This year, we’ve all experienced our share of challenges. But many contact centers have done more than simply adjust to these modifications by using technology that empowers their agents. They have faced them head-on and transformed operations to provide the service they expect to customers, through telephone, chat, email, social or other channels, in the ways they expect it.
There will be a continued increased focus on offering great customer experiences and improved customer journeys as we look forward to 2021. Here are some trends in contact centers that you can expect in the coming year.
The company is now evolving at a significantly higher rate than expected. At the same time, domains such as call center technology trends focus heavily on customer satisfaction, enhanced experience, and refined service, while improving organizational sales.
Here is a list of contact center trends and customer experience (CX) strategies for 2021 and beyond for building resilient, future-proof contact center operations to support your business to get long-term stability:
- Distribute your workforce
- Keep remote operations
- Prefer digital-first
- Experience as a Service
- Redefine Security Plans
- Personalized Customer Experiences
- Reactivate Your Sales Engine
- Develop a new Training Agenda
- Growing Adoption of Revoke Technology
- Social Media Take the Lead
- [IVR](https://www.ictbroadcast.com/ivr-designer “IVR”)
For 2021 and beyond, these contact center operations and technology trends are affecting customer and employee experiences. Let’s dig into each one in more depth now, including why they are so critical, business results that they can produce, and next moves towards execution and optimization.
Distribute your workforce
During quarantine, digital conversion increased. This unexpected and rampant shift in the way we interact with agents and clients shook companies working only in centralized areas. Many who were not sufficiently versatile to adapt encountered shortages of agents and organizational difficulties.
In the meantime, companies with localized operations and facilities at home did better during the recession than those with clustered brick-and-mortar locations. Contact centers were ready to disperse and deploy at-home resources or shift operations elsewhere with resources around the map.
The days of the mega-centers are decreasing, and the future is quick, agile, and widespread. To optimize diversification of skills, capital, and places, use a physical and remote hybrid model of work. The deployment of agents for different volumes and support needs would require this versatility.
Keep remote operations
Natural or man-made crises attracted vast amounts of assistance and surpassed capacity, leaving clients on hold during difficult times. Some businesses saw hold times rise by 34 percent and escalations increase by 68 percent during the crisis, based on Harvard Business Review analysis during the crisis. Leaders would want to be prepared for the next crisis, whether anticipated or unexpected. Remote options and versatile models of staffing allow contact centers to remain ready on a scale.
The value of remote work lies in the opportunity to go far beyond the means of a brick-and-mortar standard center. To give your company a versatile way to deploy emergency services in times of crisis, use the service capabilities provided by working remotely. The strength of contact centers lies in pivoting and scaling support capability rapidly in times of uncertainty.
Technologies for digital transformation relating to automation, AI-enabled learning, messaging and cloud-based systems are now a must. When they had to deploy solutions rapidly during the crisis, customer-facing companies understood the mission-critical advantages of a digital-first.
The capability of artificial intelligence (AI) to measure caller sentiment and provide agents with appropriate, real-time, recommendations allowed them to produce immediate results supported by human compassion.
Make the contact center operations focused on automation, AI-enabled learning, messaging, and cloud-based systems a cornerstone. While contact resolution, employee efficiency, and customer satisfaction improve through a combination of agents and technology, companies have also seen costs decrease.
For government and health fields that address large volumes of a mix of low and high-level issues that involve human and AI activity, this is especially invaluable.
Experience as a Service
You must handle the journeys of your customers to offer outstanding customer experiences. Actionable knowledge helps you to understand and understand your clients; AI tools can produce insights in real-time that help you to personalize experiences at the right time. And interaction instruments help you to identify and optimize consumer segments and strategies for care. Contact centers will concentrate on these core skills in the next year to deliver the vision of Experience as a Service.
Redefine Security Plans
Innovations in technology securely allow remote work in areas such as virtual private networks (VPNs), private cloud services, workstation "dummy" computers, and more. Security plans are changing as remote work becomes more prevalent to allow these technologies to be implemented in a contact center environment.
The future of work has evolved, but safety policies are unable to do so. Security can be better established now that a hybrid model of work is cementing itself. For instance, consider how video surveillance, without higher costs, would allow for more flexible work arrangements. Security officials will have to reconsider what works best, and what has been achieved in the past will not be constrained.
This could involve re-training people while working from home on what is required of them. The integration of agents in security and contact center enforcement refresher courses will help them understand what is appropriate in the future in their new home workplaces.
Leaders would also want to consider multi-factor authentication for VPN deployment. It is better to use two-factor authentication than to rely only on a password for security. In order to track who has access to cloud systems hosting sensitive data, two-factor setups are extremely necessary.
Personalized Customer Experiences
If something has been taught to us by the COVID-19 crisis, it’s the value of genuinely knowing clients. Clients want more tailored support from medical to financial settings and beyond.
That indicates that your agents need the correct data at their fingertips. This focus on information service will continue to expand into 2021, having insight into the customers to deliver the services they want, when they want it.
Reactivate Your Sales Engine
For the near future, in-person sales visits would be significantly reduced. And with tight budgets, large, untargeted sales strategies will not be sufficient. Leaders would need to understand how their digital instruments fit into the ‘new-normal’ and encourage their sales team to do their job.
To help target the most possible sales leads and retention possibilities, use predictive analytics combined with an integrated internal sales team to help sales organizations be more efficient and boost speed-to-close. An at-home within sales model also allows for greater versatility and more customized meetings from a tactical perspective. Remote sales agents would also be essential for renewals, upgrades, and upselling/cross-selling activities to communicate with clients as physical locations remain shuttered.
Develop a new Training Agenda
A critical part of great CX delivery is contact center agent training. In a hybrid, remote and physical future, organizations will have to rethink how the classroom environment will look. Agents separated by unexpected events, now more than ever will want to be linked to an organization that is powerful and placed together.
Asynchronous, digital techniques such as gamified learning, AI-driven training practice scenarios, and immediate feedback on individual strengths and weaknesses can be leveraged by your organizations to adapt training that produces the highest performers. To personalize learning styles for different learners and offer self-paced, ongoing evaluations, influence the potential of safer, non-classroom formats.
Growing Adoption of Revoke Technology
Mistakes are simply a part of humanity and there is no exception to calling agents. Fortunately, it’s possible to stop communication mistakes from tainting the brand value with the advances made in technology.
For instance, take revoke technology. Brands are introducing this technology to screen incorrect or inappropriate messages in call centers. With recall technology, avoiding incorrect notifications from reaching customers is simple for call center workers. In addition, it is easily found and addressed immediately when an error slips into the conversation.
To help call centers preserve consistency in any conversation, revoke technology is here to help. While it adds several minutes to the data transmission, it preserves the flow of conversations without adversely affecting customer satisfaction. Its use in the call center is, therefore, completely justified.
The introduction of revoke technology marks an important milestone in developments in call centers. Its benefits are as apparent as the day. And more call centers want to be tuned in to the progress as experts advance this breakthrough.
Social Media Take the Lead
Social networking is rapidly increasing. The maximum number of social media users was 3.6 billion in 2020 alone and is estimated to cross more than 4 billion by 2023. With almost 50% of the world’s population using social media, it makes sense that specialists in customer engagement have discussed how these channels grab customer service hooks. As 72 percent of social media users confirmed that their social media behaviors have risen, and these activities involve customers reaching out to brands and businesses, this assertion was never more valid during the pandemic.
By making two-way interactions public, some brands have gone a step further. Thus, future buyers will see how a problem has been solved by the brand. As a consequence, when it comes to solving client problems, it has been straightforward to gallantly show brand intellect and concern. This, probably, is one of the potential developments of the call center. To see how it works out in 2021 and beyond, take your focus on this one.
Companies have been using cloud technology as part of broader communication techniques for a long time. Nevertheless, until recently, the notion of cloud connectivity in call centers was unfathomable. Cloud connectivity in call centers has paved the way for the steady growth of remote call agents and the development of project management tools.
Brands are currently establishing cloud-based systems that allow remote agents to connect with customers in the same way they would in location-based centers. The advantages of such an approach are too enticing for brands to avoid, particularly during the pandemic, when even call centers had to reorganize their activities to meet the work-from-home environment.
In addition, cloud-based systems allow companies to cut the number of agents and overheads in-house. At the same time, irrespective of their place in the world, the approach makes it easy to find qualified workers. Therefore, timezone flexibility occurs. Better yet, corporations don’t have to spend massive sums of resources and IT funds.
Cloud-based call centres, most significantly, offer brands the versatility and efficiency to support more clients. In the face of these advantages, we expect this phenomenon to proceed to influence the way the call center functions in 2021 and even beyond.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is certainly one of the early developments in automation for call centers. For years now, call centers have used IVR, and it seems the software is not ready for the exit yet. Indeed, in reaction to COVID-19, this innovation was first adopted by IVR by one in three businesses. Additionally, 42% of organizations that currently use IVR have expanded their use.
IVR technology was enhanced by the advent of artificial intelligence (AI). In reality, in modern call centershttps://www.ictbroadcast.com/ivr-designer, the IVR + AI mixture has given birth to advanced IVR systems with more significant roles.
The use of voice recognition in IVR has been pioneered by AI. As a result, call centers can route callers to appropriate agents or divisions quickly. In this way, clients get assistance from an agent who is better qualified to solve their problems. In addition, IVR systems retrieve relevant details and background events in the past of the customer with AI, allowing agents to provide customized experiences.