In most businesses, keeping up with trends is important. It helps you stay relevant and keeps consumers interested in what you have to offer. In the world of the contact center, though, keeping up with - and perhaps ahead of - trends is imperative to your success. It can mean the difference in delivering a great customer experience and providing the kind of service consumers really need - or getting outpaced by those you’re in direct competition with and leaving profitability behind as a result.
Want to know what the call center trends are projected to be in the coming year and beyond? Here are some expert takes on the trends to watch:
Automation Remains Important - But So Does the Human Touch
Some experts in the contact center industry have said that 2020 dawns a new age - one of a push back against excessive automation. This may be because so many centers have attempted to automate the bulk of their processes, leaving people who contact them wondering if they’re talking to a human or a machine. It can be very frustrating when you just want to hear a real, human voice!
Thankfully, the pendulum of trends looks to be swinging back in the direction of human interaction. Automation is still important, make no mistake; many modern call centers cannot function without the automation they have put in place and it continues to be imperative to providing the best possible experience to modern consumers. However, today’s customers are increasingly interested in feeling like service is tailored to them, so the human element is not going anywhere. In fact, look for it to make a major return in 2020 and beyond.
Technology Will Continue to Change the Game
The way we communicate is changing. It’s no surprise, then, that the way we interact with contact centers is also changing. Call center trends are likely to see far more omnichannel approaches as center diversify the devices they are capable of serving consumers with. Likewise, there is likely to be a massive uptick in the amount of social media customer service available. All of this is designed to cater to the modern consumers as the way they engage with technology of all kinds shifts into the next century.
Self-service will undoubtedly continue to be at the forefront of developers’ minds as they create ever-better chat bots, IVR systems, and more. Today’s consumer want to be able to take care of things themselves when possible, and facilitating that isn’t just a call center trend - it’s a smart business move for any company.
Customer Experience is Still King
While technology has to grow and improve every day to keep pace with industry and consumer demand. It is important to remember one fact. Your technology is part of the customer experience - not the entire thing. Your consumer is still looking for a personalized approach from your business and still hoping for the human touch somewhere along the line.
Providing a great customer experience is different than just providing service. You can offer consumers self-service options without completely divorcing your company of the chance to give them a great experience. Follow up with a consumer, offer them rewards or other incentives for providing feedback about their experience, and generally try to inject a lengthy, more human interaction into every exchange you have. Even if they aren’t talking to a person, this attention to the customer experience will go a long way in giving them a positive impression of your brand.
Call Center Trends Say Metrics Will Cease to Matter (As Much)
It would border on insanity to say that metrics will no longer feature in the measure of success for call centers and BPO organizations. These figures are a major part of how these businesses keep track of what is working and what is falling short. However, the hard and fast nature of metrics as they have long been known is experiencing a shift in popularity among call center managers. These wise leaders are seeing the value in other ways of measuring their companies’ success.
Longer phone calls no longer mean poor service. Sometimes, just the opposite. Longer calls may mean agents who are taking more time to provide thorough service, which will only yield higher customer satisfaction ratings. Managers are increasingly seeing the value of these deviations from previous metric goals and are only likely to continue to do so in the future.
Industry Newcomers Pride Themselves on Being Disruptors
You have probably heard of up and coming businesses as being “disruptions” to the status quo. This may sound appealing, but for those who have been in the industry for a long time, it can be much more troublesome than admirable.
Keep these newcomers from bringing problems with them by maintaining processes and approaches that have been working for your business. No, this doesn’t mean let things stagnate; it’s important to keep up with trends, as well. But be sure that a new approach doesn’t throw you out of a good habit you’ve already established. Don’t be “disrupted” unnecessarily.
At the end of the day, trends come and go. What is most important is that your center serves consumers well - within the guidelines set by your industry - or breaks boundaries after learning them, first.
Call center trends don’t have to mean letting your current operation become obsolete. Keep up with trends and outpace your competition by consulting the industry experts at ChaseData frequently for technology updates. Our cutting-edge software solutions will help you integrate today’s best approaches into your own and make staying ahead of the competition easier than you ever imagined. For more information on outfitting your operation with everything you need to keep up with today’s call center trends, give us a call today!