In today’s ruthlessly competitive landscape, every business strives to outperform its rivals when it comes to delivering impeccable customer service. Call center services can be instrumental in creating a lasting impression on customers. By offering top-of-the-line call center services, businesses can not only redefine how customers perceive their brand but also build a loyal customer base.
But in order to deliver unparalleled call center services, brands need to understand the trends prevalent in the call center outsourcing industry and duly incorporate them into their business processes. The last decade witnessed technologies like artificial intelligence, chatbots and data analytics making inroads into the outsourcing industry and 2020 will only reinforce their position.
In this blog, we will have a look at some of these trends. So, let’s begin.
1) Artificial Intelligence Refining Customer Interactions
The artificial intelligence industry is estimated to reach $40 billion by 2020. In such a scenario, calling artificial intelligence (AI) the new driving force of call center services won’t be an exaggeration. Deep learning and predictive analytics that find their roots in AI are being capitalized upon to collect and analyze loads of data and predict trends, patterns and correlations to create intelligent software that learns from its data. Virtual assistants (called chatbots) and call routing are two areas where artificial intelligence finds extensive application.
Companies are deploying cutting-edge technology to spin up sophisticated chatbots that are adept at understanding the context of any conversation and interacting with customers in a natural, everyday language. These bots offer a range of advantages over human agents: they answer queries almost instantaneously. They can handle multiple customers simultaneously without experiencing fatigue, confusion or irritation. They also assure 24*7 availability: a boon for brands that need round-the-clock support.
While there’s no denying that virtual assistants can never replace human agents completely, they are being widely used to handle simple, routine queries, allowing humans to manage more complex issues.
AI-powered solutions are being used to optimize call routing wherein the incoming calls are directed to the right agent. Earlier, call centers had to devote hours in connecting the customer with a suitable agent. With artificial intelligence algorithms in place, the task has now been simplified to a great extent. Using artificial intelligence, the profile of the customer is analyzed and the call is immediately directed to the right department/agent.
2) Advanced Analytics Gaining Traction
In this day and age, when anyone can get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available in call centers, relying on manual observation and monitoring does not make sense. While analytics have been used in business processes for a long time, companies are now focusing on advanced analytics to boost key performance metrics and streamline the customer journey.
AI-fueled advanced analytical tools are being employed to analyze heaps of customer data and offer support agents more background on every customer they are handling.
And now that businesses are relying on multiple channels to connect with customers, they have access to data from all these sources be it audio files, chats, emails or social media engagements. Call centers are analyzing this data for predicting customer behavior.
Advanced analytics is also being deployed to glean insights on agent productivity. Such information can be used to further enhance the customer experience.
3) Omni Channel Communication for Seamless Customer Experience
Pro-active call center services have differentiated themselves from their reactive counterparts by focusing on building an omni-channel experience for customers. Omni-channel communication creates a seamless, consistent customer experience across multiple communication channels: chat, telephone, email or social media. According to a recent study, businesses with stronger omni-channel communication are able to retain up to 89% of their customers.
Omni-channel support makes navigation across different touch-points consistent. As a result, customers can move between different communication channels seamlessly.
Besides, agents across all channels have access to customers’ earlier conversations. As a result, the customers don’t need to explain their background to agents multiple times. This allows for efficient follow-up and speedy resolution of issues. This also helps agents identify qualified leads faster letting them shorten the sales cycle considerably.
4) Social Media Engagement on the Rise
Social media has become a prominent channel of the omni-channel experience call centers aim to offer. Social media platforms are immensely popular among customers and agents alike. Customers prefer posting their issues/feedback on social media to calling a sales agent. Social media allows for two-way communication and ensures an instantaneous response. Besides, if the customers had an unsavory experience, they can share it with a wide audience.
Companies are now integrating chatbots with instant messaging applications on Facebook and Twitter thereby opening new touchpoints for customers. They are harnessing natural language processing (NLP) to analyze customer conversations and respond to queries faster and more accurately.
5) Widespread Adoption of Cloud Facilitating Remote Operations
We have already talked about how businesses are keen on delivering an omni-channel experience for their customers. The cloud plays an indispensable part here: cloud solutions allow organizations to add multiple touchpoints to their workflows and deliver a consistent experience across all of them.
Because cloud facilitates seamless collaboration, it allows businesses to move from traditional in-house call centers and employ remote support agents working in different time zones. They also have to incur fewer overheads.
Cloud models offer a range of collaboration tools that allow agents to work remotely and access real-time analytics and customer context. In light of these benefits, we are likely to see call center outsourcing industry deploying more hybrid cloud solutions in the near future.
Wrapping it up
The aforementioned trends are revolutionizing the call center outsourcing industry like never before. Have you implemented any of these in your call centers? If yes, are they yielding the expected results? If you have trouble figuring out how you can leverage these trends to your advantage, get in touch with our call center outsourcing experts today. We will be glad to address your queries.