A holistic omnichannel contact center strategy provides customers with greater convenience and flexibility, while also providing the business with a more complete view of customer interactions – easing the burden placed on agents so they remain focused on high-value, critical care interactions. Read more on how you can unlock the power of the omnichannel contact center.
There was a time when we thought that by 2023, humanoid robots would be doing our chores and flying cars would be a common sight on the streets. Instead, we’re struggling to make Zoom call backgrounds look decent while trying to figure out how to mute ourselves on conference calls.
Though we may have failed to realize sci-fi prophecies, we are leveraging technology to make our lives and experiences better, nonetheless. We are already witnessing the growing use of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to improve customer experiences with more focus placed on self-service options, and a greater integration of social media, video and voice interactions while also providing greater insight via deeper data analytics. Who said the future would be boring?
The road ahead for the omnichannel contact center
Let’s take a look at some of the changes that contact centers will likely undergo in 2023 and beyond:
1. The increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies
AI and ML will be increasingly used to improve the customer experience by providing self-paced, personalized and efficient interactions. These growing, and widely adopted, technologies will help in automating simple interactions, such as answering frequently asked questions. They will also be used to assist your contact center agents with more complex tasks. Think this is just a fad? Microsoft is in talks to invest $10 billion in ChatGPT, an AI chat that “humanistically” responds to questions posing serious questions on the future of academia and copywriters!
2. Greater emphasis on customer self-service options
Businesses are becoming more aware of the need to provide self-service options to their customers as it allows them to access information and assistance on their own. Self-service options such as webchat with chatbots or virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular as they provide customers with quick and easy access to company and personal information and assistance with core tasks. These self-service options also help to reduce the volume of interactions that your contact center agents may need to handle, which can lead to increased efficiency and cost savings for the business.
Chatbots, for example, are becoming more advanced and can handle a wider range of customer inquiries and concerns. Other technologies, such as natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), can be directly integrated into chatbots to provide more accurate and personalized responses. Virtual assistants, on the other hand, can provide 24/7 customer service and can handle more complex tasks such as account management and order tracking. Both options provide customers with the convenience of real-time interactions and can allow them to switch between channels as needed. For example, if the chatbot or virtual assistant is unable to resolve a concern, the interaction can be sent to your contact center for further handling. This can be particularly useful for customers who prefer to have a real-time conversation rather than sending an email or making a phone call or are simply trying to resolve quick issues.
3. Greater integration of social media
Social media has replaced most forms of traditional communication, especially for younger generations. In fact, the use of social media has in many cases become their main form of communication – eliminating the use of email or phone calls altogether. As such, social media has become an increasingly important channel for customer service, with companies using it to monitor customer feedback, answer questions, handle complaints and resolve issues. Social media channels will continue to be used to grow brand authority and loyalty, and should be a key part of your customer engagement strategy.
4. Increased use of video and voice interactions
With video conferencing going mainstream over these past three years – heck, even grandma has a Zoom account – and with more advancements in the field being made, customer-focused companies will start integrating video chat and voice recognition as a way to personalize and improve the customer experience. Agents will be able to see the customer and vice versa, which will help to create a more personal connection. By seeing the customer’s body language and facial expressions, agents can better understand the customer’s needs and concerns. This will also help agents provide more accurate and relevant solutions.
- Increased efficiency: Video chat allows agents to communicate with customers in real time, which can help to resolve customer issues more quickly and efficiently.
- Remote assistance: Video chat can be used to provide remote assistance to customers, for example, for technical support or product demonstration. This can save time and money for both the customer and the company.
- Language barrier: Video chat allows agents to use sign language or other non-verbal cues to communicate with customers who have hearing difficulties or who speak different languages.
5. Greater use of analytics and data
Companies will continue to increase their use of analytics and data to gain insight into customer behavior, preferences, and needs. These metrics will be further refined by advances in machine learning and AI, with the information used to improve customer service, as well as to develop new tailored products and services.
The future of omnichannel contact centers is here. Which of the six trends do you plan on implementing this year? Let us know.