Over the years, contact centres have undergone significant changes with the focus shifting from enabling problem resolution to delivering customer experience. Along with dynamism in the geopolitical environment, a rapid change in the expectations of customers has been the driving force behind the marked changes in contact center experience. Technological advancements like analytics, automation and machine learning also play a big role in the transformation of contact centres. As technological disruption continues, contact centres operate amidst strategies that increase customers’ propensity to resolve queries on their own.
The future is here
The future would require the contact center to transform to be a ’Customer Relationship Center‘, shifting from need based/short-term approach to relationship based/long-term approach.
With digital technologies finding mass adoption, customer service providers need to ensure that they have an omni-channel strategy that ensures they are available at all customer touchpoints. Customer care executives should constantly feed information to backend systems that allow organizations to act proactively instead of picking up the pieces when things go wrong.
An omni-channel strategy will enable service providers to respond to customer queries and complaints instantly, thus improving brand image. In fact, social media analytics allows organizations understand negative sentiments to improve responses. The solution or service provided to the customer now focuses on improving first call resolution and increasing Net Promoter Score, not just via social media, even through traditional voice methods. It is also important to enable service associates with smarter systems and accesses that enhance customer service and experience.
With Internet of Things gaining momentum, it is possible for almost all devices to relay diagnostic information through the internet to its owner or manufacturing organization. Contact centres can leverage this efficacy of internet of things to provide best-in-class, proactive customer service. For example, a contact center agent can proactively inform a customer about reduction in battery power while on a trip so that he has the time to fix the issue in a nearby car service center.
With the increase in self-service and improvements in artificial Intelligence-based solutions deployed by organizations, there will be a change in the representative mix at contact centres. Voice agents in the mix will be less than 50% and chat agents will rise to about 30%. Intelligent assistants like Siri and Alexa will replace voice agents.
There is a significant increase in the inclination towards self-service and it will continue to play an important role in providing excellent customer experience. Contact centres will evolve to be the relationship centres, bringing businesses closer to the customers and enhancing customer loyalty.