One of the biggest challenges for customer service administrators today is knowing which call center trends should be avoided, and which should be acted on. Trends come and go all the time, some being critical to implement and others that are more trouble than they are worth.
Every call center is different, so there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to making changes. The best you can do as an administrator is to keep an eye on the ever-changing customer service space so that you can make informed and impactful choices.
Call Center Trends On The Radar
Here are four call center trends worth noting in order to keep up with the latest developments:
Right now everyone is talking about blockchain technology and lauding it as the next major advancement in data protection. A blockchain is a decentralized public ledger that is spread out over hundreds or even thousands of computers. By making the data public, and completely transparent, it prevents hackers from tampering with it. While blockchain is not specific to the contact center space and can be used in any department, it’s something that can go a long way in building a more secure enterprise. Keep in mind, too, that there is a good chance some of the cloud services you are using may already be using blockchain technology.
Another growing trend in the contact center space is self-service or the use of artificial intelligence that allows customers to help themselves instead of talking to agents. For years, businesses have offered self-service through technologies like interactive voice response (IVR) systems that greet customers over the phone. Now, a growing number of companies are embracing self-service in the form of web-based live chat, social media “bots”, and even automated text messaging. Just remember that while self-service is great for the customer experience, it needs to be a supplement to live support and not the only thing you are offering. Customers need to be able to get in touch with agents when help is required.
Up until a few years ago, companies were mostly using large contact centers. The logic was that larger centers with more customer service agents would result in shorter wait times and happier customers. This approach, however, is more expensive and often more of an obstacle to enhancing the customer experience. The more agents you staff, the harder it is to control your customer service operations. As such, many organizations are now consolidating their customer service departments and forming smaller teams backed by data-driven strategy.
More and more call centers are exploring software defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) to streamline call quality and reliability and to decrease costs. SD-WAN allows call centers to benefit from rapid connectivity and scalability while decreasing their reliance on complex legacy infrastructure.