How will contact center communication look like in next 5 years
While the world is becoming more digital, there is still a huge chunk of population that turns towards the phone in times of crisis.
Plans for gradual innovation towards the somewhat overused (and dreamy) goal of creating ‘Contact Centers of the Future’ no longer apply.
The future of contact centers, to say the least, would not be physical anymore–given the new remote work culture across the globe. Moreover, with the advent of social media, companies are now in the limelight–for good or for bad–pushing customer service and support at the heart of their priority list.
Consequently, customer service or support would be a key differentiator for customers to prefer one business over another, and contact centers would be at the forefront of this strategy.
This article lets us explore the trends shaping the next five years of contact center communication.
- 1. Contact Center will become a relationship hub
For time immemorial, contact centers have been considered the first and foremost way of resolving immediate problems. Parcel stuck in transit? Refund not processed? Issue with your refrigerator?
Contact centers have been the first point of contact for any query or issue the customer might face.
This led to a short-term strategy of attending to the customers’ issues rather than understanding where they are coming from and adapting to their evolving needs.
In the future, instead of contact center communication picking up pieces when things go wrong, we predict they will play a major part of the overall business strategy, acting as a “relationship hub.”
Contact center agents, being among the first ones to know when things go downhill, are also the best poised to suggest resolutions to the customers, and ultimately assist business. Usually, customer service and support is seen as something that comes after sales closure. However, it should be a part of every business development activity.
- 2. Shift towards an Omnichannel approach
Consumers today traverse across multiple digital channels, and consistent communication experience is something that keeps them invested in the journey.
In an omnichannel environment, contact centers have a pivotal role. They create seamless and intent-based customer journeys using both digital and traditional touchpoints, to enable customers across different processes (pre-sales, order delivery, service, feedback, etc). The key is to have interactive, two-way conversations that establish credibility and brand loyalty. It’s crucial for them to understand what customers truly want and how each channel can play its part, be it Voice Call, Website, Email, SMS or Push Notification.
We can take example of an e-commerce journey.
A customer searches for a product and lands on the most-suitable e-commerce portal via SERPs. He gets his queries (on product pricing or other discrepancies) resolved through a live He places the order and on the day of delivery receives a call from the delivery agent for address confirmation. He decides to return the product instead and schedules a pickup. He gets a call from the delivery agent to confirm his availability.
In this entire journey, even if one channel delivers a poor customer experience, the reputation of a business can get dented. Think of a business that:
- A) Ranks well on SERPs.
- B) Has a user-friendly app along with highly-active social media handles.
- C) Has a high-resolution rate over live chats.
But if it doesn’t have a branded caller Identity (no brand name, logo, or verification badges), its customer communication will fall flat at a critical touchpoint (Voice Call). Going forward, contact centers can leverage Voice Call in a better way with a solution like Truecaller Verified Business Caller ID.
- 3. Adapting to Internet of Things (IoT)
If implemented strategically, IoT can prove to be revolutionary for contact centers.
IoT refers to connected devices that can “talk” among themselves via the Internet. It can include devices like sensors, smartphones, electronic devices such as refrigerators, wearable devices and so on.
How can contact centers benefit?
IoT will help contact centers to deliver preemptive customer support.
For instance, if your car senses an issue it will automatically update the respective contact center without you having to raise the issue with a call or a chat. The contact center will then contact you and resolve the issue proactively.
Moreover, as more devices get connected, call centers will use data from them and proactively.
So, the future might look like customers interacting with the agents via the devices, taking contact center communication to another level.
- 4. Contact center communication will have more identity and context
With the rise of competition and players in every industry, brands need to set themselves apart to even get themselves heard by the customer.
To sum up modern contact center communication, you can say it is an aggregate of verified, contextual and deeply distinctive interaction.
These types of interactions foster trust and reliability of customers in your brand. Solutions like Truecaller Verified Business Caller ID are helping brands build their credibility and reputation with advanced capabilities like Video Caller ID and Call Me Back to ensure customers trust your brand without any second thoughts.
In the near future, you might see an interactive or educational video about the brand that is trying to reach you on your mobile screen to boost engagement even before the actual conversation takes place.
- 5. The Metaverse and Virtual world
Virtual reality is not a novelty anymore.
VR or virtual reality has been tapped into for a range of tasks like planning for construction projects to fun and fancy activities like concerts, live gaming, virtual meetups with your favorite celebrities and what not.
This virtual world has a part for contact centers too.
If you can imagine a customer call that could offer a better experience through in-person communication–Metaverse and VR can be game changers. Agents can even guide customers through a product demo or a tour into their manufacturing units.
Contact center agents can virtually host training and seminars and also collaborate with remote agents using VR capabilities.
Beyond reduced travel time and costs, VR introduces a new and fun way to interact with customers and engage them contextually.
Don’t wait for the future of contact centers because it is already here!
Contact center managers must ensure that they place agents and customers at their relationship at the core of every business strategy.
To thrive in the new normal, contact centers would likely need to embrace an adaptable approach towards agents working from home, flexible organizations, facilities and roles, and a next-generation of cloud-based products and newer technologies.
Infact, it might be possible that contact center won’t be a center anymore, but instead a distributed network of agents and technologies that can deliver exceptional omnichannel service from anywhere in the world.
Decisions made today can greatly limit or enhance the future capabilities of a contact center, so it is important to choose wisely. It’s time to rethink the purpose of existence for contact centers and shift towards more agile and adaptable operations.