The contact center industry is rapidly evolving, and the trends in the near future will have a major impact on the industry. Staying informed on these trends is essential for you to remain competitive and maximize your success. In this article, we will be discussing the call center trends that you can expect in 2023 and beyond, so you can be well-prepared for the changes in the industry. So, let’s dive right in
2023 Contact Center Trends: What to Expect
Here are the Contact Center Trends that you can expect to see in 2023 and beyond.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to shut down and stay-at-home orders were put in place, many companies had to quickly pivot their operations in order to continue providing services. Call centers, in particular, had to make a quick transition to a distributed workforce in order to keep up with customer service demands. Companies that quickly adapted to a distributed workforce were able to maintain operations with minimal disruption, while those with centralized locations were in serious trouble.
Using a distributed workforce has many benefits, such as cost savings due to the lack of overhead costs associated with physical offices and utilities. Moreover, increased customer service capacity and efficiency can be achieved without additional infrastructure. Furthermore, you can get access to a bigger, more diverse pool of talent from multiple areas, allowing you to hire experienced workers at a cheaper rate.
The era of the gargantuan contact centers is gradually coming to an end, with the future of the outsourcing industry pointing towards agility and velocity.
AI-powered Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems
AI-driven IVR systems are becoming increasingly popular in the customer service industry due to their efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and ability to provide a more personalized customer experience. They use AI and NLP technology to quickly process customer requests and respond in a more human-like manner, allowing customers to quickly get the answers they need.
These new IVR systems can transfer a customer’s complex issue to a human agent promptly and accurately if live assistance is needed. This integration helps to reduce call-handling costs and enhance customer satisfaction by preventing the customer from having to repeat their issue. With this technology, a representative can read the transcript created by the system and pick up where the IVR system left off.
Additionally, these IVR systems can be paired with advanced speech analytics software like MK SmartSpeech to gather data on customer behaviors and preferences. This data can then be used to further improve customer service and create more targeted marketing campaigns. This is something that would be a daunting task with old IVR systems.
Social Media Customer Service
According to DataReportal, ‘the number of social media users around the world has grown significantly in the past year, with a total of 4.70 billion people using social media in July 2022. This is a 5 percent increase from the previous year and amounts to 59 percent of the global population.’
Although social media is commonly used by companies to spread brand awareness, not many use them for providing customer service. But these days, companies are discovering that social media is an effective way to manage customer relationships and provide better customer service.
Elon Musk is a prime example of how social media can be used for customer service. Through Twitter, Musk has been able to address customer concerns, get customer feedback, and even develop new products and services. This direct interaction with customers has enabled Musk to not only build a loyal customer base but also to improve the quality of his products and services.
Use of Advanced Privacy Tools
In 2015, Facebook was accused of collecting and using customer data without proper consent, resulting in a major scandal for the company. This single incident had a huge impact, prompting a widespread change in how most companies handle customer data and placing much more emphasis on obtaining proper consent and protecting customer privacy. If you are still using legacy systems to protect customer data, it is important to consider making the move to AI-powered privacy tools in order to ensure the highest levels of security and the most effective data privacy protocols.
AI-powered privacy tools can be used to protect customer data from outside actors and fraud by automatically encrypting it, as well as detecting and preventing fraudulent calls.
Also, using AI-powered tools such as MK SmartSpeech to automatically redact sensitive information from customer conversation transcripts is beneficial for protecting customer data and meeting regulatory standards.
Combining UCaaS and CCaaS
The trend of using unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) and contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) together to create a unified customer experience was already underway prior to the pandemic and is predicted to become even more prevalent in the future as businesses continue to prioritize digital transformation.
Combining UCaaS and CCaaS for call centers offers several advantages, including improved customer service through access to up-to-date customer data and improved scalability for businesses with fluctuating customer service demands.
Additionally, this can improve collaboration, customer experience, and efficiency of call centers while also providing cost savings. Agents can use unified messaging, video conferencing, and other tools to work together to quickly and accurately provide customers with help. You can also save money because it eliminates the need for additional hardware.
Advanced Analytics with AI-Powered Tools
By leveraging AI to analyze customer speech, text conversations, and social media responses, contact centers can gain valuable insights into customer sentiment and behavior.
AI-powered analytics tools like MK SmartSpeech can accurately detect customer sentiment, identify trends in customer conversations, and predict customer issues. This can be useful in detecting sarcasm and accurately contextualizing customer feedback, as well as helping to proactively address customer issues.
These tools can also be used to quickly identify topics that are of interest to customers and help create targeted sales and marketing campaigns.
Use of RPA bots
Robotic process automation (RPA) bots are becoming increasingly popular in call centers, and for good reason. These bots offer a number of advantages that can help call centers operate more efficiently and effectively.
RPA bots can help streamline processes by automating time-consuming tasks, such as data entry and customer service inquiries, and can also help improve customer service by reducing wait times for customers and ensuring a consistent customer experience.
Additionally, these bots can help improve compliance by ensuring that customer service inquiries are handled in accordance with company policies and procedures, thereby reducing the risk of customer complaints and potential legal issues.
Advanced Recall Technology
Recall technology is relatively new but has already become an essential feature for call centers that strive to maintain high customer satisfaction. Not only does it help to prevent small errors from causing disruption, but it also gives agents more control and flexibility when communicating with customers.
This technology can delete, pause, and edit messages in real time and is especially useful for agents who are managing multiple conversations simultaneously. By using recall technology, agents can ensure that customers always receive accurate and up-to-date information, which helps to build trust and strengthen the customer-agent relationship. As technology continues to develop, the benefits of using recall technology in call centers will become even more apparent. By the end of 2023, it is likely that recall technology will become a staple of any contact center operation.
AI-powered Chat Bots
AI-powered chatbots are able to understand human language and respond with relevant, tailored responses. This makes them much more effective at providing customer service than standard chatbots, which often provide generic, pre-programmed responses.
They are also able to learn from conversations, providing better service over time. These bots can provide customers with the feeling of quick and constant support 24/7, helping with customer retention. Additionally, these bots can be used to collect useful customer data, such as preferences and buying habits, without frustrating customers.
Omnichannel Contact Centers
This trend is not new, but if you are still not deployed omnichannel capabilities, you may be missing out on valuable customer engagement opportunities and the ability to provide a more efficient and effective customer service experience.
Omnichannel contact centers allow customers to switch between channels such as phone, email, chat, and social media without having to start over, providing a consistent experience and faster help for customers. Additionally, this enables businesses to provide personalized customer service as agents have a unified view of customer interactions and preferences.
Evolving Security Policies
As mentioned previously, Distributed Remote Work is going to be the new norm; therefore, companies should be updating their security protocols to meet the risks associated with remote work.
In order to ensure that remote working arrangements are secure, it is important to implement video monitoring, retrain agents on security and contact center compliance, and invest in two-factor authentication and VPNs.
In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been making waves in the customer service industry. Even in this article alone, you can see at least 5 examples of AI enhancing traditional call center technologies. In the future, AI will be even more pervasive, taking over even more tasks that are currently done by humans. AI will be able to assist with customer service, eliminating the need for contact centers and their staff. AI will be able to automate processes that are currently done manually, saving companies time and money. In short, AI will revolutionize the way customer service is done, and contact centers will have to adapt or risk being left behind.
The customer service industry is rapidly changing, and it is essential for call centers to stay ahead of the curve in order to remain competitive in 2023 and beyond. Innovative technologies, such as conversational AI systems, advanced privacy tools, RPA bots, AI-driven speech analytics tools, etc., can help create a more personalized experience for customers and offer a competitive advantage. By employing those tools and executing strategies like the Distributed Workforce, contact centers can provide efficient and effective service to their customers, which will help them stand out from their competitors.