April 3, 2024

Trends to Improve Your Contact Center in 2024

Trends to Improve Your Contact Center in 2024

Technology and customer expectations have changed a lot over the last few years. Take some time to learn about the contact center trends for 2024 that will put your team on the path to success.

Focus on Customer Care

All of the contact center trends you adopt should ultimately improve customer care. It’s very difficult to remain competitive until you have managers, agents, tools, and strategies working together to improve every customer’s experience.

Currently, some of the most important strategies for improving CX include:

Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants use artificial intelligence (AI) to understand and process customer requests. With reliable generative AI helping customers, you can handle more calls quickly to keep hold times low.

Self-Service Options

Some callers have complex problems that require help from a customer service professional. Others just want to complete simple tasks they can handle without assistance.

Create self-service options for tasks like paying bills, checking balances, and updating contact information. This lets customers handle their own needs while your agents tackle more demanding issues.

Your call center can use interactive voice response (IVR) technology to make self-service even more convenient. With IVR, callers can say what they want to accomplish instead of sitting through a list of service options.

Add intelligent call routing (ICT) to your center’s technology to help frustrated callers connect to professionals trained to solve their unique problems.

Customized Interactions

Customized interactions make callers feel unique and cared for. They can also help your contact center process more calls.

For example, your system could associate a phone number with the person’s name. When someone calls, your system can review the account’s history to address them by name and offer services that match their frequent needs. With this brief interaction, the caller feels acknowledged and your contact center works more efficiently.

Omnichannel Integrations

Omnichannel integrations will become increasingly important to businesses as Gen Z influences customer service success. Over 90% of Gen Z say they don’t like talking on the phone or even feel anxiety about using their phones to talk.

Omnichannel integrations conform to their preferences by letting customers communicate with your call center via options like text messages, instant messages, and direct messages on social media.

Nurture Agent Care

Contact centers have high turnover rates (30-45% annually) that harm customer care and increase costs. If your call center has a high turnover rate, your agents might not know products well or understand how to use your technology. You spend all that time and money training employees only to lose them before you see a strong return on those investments.

Nurturing agents has become a popular way to lower turnover and build stronger teams:

Hybrid Agents

Over 50% of workers in the United States have hybrid jobs that let them work remotely at least some of the time. The majority of employees say they like hybrid work because it improves their work-life balance. About half of people (52%) even become more productive when they can work remotely.

Now that many software solutions have moved to the cloud, contact centers can give remote employees access to the tools they need. Remote work should help lower your turnover rate, improve engagement, and give you a more dynamic workforce that lets you pull in remote agents during busy hours.

Agent Empowerment

Empowering agents often means listening to them and taking their concerns seriously. Your contact center can also give them more flexibility so they control more aspects of their lives. Obviously, you can’t let every team member create their own schedules, but you can prioritize individual preferences.

Reinforce Agent Talent

Ongoing training benefits contact centers and agents. Over time, your center’s technology and offerings will evolve, so you need to retrain staff members. You can also nurture agent talent by training them for future positions.

Most people don’t want to feel “stuck” in the same job forever. They want to see their careers progress. Keep your top agents happy by training them for supervisory, management, and other positions that interest them.

Reinforce Brand Care

Brand reputation can influence customer choices before people learn any details about your business. A tainted reputation could mean you never even have a chance to tell potential customers about the benefits of choosing your company and products. This year, reinforce brand care through:

Enhanced Security

One report shows that 74% of consumers trust brands less after they experience a security breach. Enhanced security helps protect your brand by safeguarding customer data and other information.

Social Responsibility

Research from McKinsey shows that brands grow 8% more over a five-year term when they embrace environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. Promote your brand’s strategies for sustainability and inclusion to attract more customers and make the world a better place.

Compliance Standards

Complying with industry standards helps ensure you serve customers well and protect their information. Compliance standards can differ by industry, though. Maintain a positive brand reputation by following your industry’s regulations.

Embrace Artificial Intelligence

The popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) exploded in 2022 when OpenAI released a public version of ChatGPT. Really, though, companies have used AI for decades. Over the next year, apply AI technology to topics like:

Sentiment Analysis

AI and natural language processing (NLP) can collect and analyze data to tell you how people feel about your brand.

Sentiment analysis can happen on a small scale by detecting speech patterns for signs of frustration. It can also scour the internet to find mentions of your brand on websites, social media, and review platforms.

Both approaches will help you understand how customers feel about your brand so your agents can respond appropriately.

Identify Customer Behavior

Your customer relationship management (CRM) software provides a lot of details about customer behaviors. Unfortunately, human agents can only absorb a small amount of that information while handling calls.

AI, however, can review customer interactions to spot trends in individual and group behaviors. Pass those insights along to call center agents so they understand their callers and can meet their needs more effectively.

Generative AI

Generative AI can formulate accurate, useful responses to customer queries. You’ve seen how this works if you’ve used a tool like ChatGPT. The caller poses a request, and the GenAI listens to the request, identifies what the caller needs, and does its best to fulfill the request.

Staying Ahead of Contact Center Trends

Call center trends can evolve quickly, making it hard for some companies to keep up. Staying ahead of these trends, though, helps ensure success for your customers and business. Incorporate as many of them as possible into your strategy moving forward.

See how Call Tools can support your enterprise today!

Benefits of Automatic Call Distribution for Inbound Call Centers

4 Fundamental Benefits of an IVR for Small Businesses

Want More From Your Dialer?

Let our platform experts show you on a live demo!