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    We are in the wake of almost everything turning digital. As technology is ever-evolving, we wouldn’t know what a future contact centre would look like. But one thing is for certain: it is unlikely to be a “physical” entity.

    Customers’ expectations of business contact centre capabilities have evolved over the years. And the standards are only about to get high in the coming years when it comes to customer experience. And to put this into business’s perspective, The Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience.

    However, from a customer’s standpoint, CX is what happens to be the differentiator. A study claims that 86% of the customers are willing to pay more if it comes with a better customer experience.

    With these statistics being laid out on the significance of CX in the modern-day contact centre ecosystem, let’s dive deep into how businesses can enhance their customer experience.

    6 contact centre trends to look out for in the future

    Here’s a list of 6 contact centre trends that can be implemented by your business to enhance CX

    a. Omnichannel and mobile-first infrastructure

    Adobe recently found that companies with the most robust omnichannel customer engagement strategies enjoy a 10% year-on-year growth, a 10% increase in average order value and a 25% increase in close rates. So it sounds like a no-brainer to invest in CX through omnichannel right?

    Omnichannel contact centers give a better context for your business and agents when connecting with your customers. It is a customer-centric approach that connects every customer touchpoint and gives 360-degree access to your agents. These touchpoints range from mobile apps, website, email, SMS, call and in-store.

    When your agents have a full context of a customer’s previous outreach, engagement, and query status, they can provide the best service. This transparency helps cut down a lot of back and forth for both the customer and your agent, which saves time and effort.

    Importance of mobile-first infrastructure:

    According to Stat Counter, 52% of all internet traffic comes from mobile, with desktop usage declining. And it is no surprise that 84% of companies that claim to be customer-centric are now focusing on the mobile customer experience.

    Smartphones have grown to be the primary device of communication. Its user-friendliness and speed are unparalleled, and hence customers expect their issues to be quickly resolved via smartphones. However, the reality is different as businesses have just started to adapt to the mobile-first approach. As a result, customers don’t prefer businesses that don’t have a properly functioning mobile site/app, good UI and highly responsive mobile site/app.

    Prioritising a mobile-centric customer engagement strategy is the growing and next big thing when it comes to providing the best customer experience.

    b. Self-servicing tools

    As humans, we tend to experiment with solutions ourselves before seeking help. There could be instances where we straightaway google or jump on youtube to fix or research any given issue before reaching out to a subject specialist. This goes the same for your business and its customers.

    40% of consumers now prefer self-service over human contact and 70% of customers now expect a company’s website to include a self-service application. (Source: The Self Serving Economy)

    These self-service tools enable customers to fix the simplest of problems without contacting your support agent. These tools might range from the simplest of FAQ pages and chatbots to dedicated video tutorials, catalogues and applications.

    These self-service tools help you

    Minimise the call volume for your support team
    Filter DIY issues from complex problems that need assistance
    Cut cost and save time for your agents
    c. Video support centre and issue resolution

    As new tech stacks emerge, certain complexities also emerge with this, be it in terms of configuration, operations, etc. These complex issues need highly interactive solutions that bind all the silos of virtual communication.

    There might be instances where your customer might be referring to something, and your agents wouldn’t be able to grasp it or vice versa. To avoid misunderstanding, businesses have come up with a solution. A video-based support centre helps humanise the support experience. This makes the entire query resolution process easy for both your agent and your customer.

    Co-browsing allows your agents to take control of your customer’s device while staying connected with the customer. This will enable your agents to take the customers through or solve the issue for the customer themselves. This video-based assistance has a massive impact on CX in terms of:

    Real-time query resolution: Live communication tools like video chat and co-browsing help diagnose the issue and come up with a solution faster.
    Maximise productivity: Effectively helps cut short the time spent on issue resolution for both the agent and the customer.
    Improve FCR rate: Scale First Contact Resolution rate, which is the business’s ability to solve customer issues right after the first time they reach out for help.
    d. AI-enabled IVR and voice bots

    IVR systems are usually mundane and lack personalisation. Compared to customer touchpoints, the IVR system is slow and frustrating because it lacks human touch and doesn’t allow customers to get straight to the point. This gave rise to the need for a system that effectively handles customer queries and saves response and waiting time.

    This brings us to voice bots, an AI-based bot that identifies customers’ voice commands by transcribing and responding to queries through voice or text. With such technology, customers can straight away ask, “What’s the update on my last order?” instead of dialling in a predefined set of IVR inputs.

    In the future of CX report, PwC surveyed 15,000 consumers and found that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience. At the same time, 92% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions.

    One such bad experience could lead to the loss of a valuable customer and businesses shouldn’t take a chance with dated IVR systems as they are less personal. Voice bots provide better context and also give customers a human touch to the conversations.

    Not just support, voice bots could also play a significant role in qualifying sales leads where the predefined set of questions that are mandatorily asked could be automated. This reduces sales agents’ burden and efficiently manages leads at a rapid pace.

    Sentiment analysis and predictive analytics with AI

    Businesses are bombarded with customer queries, and each ticket carries different complexities and emotions behind it. It might be very hard for your support agent or an analyst to go through every conversation and analyse the severity of a customer’s issues.

    This is where businesses analyse the sentiment of the conversation in bulk and help filter out the conversations that express a negative tone. When the tool is trained and fed with negative words and tags, such tickets are filtered and escalated so that they are resolved on priority.

    And when combined with predictive tools, the escalation can automatically be routed to the right agent without any hassle. These predictive tools help identify customer preferences over a period of time. This in turn develops an algorithm to itself. If a specific customer of yours calls regarding a particular query (which is caught by the sentiment analysis tool), the call gets routed to your subject matter specialist of that particular keyword.

    In addition to this, this technology can help predict the changing trends in the market and their effects on the business with data that are processed over time. This can help businesses to:

    Rethink their demand and supply strategies
    Ideas on the best time to roll out offers
    Experiment at a very minimal risk
    e. Hybrid work infrastructure

    Due to this pandemic, businesses were forced to adapt to a remote/hybrid infrastructure. This was also a boon for businesses where it pushed them to bring together all their systems for better manageability, 360-degree view on customer-facing activities. In addition, this brought about uniformity, whereas the systems used to be in a silo.

    Hybrid work infrastructure is scalable and flexible. It doesn’t require a dedicated in house physical infrastructure nor does it need to be set up and maintained like the on-premise systems. As these systems are based on the cloud, they come on a subscription basis and can be scaled as and when to meet the requirements. Not to mention that these systems are very cost-effective when compared to the traditional contact centre, which doesn’t provide the feature set, integration capabilities and remote operability in the first place.

    f. Real-time insights and analytics

    Remote work infrastructure easily enabled businesses to integrate all their systems across the organisation. This helped businesses to leverage their reporting and analytical capabilities without any dependencies.

    Your team doesn’t have to rely on other teams to generate reports. Advanced analytic tools help generate all of the real-time insights from various other sub tools like CRM, Helpdesk, ERP, etc.

    These analytic tools not only help evaluate customer satisfaction levels but also help with enhancing and scaling business SLAs accordingly. To add to this, businesses can use the data and recordings to train agents on the best practices for effective communication.

    To wrap it up,

    The future of contact centers heavily rely on providing the best customer experience. However, personalising and managing every customer account turns out to be a tedious task when done manually. This leaves businesses moving towards automating their business communication suite with artificial intelligence. Reach out to us if you are looking for a full-stack contact centre that’ll help you stay on top of these trends. Book a consultation here.

    Manisha Mishra

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