Not many companies would argue with the fact that contact centers play a key role in customer satisfaction today. After all, they are often the first and most frequent touchpoint for customers to interact with an organization.
Contact center trends for 2022 will revolve around automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and omnichannel integration. With an increase in call volume coupled with high turnover and agent attrition, technology is also expected to play an important role in how future contact centers operate. Here are several trends to watch.
Contact Center Future Trends
Let’s start with the big picture. When it comes to overall contact center trends, companies will focus on meeting customers in their preferred communication channel. For some, that may be old-fashioned phone or email, while others want to communicate primarily by text or social media. Contact centers must be able to handle the entire set of communications channels–as well as deal with customers who will float between them.
Businesses will need to offer omnichannel customer communication with a remote or hybrid workforce. As more employees work from home, on the road, at the office, or in some combination depending on the day of the week, workforce optimization must be a priority for all organizations. Optimization will then directly impact contact center performance by ensuring the right number of agents are available at any given moment. It will also provide reliable remote access to data and applications.
Agents in a hybrid workforce will need to connect easily to a host of applications such as SAP, Concur, or industry-specific tools when they are offsite. They also may need to connect to an available phone when they are in the office.
Contact Center Industry Trends
We’ll now look at industry-specific trends that revolve around integration, service, and pricing.
Contact centers must be unified with Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to seamlessly deliver VoIP, unified communications, and Microsoft Teams in one location. This allows agents to collaborate with colleagues while speaking with customers. Agents will be able to access files, chat with experts on difficult questions, and see which colleagues are available to assist. This integration puts the power of the entire organization at the agents’ – and customers' – fingertips.
Another trend in the industry will be interactive voice response and post-call surveys that can help measure customer service quality, efficiency, and speed of the service. Having regular access to such information empowers management to make improvements on an ongoing basis.
Finally, you’ll see pricing become a competitive advantage as contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) comes into its own. Evolve IP is the only vendor in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant that has been recognized with pricing as a strength, delivering a comprehensive CCaaS solution for 30 to 40 percent less than the competition.
Contact Center Technology Trends
Let’s drill down to the technology in future contact centers. As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, contact centers will tap into its possibilities. Technology can use natural language processing to determine caller intent and deliver automated notifications, shortening the time it takes to answer customer questions or resolve problems.
Ultimately, technology will significantly boost customer satisfaction and increase loyalty. For instance, queue callback gives callers the option of receiving a return call instead of sitting on hold. Skills-based routing ensures that transferred calls go to the correct live agent for resolution.
For contact centers conducting outbound calls, a dialer feature can increase volume, help fuel additional sales, and present a preview to answered calls, which will boost efficiency and conversion rates.
Banking Contact Center Trends
Finally, let’s look at the specific applications for the banking industry. Banking contact centers will use advanced reporting to aggregate customer intelligence. Financial organizations will move away from basic dashboards and towards reports that tie data from multiple business units. These aggregated reports will fuel better decision-making and smarter strategies.
These reporting tools must be based on a consolidated, easy-to-use data warehouse that has already pulled together all the financial institution’s data into a single location. Unified data helps employees have the information they need at their fingertips, which means faster problem resolution and happier customers.
At the same time, banking managers and agents will take advantage of web-based contact center applications and real-time alerts that can enhance call productivity and resolve complex customer interactions effectively and simply.
Evolve IP as a Trendsetter
Evolve IP has worked on perfecting these CCaaS integrations, AI, reporting, and hybrid workforce tools for years, but we continue to address future trends. Recently, Evolve IP has established a partnership with Dubber, the world’s leading provider of cloud-based conversational recording and AI services. This partnership will help take the organization and its customers to the next level of contact center sophistication.
If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out. We’d love to hear more about your business and share how we can help you be a trendsetter when it comes to contact center performance in the future.