Businesses today, across all industries, are relentlessly driven by a need to distinguish their brands. Offering customer centric, highly intuitive and personal support channels is a vital component to this effort, making your traditional call centres an even more critical touch point for customer interactions in 2019. By 2024, the global market for call centres is forecasted to reach USD481 billion – making this space a substantial emerging opportunity and a powerful platform that can be a game-changer in today’s digital world.
Looking forward to 2019, we see a great year of technology, innovation and customer experience as a focus for call centres and here are the top trends to be considered as an opportunity sweet pot while planning and strategizing your call centre outlay for the next year.
Focus on CX. CX. CX.
Every business is enhancing their customer experiences by making them personal, unique and accurate, while relying on new technologies to deliver information and predict the needs of customers. Deloitte states that 62% of customer service organizations view customer experience as a competitive differentiator. While, call centres are poised to gain traction in the coming years – they are essentially becoming the customer experience battlefield. Hence, if experience isn’t one of your strategies for your call centres – you’re doing it all wrong – perhaps with a need for a customer experience wakeup call. Mckinsey reports states that when customer experience was made a priority, companies increased revenue 10% to 15% and customer satisfaction rates were 20% higher. Hence, customer service leaders should focus on ways to enhance customer experience and making it a key differentiator —when orchestrating their call centre operations in the next fiscal year.
Self Service and Digital Collaboration
Self-sufficiency is a trend among customers. The growing millennial generation is overlooking traditional customer service channels in favor of DIY systems. They prefer to navigate through smart interactive voice response systems (IVR), web features, and mobile apps for FAQs and online forums before reaching out to call centre via phone call. Hence, businesses should focus on updating online resources for user’s digital communication and self-service platforms backed by one-to-one customer interaction support facility. Gartner reports that improving the self-service experience of consumers is among the top 3 priorities for companies that aim to improve customer experience and service.
Go Omni-Channel – Get Social
Customers are progressively using online social platforms for feedback and views – and to interact with their brands. Social media offers the customer the self-reliance and autonomy. 92% of organizations that view customer experience as a differentiator offer multiple contact channels. Call centre leaders will be committed to expand their multi-channel offerings to create seamless experiences across various channels and make it the hub of customer interaction. 2019 will see even more adoption of this trend.
Social media monitoring adds complexity and challenges to call centre operations but huge benefits in appeasing this demographic.
The Power of Personalization
Technology has made it quite easy to personalize customer interactions and are becoming more ubiquitous. Companies are looking forward to providing a personalized customer centric experience and enhance value. Offering personalized customer service is about treating people as people, not as the customer. This leads to customer loyalty, confident agents, higher sales, and better competitive advantage. Companies will look more for delivering personalized services the coming year.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) with a blend of human interaction and AI
Technologies are advancing, driving customer expectations higher than ever. Habituated to having everything inter-connected 24×7, customers seem to be evolving faster and a step ahead than the customer care provided by various brands. Despite this, organizations agree that customer service that uses intelligent assistant or a chatbot technology should always have an option to transfer to a live agent.
Hence, using the power of AI with a blend of human touch will empower the call centre processes. Deloitte predicts that nearly 33% of contact centres plan to invest in robotics and process automation in the next 2 years. As chatbots and virtual assistants get more sophisticated, next year will bring AI powered chatbots with increasing responsiveness and personalization, seamlessly tracking the customer journey.
Next-generation data analytics
Cutting-edge data analytics can help organizations discover business-critical insights and gain a competitive edge. Deloitte reports that 39% of organizations see an opportunity to increase revenue by leveraging reporting and analytics. A sophisticated data analytics tool can make forecasts, or generate commendations based on data collected, giving call centre agents and bots more background and context on individual customer they are servicing, thus transforming customer experiences.
THE MAGIC WAND
Beyond the metrics as mentioned above – continued focus on the good old traditional customer service approach will remain a primary priority and a key strategy for organizations. Although customers want multiple options when it comes to communicating with a call centre, voice remains the most critical and predominant channel.
Currently more than 60% of problem resolution involves a Contact centre interaction with a live agent – making human interaction a key aspect to the call centre dynamics.
The next year will see massive changes in the landscape of the call centre and customer service industry. The industry has been lagging in addressing customers’ needs and expectations these years and hence organizations will be stepping in with innovative, reachable and effective technologies in the next year.
How does your customer service stack up to the predictions? Are you looking to revise your call centre strategy or looking for one?