Here’s 8 contact centre trends you’ll want to hop on
The last few years have (understandably) led to major shake-ups in the world of contact centres. But as your customers seek to engage you on channels of their choice and communicate with lofty expectations on speed and quality of their interaction, the need for innovation hasn’t slowed. The best ways to operate and manage your contact centre are constantly changing with the times. We’re proud to be at the forefront of contact centre innovation and as we go into 2023, we’ve peered over the horizon to share what we see as the big trends coming down the line. Join us as we go down the rabbit hole to take a look at what 2023 has in store, and how you can get ahead of the curve.
1: Video enters the mainstream
The benefits of video are being accelerated by the simplicity of deployment. As video moves into the mainstream, advancements are coming thick and fast. 3-way video calling, for example, can allow an agent to add external expertise to a call while still engaging directly with the customer.
2: The opening of new channels
While video is one of the most promising advancements, other channels are also becoming critical for contact centre operation. WhatsApp and SMS are already both popular, but the emergence of these channels will necessitate greater capabilities – not just sending text alerts at given points of a customer journey. Now that text-based chat channels can be effortlessly integrated with other communications via a digital contact centre, they’ll come into their own as a low-cost way to reach customers who are on-the-go, overseas, or simply just don’t want to talk on the phone – an increasingly common preference amongst younger customers.
3: The end of hold times
Despite the popularisation of other channels, voice calling will still have its place. However, Voice looks like it is set to fundamentally change. Calling a contact centre has long been an arduous process for customers – typecast by long wait times and frustrating experiences. But with people no longer willing to put up with those queue times, technologies like auto-callback need to be adopted for contact centres to keep delivering on customer experience. And with it becoming easier than ever to implement this tech, companies that don’t utilise it will likely lose customers, fast.
4: Contact centres become an extension of the business
That relationship – between customer experience and business outcomes – has been well established since the first businesses were invented. But in many organisations, the contact centre is its own siloed domain, separated from the rest of the business. As competition increases, businesses will no longer be able to ignore the value of joining up a contact centre with the rest of the business, and new technologies have made it easier than ever to conduct trial runs of this process. We foresee an entire “connected” customer-centric organisation becoming a customer engagement business – in effect, everyone from the CEO to the Shop Floor solving customer problems.
5: The rise of AI-powered engagement
Recent headlines have been dominated by one emerging technology – ChatGPT. This AI model is trained to offer informative, conversational responses to given prompts, and as the kinks are worked out of the model through further testing and usage, its plain to see how it can benefit contact centres – especially when combined with existing technology like IVR. In the near future, it’s likely we’ll start to see contact centres offering a conversational AI to answer customer queries as a first line of contact, and with the model’s advancement, it may become difficult for customers to even recognise they’re speaking to a bot.
6: The push for greater digital accessibility
Digital accessibility is quickly becoming a top priority for contact centres. Government legislation, which is seeking to make it easier for vulnerable people, as well as those with non-technical skills, to access common services (that appear to have been only developed for (and by) Gen-Z and millennials. As a result, many organisations (banks, building societies, doctors, citizens advice) will be looking to establish communications hubs, allowing for the most human face-to-face interactions to continue but over a digital channel.
7: The grey(ing) workforce
As older people return to the workforce to fill vacancies, solutions need to become more user-friendly so that non-technical, part-time, and remote working users can onboard quickly and operate with greater efficiency.
8: Environmental Factors and Carbon Footprint
While 2022 saw mass returns to the office, contact centres have continued to reap the benefits of a remote or hybrid working approach. This is due to a range of factors – the opportunities for recruitment and retention already discussed, but also to support ESG (environmental, social, and governance) credentials. Remote working is a great way to cut down on emissions as agents no longer commute to and from a physical contact centre environment.
Looking to future-proof your contact centre?
These 8 trends are going to define the coming year for contact centre. Ciptex has over 15 years of experience in designing, building, and implementing cloud-based contact centre solutions for our clients – and helping them improve all aspects of their operations. Take a closer look at Ciptex RACE and how we do it.
If you want to talk further about any of these 2023 trends or you’ve decided to improve your contact centre, get in touch with us today.