In recent years, especially after the Coronavirus Pandemic, contact centers started gaining a lot of attention. To satisfy customers’ demands and stay ahead in the competition, many contact centers in 2022 are highly focused on creating a highly efficient communication system. In this blog, we will discuss the current state of the contact center and the trends/factors that are expected to assist contact centers in delivering superior customer service while ensuring business continuity in 2022 and beyond.
Key trends to watch out for in 2022 and beyond
Here are some of the key trends that are expected to enhance contact center operations in 2022 and beyond:
- Distributed workforce: After the pandemic, remote working has become a new normal. Several organizations have realized the advantages of working from home (WFH) or the hybrid model. It would be correct to say that remote working has emerged as a new standard in customer service and is expected to remain in trend in the future of the contact center industry. With a distributed workforce system, many business leaders have realized that it is not important for employees to be present physically onsite to be productive. Besides improved productivity, remote working has several other advantages as well. It allows employees to work flexibly while keeping a balance between workplace and personal life. This flexibility further leads to reduced turnover, expanded hours of operation, business continuity, and better outcomes.
- Digital-first interactions: It is not new for organizations to resolve their customer’s issues remotely. As per a report by the World Economic Forum (2020), about 84% of employers are planning to digitize their contact center processes, with the intent of transitioning 44% of their employees to work remotely. It has been observed that remote assistance has grown tremendously in 2021 due to several factors like customer’s rising demand for self-service options, the increasing complexity of cases, and most importantly due to the involvement of advanced contact centers automation tools such as IoT diagnostics, cloud-based technologies, video, AR, and AI.
- Self-service options: As mentioned in the above point, there is a growing demand for self-service options from the customer’s side. Today’s customers do not want to wait in the queue to get their query or issue resolved. They expect quick answers to their queries. This is the reason why many customers prefer self-service options to help themselves via phone, mobile, web, text messages, etc. Organizations that are dealing with the lack of manpower during the pandemic have relied greatly on self-service options while managing their daily workload. IVR is one of the most popular self-service options among a large number of organizations. Another popular self-service option that is likely to gain priority in 2022 and beyond is omnichannel self-service with human backup.
- Automation: In 2022 and beyond, we will get to see more and more automation tools that will increase agents’ productivity instead of replacing them. For instance, there will be increased use of AI technology to streamline internal processes which will eliminate the burden of monotonous repeat actions, while allowing agents to concentrate on more strategic or complex tasks. Automation will also allow organizations to cut on extra expenses while driving more speed, consistency, and salability of business processes.
- Customer analytics: Several organizations have also acknowledged the importance of customer analytics for better insights. The more information the contact center’s agents have about their customers, the more easily, effectively, and successfully they will be able to assist them with their issues. Besides, more knowledge about customers allows agents to deliver a more personalized and relevant interaction for better long-term customer relationships. In 2022, there will be increased use of analytics to predict future issues to take proactive action and augment communication at all the touchpoints.
- Security policies: As more and more agents are working from home, clear and secure implementation of security processes has become more critical than ever. In 2022 and beyond, more companies will implement advanced cyber technologies and update their security policies such as video monitoring, VPN multi-factor authentication, and others to maintain a secure process. Providing proper training to the contact center agents regarding contact center compliance and security will prepare them better to secure their networks and prevent any breaches.
- Advanced training methodologies: To deliver the best possible customer experience, contact center agents will require various shorter training modules. More and more organizations will leverage digital tools to impart training programs while improving their training methodologies. Some of the key training methodologies that will gain more popularity include AI-driven training practice set-ups, micro-learning modules, gamification, and personalized feedback.
These are some of the key trends that will affect the state of the contact center in 2022 and beyond. Knowledge about these future trends will help organizations to prepare their contact center strategies carefully and precisely. Keeping pace with current market conditions where remote working is gaining high priority, contact centers need to implement the best tactics and practices to maintain business continuity and enhance customer experience at all the touchpoints.