Staying at the forefront of contact center trends can set your call center apart from the rest. As customer habits change, call centers must also adapt to maintain their customer experience. Recent call center trends are enabling call centers to implement better techniques of serving their clients. Here are 5 contact center trends that will define 2021.
1. Omnichannel Experience
Gone are the days when your clients enjoyed limited communication channels. Nowadays they can reach you through multiple platforms. They are there on social media and can call or even decide to face-time if you allow them. Call centers have noted their clients' desire to communicate through a variety of channels. That's why the omnichannel experience is becoming trendy.
Your call center can provide this experience to customers by creating a single centralized communication channel. This channel will help your agents to communicate with clients from a single medium. It also gives clients the liberty to pick the channels they want to reach you through.
2. Cloud-Based Software
A lot of organizations are moving towards cloud computing. It's only natural for this shift to define the contact center trends for this year. Cloud centers are embracing cloud services to store their data in a centralized off-site location. This allows several benefits including scalability, data & agent management, security, cost reduction, and accessibility. With more agents working remotely, cloud-based solutions allow access to data regardless of an employee's location. And managers can monitor interactions easier.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Using artificial technology in call centers provides multiple privileges. It helps call centers automate some of their processes to improve resource utilization. For instance, you can afford to trim some of the training costs for the staff if you get an AI technology that can perform the task at hand.
AI is a powerful tool that can help to streamline your contact center. It allows you to enjoy benefits such as reducing hold times, improving accurate responses, and freeing up agents' times helps to improve the flow of your call center. Contact centers that employ artificial intelligence see faster customer service response times. Despite the many benefits of AI, it’s not likely to replace human interactions soon.
4. Remote Calling Agents
2020 saw a rise in agents working from home. As offices reopen, many will still likely have the option to continue remote work. This has both positives and negatives. Call centers using remote workers can see a reduction in costs from office space, along with great flexibility of agent hours. This could mean extending customer service operating hours. Remote service agents are likely to stay and possibly increase in 2021 as many call centers have already set processes in place to support working at home.
5. Advancement in Data Security and Management
Call centers are responding to the changes in how they handle a client’s data through advancing the security and management protocols for the data. Because of automation, the data that call centers are handling has increased. You have a duty to protect all the data from your clients when it’s in your custody. Otherwise, the call center will be vulnerable to lawsuits from the clients.
Cybercrime is partly responsible for fueling advancement in data security and management as a contact center trend this year. Cybercrime activities spiked when the pandemic began, and so many companies became victims of these crimes. Call centers are advancing their security measures to protect the business. The measures are ever dynamic so you’ll have to keep an eye to see what is working in the industry.
How Customer Habits and Technology Force Call Centers to Change
The fascinating thing about trends is that clients play a big role in starting them. It’s very difficult to imagine a call center changing its operations when everything works out well. Your client will most likely be the reason for the imbalance in the status quo.
When your operations don't seem to be efficient, then the possibility of changing the operation of the call center is higher. That is where technology comes in. Look at some habits and technological changes that are driving contact center trends and forcing call centers to adapt.
The Need for Increased Empathy
Clients are increasingly demanding for call agents to be empathetic during their interactions. Call centers are responding to this demand by training their agents to be warmer to clients during their interactions. You’ll also notice that an omnichannel platform affords your client this treatment. Clients will choose to communicate through channels they can best express themselves.
Advancement in Remote Work Technology
Remote work gained traction a lot because of the pandemic. As more people continue working from home, investments in the virtual workspace infrastructure are ramping up. Chances of call centers integrating this model of remote working for their agents after the pandemic is high. This is because of the advancement of tech companies for the virtual workspace. The advancement has direct benefits that call centers wouldn't want to scale back on.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Customer service is key in call centers. As branding is becoming one of the most significant aspects of many businesses, tailored customer experience is essential. Ensuring that your customers can navigate your support comprehensively can be a make-or-break experience. Customer retention often relies on brand loyalty. Brands that promote a customer-first agenda see higher retention rates and improved customer satisfaction.
Adapt to Contact Center Trends with Call Tools
While customer trends change, call centers must adapt to meet their needs. Employing the latest technology can help streamline processes and reduce costs. It’s also important for call centers to consider their agents' needs to ensure better work environments which in turn improves customer service. Contact Call Tools for tech solutions that will help your business adapt to the latest call center trends.