain from the voice interactions that customers have with their agents. This is where voice analytics comes handy. It helps analyze if a customer is irritated, stressed, or plain disappointed with the interaction that they had with your organization. Using big data techniques combined with voice analysis, an organisation can get important business insights by analyzing a huge volume of call data. The use of voice analytics to enhance the customer experience is likely to see an upsurge going ahead.
5. Rise of advanced self-service tools: The pandemic also resulted in a much higher need for virtual and contact center assistance. With this came the demand from customers to solve their problems and find the answers they seek on their own. Self-service tools have since become the preferred method of customer service.
Self-service tools, like chat bots, IVRs, FAQs etc, in addition to providing answers to the most frequently asked questions, benefit agents because consumers view call interactions as a last resort. This reduces call queues and wait times while also freeing up agents to handle more complex issues that require more attention, thoughtfulness, and empathy.
Furthermore, innovative call center technology trends, such as Robotic process automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning for both employee and customer interactions are changing the face of customer service.
Almost every change in the call centre industry has been influenced by the power of technology. New call centre solutions have been rapidly emerging, and innovation has in fact been accelerated. As the nature of work changes, these trends are shaping the future of automation in contact center to further improve the customer experience.