Trends Driving Change in Contact Center Tech

Hanna Walther, Ytel |  

We are in the midst of change! New contact center technology has transformed consumer behavior and expectations, making it more difficult for brands to acquire new customers and earn what is most precious: loyalty. In 2013, Deloitte survey contact center executives and found that 62% of organizations view customer experience, provided through contact centers, as a competitive differentiator; so hopefully these are considered your first line of defense. That said, you’re also under pressure to adapt to the rapidly advancing technology landscape and still meet consumer expectations. 

Contact Center Technology Change

We are in the midst of change! New contact center technology has transformed consumer behavior and expectations, making it more difficult for brands to acquire new customers and earn what is most precious: loyalty. In 2013, Deloitte survey contact center executives and found that 62% of organizations view customer experience, provided through contact centers, as a competitive differentiator; so hopefully these are considered your first line of defense. That said, you’re also under pressure to adapt to the rapidly advancing technology landscape and still meet consumer expectations. 

 

Cross channel capabilities will be expected


A recent Ovum study of over 8,000 global consumers affirmed that 74% of consumers use a minimum of three channels when engaging with a company of customer service. Today’s brands need to know that the traditional voice channel isn’t going away, but they need to strategize for a mix of voice, IVR, email, text, chat, mobile and more; and also deliver a consistent experience across all these touch points. Customers will also expect that your systems support the ability to “remember” and transfer information across touch points, which requires intelligent technology to provider the context of the interaction, along with the customer profile, preferences and relevant history.


Intelligent self-service will expand


How many of you prefer to do things yourselves, whether that’s buying a product online or researching the answer to a problem? I’m going to assume most of you raised your hand. The trend in contact center technology is to provide more intelligence, with interaction context (per trend #1 above), in order to provide the answer without even involving a live agent. In 2011, Gartner predicted that by 2020, 85% of customer relationships would be run without human intervention. At the time, that certainly seemed like a startling target, but in just four years, self-service has become the norm already for many transactions!


The complexity of phone conversations will increase


As mentioned above, folks nowadays are comfortable with purchasing products online. And combined with the expected growth in intelligent self-service interactions, this will eventually lead to a decline in the volume of live phone calls. Picking up the phone to speak with an agent will be a last resort tactic, which generates a leap in topic complexity. This means, agents who staff the phones will need to be trained, experienced on how to handle angry customers, and handle multiple channels.


Regulatory compliance is here to stay


Although the specifics vary from country to country, in the US, the regulations governing consumer dialing are known as Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and include the Do Not Call list and rules on who can be auto-dialed. Recent large fines and pending litigations are driving the need for technology tools for contact centers to ensure they’re compliant.


Social engagement is two-fold: drive leads and service customers


Today, 33% of contact centers are servicing customers through social media channels, according to the Deloitte Contact Center Survey, 2013. Social networks are here to stay as part of our daily lives, and we can only assume that percentage will continue to rise. Early adopter companies are using these platforms to listen, understand and resolve customer issues. Those same companies are also using the same engagement tools to find prospects and mine the large amount of valuable clues that can be found on social sites and use them to drive qualified leads.

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About The Author

Hanna Walther, Ytel

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Hanna manages Ytel's Communications strategy and has worked in Marketing for five years. She has a Master's in Communications and is passionate about connecting customers and businesses by building authentic relationships online.


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