Published: November 22, 2016 | Comments
While the world continues to rotate, technology too evolves as the future of customer service and contact center technology reaches new heights every day. A study has shown that 92 percent of American adults own a cellphone or smartphone, carrying the potential to drastically change the landscape of the call center and customer service industry. Additionally, 45 percent of American adults own a tablet.
Baby Boomers and Generation X culture typically reflects a preference for face-to-face customer service. Whereas Generation Y culture, with a population of 75 million, leans more towards customer service over the phone or other technology-centered channels. Some studies show that more and more customers prefer benefits such as 24/7 support, informed agents, quickly answered calls, reaching an operator by pushing zero, the option to request a return call and estimated wait times. These factors, among several others, will continue to play a role in the evolution of customer service and the priorities of call centers. Here are a few more increasing trends that have already begun taking off.
Mobility: Agents Accessible Anywhere
Good news – call center agents are being confined to their desks less and less. The typical imagery behind the thought of a call center usually involves some type of office space with cramped cubicles and phones ringing off the hook. As more and more call centers start migrating to the cloud, we’re beginning to see agent desks and traditional office space becoming more of an option rather than the norm. To coincide with mobility, presence technology allows for the computing device to be located and identified as soon as an agent connects to the network. This also gives agents the ability to make their own decisions on what they deem the best form of communication for the task at hand.
Unified Communications & The Mobile-First Customer
It goes without saying that customers want the information they receive to be consistent across the board and personalized throughout all channels of communication. Unified communications not only benefit the customer, but they also aid the agent and contact center as well. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software allows agents to send clients and customers different notifications and updates via multiple mediums and devices. With the increasing number of smartphone users previously mentioned, customers toggle back and forth between devices all day. Customer service should be increasingly accessible through mobile devices in the channels that include telephone support, text, live chats and more. Unified Communications can also benefit agents who are working together as a team on a project. Contact centers and experts often speak about the importance of effective communication for clients, but effective communication among an agency’s staff is equally as important.
Send Everything to The Cloud
More and more contact centers are realizing the benefits of the cloud-based call center technology platforms. Industry experts also expect that the cloud will become the default storage method of choice. According to a study by Forrester Research, 16 percent of contact center buyers say that they plan to move their contact center systems to the cloud. In fact, the cloud-based contact center market is predicted to be worth approximately $15.67 billion by 2021. Cloud-based solutions are not only cost effective, but also provide a multitude of benefits such as real-time communication, streamlines processes, relevant messaging, enhanced customer service, improved customer control and more. In addition to unified communications being mentioned previously, the cloud itself is seemingly moving towards a unified platform. A unified cloud platform integrates private and public cloud deployments, thus providing users with a centralized, web-based dashboard, which can be used to securely access emails, applications, files and additional reports needed. Cloud-based unified communications can also provide huge benefits as the industry adopts more advanced products and features, such as speech analytics and business intelligence. By moving big data analytics to the cloud, it cuts the costs for maintenance and operations, as well as accelerating the process of utilizing the most up-to-date capabilities to turn data into action.
As the needs of the consumer change, so do the needs of the business. Therefore, the demand from customer service and contact center agencies continues to evolve. Contact centers must stay relevant to the needs and demands of today’s customers to be able to provide the best customer service possible.