Not long ago, I posted an article on this blog about the various call center trends that emerged in 2017. As we are closing in on the arrival of the new year, it is time to take a good look at what the call center industry can expect to see in the coming year of 2018.
Technology is evolving all around us and your friendly neighborhood call center is going to see an overhaul when it comes to the use of technology. There are already been a lot of disruption that has been caused in the world of customer service. Social media, mobile apps and several self-help techniques being deployed by companies really made the contact center world change its strategies to accommodate these changing expectations of customers.
So what are the new trends and technologies that will get deployed in call centers next year? Here they are –
There are many advanced data analytic tools that are going to be adopted by call centers all over the globe. These tools are going to give a unique insight like never before into customer behavior. Your agents will be able to keep track of past interactions with those same customers as well as the outcome of those interactions.
This analytic analysis will give you a better understanding of who your customers are, their age, gender, geographical location and more. This leads to a better understanding of whom you are communicating with. The long-term goal of this analytics is to enhance customer satisfaction by creating a relationship between your brand and the customers.
If this past year has shown better integration with artificial intelligence, then this upcoming year is going to be where it really takes over. Chatbots are already deployed by many companies on their websites and mobile applications to assist customers with their day to day inquiries. The changes that you will see next year are going to involve modifications that give these bots a personality.
The entire effort will be to give these bots some empathy, which is crucial in customer service and customer support. By making the bots responses more “human” call centers that use bots will increase customer engagement and satisfaction. This is a major step towards promoting automation in contact centers as well.
Non-voice channels like website chat and social media are a great way that your potential customers communicate with your brand. They get real-time information from your agents or bots and make purchase decisions right in that moment. This is already happening but get ready to experience a rise in this form of order placement.
Over 60% customers today prefer to place their orders or inquiries regarding services on social media and online chat. No one has the time anymore to stay on call for long conversations. In today’s fast-paced world, these non-voice channels are going to give customers what they want, to be connected to your company while on the go. The adoption of non-voice support will increase in many areas that are considered the hubs of outsourcing like India and the Philippines.
Brands and their call centers have already integrated social media into their customer service strategies. In 2018, these companies are going to be investing more of their time and efforts on social media. Social media gives customers a sense of closeness with the brand and an opportunity to candidly communicate with you.
This channel is very beneficial for the company as well as you get instant feedback from customers that you can later implement to improve the quality of service. Contact centers are going to set up social media teams that will dedicatedly work on responding to social media comments and messages from customers in a timely manner.
Call centers are going to promote automation in a big way in this coming year. The customers are going to be the real winners as every brand and their contact centers will be focusing on understanding customer needs and give them what they want. Social media, bots, analytics are all tools for the achievement of that critical goal, customer satisfaction.