September 28, 2023
Having the right people supporting your business starts with customer service. Customer service technology is key in building and maintaining effective relationships with clients and customers. Let’s face it - today's customers not only have higher expectations but want their questions and concerns resolved quickly. In fact, a 2020 study by Harvard Business Review revealed that difficult calls increased by 50% overall during the pandemic.
Businesses should acknowledge existing and emerging customer service technology trends to ensure they deliver the best experience possible. That means fully understanding call center tech, embracing the trends, and implementing the best solutions because customer service is one area companies can't afford to ignore.
Thankfully, the technology supporting hardware and software in the call center industry has advanced to offer solutions that are more cost-effective and efficient which translates into higher profits. Knowing the trends and where things are headed is key to positioning your company for growth and success.
What is Call Center Technology?
Innovative call center technology pairs hardware and software solutions to implement and enhance better customer service and call center management. There are different types of call center technologies which include blended, inbound, and outbound call centers. There are also many call center industry trends that cater to customer wants and needs while ensuring back-end processes are effective.
Technology has had a huge impact on customer service, pushing the need for staff to be fully proficient in digital skills. The right call center technology can assist workforce management in various ways. Today's businesses must realize and pay attention to new call center technology that not only increases efficiency, but meet consumers where they are most comfortable communicating, whether by phone, text, or alternative methods.
Emerging Call Center Technology
There are multiple call center industry trends that have shifted the ways businesses engage their customers. From real-time support to connections through multiple channels, today's call center technology trends focus on providing more multichannel support. These three have stood out as driving factors in this digital shift:
Call center automation helps in enhancing the customer experience with accurate, fast service. Having a single-channel solution no longer works or satisfies demand. The use of machine learning, conversational AI, and robotic process automation helps invite self-service, reduced inquiries, robust experiences, and higher performance and satisfaction ratings.
It's been shown that 93% of consumers spend money with businesses who allow them to communicate via their favorite channels. Automation makes this possible, offering valuable experiences while speeding up tasks. Here are a few ways automation successfully and seamlessly integrates into call center management:
- Automating tickets. This helps in sorting requests by area, urgency, language, and other content to assist with workflows.
- Matching. Automation helps with matching customers to the right agent to help guide them and stay within compliance rules.
- Tracking. Automation helps in seamlessly tracking interactions.
- Forecasting. This helps with shorter wait times after analyzing call volume.
AI has become an asset to the call center model, as it offers bots and other call center tech that helps better understand why your customers contact you and what they want. This works well as a self-service mechanism that has a simulated conversation, or as a complement to your live agents to ensure the requests are routed to the correct department. AI is also being used to gauge customer satisfaction while they are engaged and monitor negative reviews and information about the company.
While AI assistance has become somewhat normal as an option for consumers, studies show that using AI along with automation will boost productivity by 25% by 2040. When it comes to analytics, AI is great for predictive and prescriptive analysis which helps in making actionable recommendations.
AI is also used to empower call center agents with suggestions for real-time responses. When there is a huge call volume, this is a great way to have adaptable scripts that respond in a variety of situations. When implementing AI, the business should have clear objectives for how it will be used. Integrating AI into existing systems and tools not only improves efficiency but lessens the need for repetitive training.
Customer service technology trends place cloud technology at the top of the list. This technology helps businesses reach and service customers from all over the world at any time while decreasing administrative costs. It offers flexibility for the business and the agents through VOIP and mobile applications, so the company is always on.
Remote working trends became popular during the pandemic but have continued to gain in popularity. Cloud-based technology can improve the customer experience, are affordable and out-of-the-box to install, is easy to scale, is consistently improving, and has new and traditional features. This makes it easier to implement and get to market over other solutions.
Benefits of Call Center Technology
Beyond creating a professional image for your business, call center technology provides real-time, realized benefits.
Improved Customer Experience
Customers want to do business with companies that can not only resolve their issues, but they are able to contact them at any time. Being able to respond immediately enhances the customer's experience while displaying high levels of professionalism. The ability to have data indicating customer needs, provides better responses, satisfaction from customers, and faster resolutions. This helps with scalability as the company expands.
An improved customer experience isn’t just for external partners, as employees should also be considered internal customers. Call center technology helps increase satisfaction levels within the business, giving them the flexibility, time, and space to focus on more important tasks.
Automation and Streamlining
Automation helps in improving management while optimizing and enhancing productivity. Additionally, streamlining processes helps the team in areas like call center scheduling, technical issues, sales, ticket support, and in identifying calls that require immediate, higher levels of support. This also helps in optimizing the workforce to save time in handling calls, responding to customer inquiries, and the overall management of operations.
Automation helps organizations have around-the-clock customer service, even when human agents aren’t available. While there are some customers who prefer dealing with a human, if the request is outside of normal business hours, using a chatbot or digital virtual agent is still helpful.
Analytics and Reporting
Call center analytics helps businesses in gathering real-time data and analysis to speed up processes on how to better serve customers. Reports can be provided in all areas, identifying deficiencies to improve performance. This increases the likelihood of the business pinpointing its best strategies for the best customer experience outcomes.
Call center technology helps in reducing wait times, how calls are handled, and providing more detailed responses in the spaces most comfortable for the customers. Whether they are using self-service, a bot, or a live agent, this technology helps them better understand the customer, helps them through the customer journey, and simplifies their overall experience.
Transform your Customers’ Experience with Call Center Technology
The future of customer experience by using innovative call center technology assists in not only improving productivity and the customer experience but can be a major factor in increased profits. When agents and the team can focus on more strategic initiatives instead of mundane tasks, the company is better poised to learn and grow.