by Audrey Oh
Businesses across a variety of sectors rely on contact centres to ensure sales continue to rise and customers receive a consistently high standard of service. Whether your company operates in the insurance sector, the travel industry, retail, debt collection services or another field, keeping up-to-date with contact centre trends is essential if you want to stay one step ahead of the competition and achieve continued business success.
If you’re not already using a contact centre, it’s something to consider. Contact centres are not just for the big hitters. If your small business is growing rapidly, struggling to keep up with increasing queries or has a high rate of drop-in customers, call centre technology could be the perfect solution to take your business to the next level.
In this blog, we’ll highlight the top four trends to look out for in 2020 to help you make sure your business strategies remain current and relevant.
Analytics Will Rule
As call-centre technology has rapidly advanced in recent years, there has been a cultural shift towards data-driven management and decision making. This trend is set to continue in 2020 and will become increasingly apparent in the way contact centres operate.
Companies that gather and effectively utilise robust data to improve service and sales will fast outpace competitors who fail to do so. Gone are the days when call centres relied on managerial staff to motivate and energise sales agents to hit their targets.
Call recording software that monitors employee activity and analytics tools that increase understanding of customer interactions drive performance. Custom dashboards show agents and managers how the call-centre is operating in one at-a-glance screen that reveals real-time data. This allows instant changes to operations and business growth in the right direction.
More Businesses Will Adopt an Omnichannel Approach
An omnichannel approach seeks to provide seamless customer experience, whereby the service received is consistent across any device or means of shopping. The consumer has the same shopping experience online via mobile and desktop as they do in-store or on the telephone.
2020 will see a growing number of contact centres adopt an omnichannel approach. As the use of mobile phones, social media, live chat and new communication technologies continue to rise, consumers will expect the flexibility to interact with companies as and when they choose without compromising the level of service received. According to research by Salesforce, companies with strong omnichannel marketing strategies retain, on average, 89% of their customers compared to just 33% for those with a poor omnichannel offering.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Become the Norm
AI is no longer the stuff of science fiction movies; it’s an integral part of contact centre systems and its impact is set to increase next year.
AI has already streamlined processes in contact centres, allowing efficient call routing and greater access to useful customer information for call agents. Both of these mean more consistency and happier customers. Recent research revealed that “consistent customer service” was one of the top three customer expectations, with 73% of respondents listing this as important.
Intelligent IVR (Interactive Voice Response) will be a notable trend in 2020. IVR that makes use of AI can interpret accents and tones more accurately than traditional speech recognition software, resulting in fewer errors and higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Chatbots will be a continued presence across industry sectors. But companies need to invest more time in creating an effective service that is helpful to customers rather than a cheap replacement for staff. AI could boost customer satisfaction if it implemented correctly.
Greater Use of Sophisticated Self-Service Tools
As many as 40% of customers only contact a business when they have exhausted all means of answering their own problem or query. For businesses, providing a comprehensive set of self-service tools is a cost-effective, time-saving solution that can significantly boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Self-service tools include FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sections, online tutorials, webinars, knowledgebase pages and more. In 2020, these tools will play a greater role in the service provided by contact centres. From resource libraries to virtual agents, companies will employ a wider range of methods to allow consumers to help themselves, freeing up call agents to manage more complex enquiries.
The contact centre landscape is continually evolving and set to develop rapidly in 2020. Whatever the field or size of your business, you must stay ahead of the game to beat the competition.
Keep up to date with all the latest contact centre and telecommunications news in the Callstream blog. Are you a small-business owner who wants to learn more about contact centre software? Contact us today and one of our team of experts will be happy to help.