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The Contact Center Must Evolve: 5 Trends to Watch

Constant evolution is essential in the contact center industry. A few short years ago, we only talked about 'call centers' but very quickly that transformed into discussions about 'contact centers.' A contact center, by definition, includes an omnichannel approach to customer service. While omnichannel may not be considered the next best thing anymore, here are some notable trends to watch.

Future contact center trends

Pairing Automation with Self Service

Automation has become part of the omnichannel experience, including phone, email, text, live chat and social. But one crucial facet of automation that is taking shape is the concept of self-service.

Automation should facilitate a customer's ability to find self-service options; however, not every customer wants to go through the steps themselves. Some may want to kick off the engagement to a certain point but then be able to access a live agent.

The takeaway from this new trendy tactic is that contact centers need to understand customers and the types of interactions they desire. Only then can we know what is appropriate for automation and self-service.

The Channel Pivot Approach

Channel pivot is an approach that is becoming more and more common in the contact center, but has some room for improvement. Seamless interactions are vital to an excellent customer experience but are especially important for the live agent or bot that is handling it.

A customer needs to be able to start a conversation on social media then pivot into a phone call, email, or chat. The agent, in turn, needs to be able to pick up the conversation and understand what was discussed in the other channels.

Customers are moving through a variety of channels to resolve their issues. While many brands offer the ability to pivot, few of them have the capabilities of documentation. A back-up of what happened between one channel and another is not available. When communication channels are too silo-ed, the customer experience is not as effective.

Which trends are on your radar? Join us at Contact Center Demo to learn how you can optimize your technology to meet the needs of tomorrow's customers. 

The Push Down - Pop Up Effect

With new trends and new tech in the contact center industry, there is a Push Down - Pop Up effect. In essence, when you 'push down' (or focus on) one area, inevitably other areas or problems will pop up. For example, at Callzilla, we are in the process of introducing our first automation process, in the hopes of removing so many human touch points.

We've found that although automation is very much a robotic approach, the proper execution still takes human interactions. There still must be a team member to manage the process behind the automation and manage the data behind the automation. It's challenging to ask team members to become experts in automation. There are very few automation experts because it's a process that is so new. So, while we've pushed down our efforts in automation, the area of how to manage that automation has popped up.

Another example of the Push Down - Pop Up effect is when a company outsources their customer service to a contact center. Contrary to what that company might believe, the problem of managing the customer doesn't go away entirely. There still needs to be someone who's good at managing the contact center and someone who understands the CSF (Critical Success Factors).

Finding or training team members on how to be this resource when introducing new technology is vital in a contact center.

Employee Experience & Engagement

We can't talk only about technology (like Automation and AI) when it comes to evolution. The contact center of the future is also one that takes into account the experience, satisfaction, and engagement of the employee.

Providing advancement opportunities and competitive compensation, for example, are a few ways to work towards low attrition and high retention. Employees need to be trained, listened to, and made to feel as if their opinions matter. That's an element that the contact center of the future has in their DNA.

Proactive and Automated Processes

Contact centers are expected to increase productivity and quality, improve customer experience, and reduce costs, all within shorter time frames.

No matter how efficient our teams are, where the operations are located, or how well the team is compensated, there are always gaps. Because of that, Callzilla has embarked on an initiative to utilize analytics to understand speech and text patterns in our interactions with customers. In identifying phrasing and tone, we can pinpoint what our front-line agents did and didn't do well. This data allows us to generate evaluations quickly and move more rapidly through the improvements and coaching process.

This data comes through a greater sample size, which allows us to have a much more holistic view of the quality of our service than if we were just random sampling 3% of our volume.

We are confident that this analytical technology will offer trend and customer sentiment analysis along with a qualitative snapshot of our team members' performance.

The more we know about our clients' customers experiences with automation, the more we can proactively address challenges identified by technology.

This helps us present the right solutions to customers to improve resolution and satisfaction rates, and also decrease the efforts required.

It's not enough to be aware of these new trends. Pushing to be better and constantly evolving is the challenge of contact centers. Keeping the status quo will leave you back with the 'call centers.'