If you run contact center operations, where should you focus in 2019? How do you successfully connect with customers? Do you need to rethink the role of employees versus technology? This is an industry that is constantly changing.

According to Gartner, by the end of 2019, 50% of organizations will have redirected their investments into innovations for customer experience.

But the question is where to get started? Thinking of contact centers with the customer as the focus is the best way. But customer expectations are changing as digital and self-service tools are becoming more robust.  So knowledge about future trends related to contact centers can help further evolve and enhance your customer service delivery.

Here are three trends that we see becoming more prevalent in the industry:

  • Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Contact Center: Artificial intelligence is changing contact center experiences for the customers as well as the agents. Contact centers contain massive amounts of information, and AI can connect the dots between the data points and change the way businesses interact with their customers.
    For instance, AI is helping to track and monitor consumer behavior, identify sales patterns/trends. This enables companies to analyze, forecast and make recommendations about how a company’s business is changing with time. At an operational level, it helps in predicting call volumes and staffing requirements, as well as recognize and flag impending issues before they arise.“Gartner Says 25 Percent of Customer Service Operations Will Use Virtual Customer Assistants by 2020”Organizations need a 360view of their customer’s history and agents need to have key data points at their fingertips, and automated rules can ensure customers are receiving the best service while optimizing operational productivity.
    AI also helps with ‘’sentiment’’ driven analytics – a deep dive into each interaction to enable getting answers to very basic questions like What issues specifically contribute to customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction? How can one convert a satisfied customer into a loyal one or an unsatisfied customer into an appreciative one?
  • Chatbots: Chatbots are mainly deployed to supplement inbound operations in contact centers. They have been used in recent years to not only provide cost-effective solutions but also to reduce human error and time spent on human interactions.Gartner Predicts “By 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on bots and Chatbots creation than traditional mobile app development”.Live chatbots are mainly used to help with basic queries online, while human agents handle more complex requests and queries. Currently, most chatbots assist in self-service efforts and lighten the contact center load from high volumes, tier-1 interactions. Chatbots can even recognize when it is unable to answer a customer’s queries and alerts the agent to handle the chat.Gartner predicts that twenty-five percent of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or Chatbots technology across engagement channels by 2020
  • Omni-Channel Communications: For becoming customer-centric, organizations must provide multichannel & omnichannel support. (Omnichannel support seamlessly integrates the multiple channels of interaction – phone, email, chat, etc). Organizations need to prioritize the evolution of their contact centers towards omnichannel services as the customer is getting more experienced with channels other than voice, with expectations that businesses will be able to service them seamlessly and consistently across chat, email, website, mobile device, telephone, etc.Study shows that business which has implemented omnichannel customer engagement retain 89% of their customers, while companies with weak omnichannel engagement keep only 33%.Customers feel dissatisfied when they re-engage with organizations through a different channel and have to repeat their information and issue multiple times to different agents. They expect the contact center to know the customers’ history and resolve their queries in the shortest possible time, and with the least repetition.
    Omnichannel support is quickly becoming the expected norm form a customers standpoint. Contact centers must be ready to service customers whenever they expect and through whatever channel or medium they choose to interact through.

Companies will find it difficult to grow or compete if they use outdated models to service customers. On the other hand, it may be challenging and unmanageable to upgrade existing contact center operations due to time, labor and resources constraints.  Falling behind the latest trends may lead to a big gap in customer service operations and an unsatisfied customer base.

This is where experts, who have the capability of providing these services, can be considered for deploying such solutions efficiently and quickly. This will not only get the things done in a professional way but will actually mitigate risk, while keeping you updated with the latest trends in contact center operations.

Click here to know more about SLK Global’s cost-effective omnichannel contact center services.

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