The future of the contact centre
For decades, contact centres have leveraged advanced technologies, changing with the times to offer the best customer experience possible.
The mass adoption of smartphones, social media and consumer-friendly apps have significantly altered customer expectations. Customers are now accustomed to short waiting times, instant free communication with family, friends and businesses and new technological advances became regular. Hence, expectations had risen for constant improvement, little to no waiting times and more personalised customer experiences.
So, what does the future hold for your contact centre agents?
Next 5 years
There will be little traces of a contact centre over the next 5 years. Business leaders are finding working from home an advantage for customer service. With lower overheads, management can maintain a level of control over agents with tracked targets and measured call volumes and times. Also, working from home has come with a level of personability, whereas before customer service used to be like a transaction between the two parties; now it’s two people in their homes having a chat. The agent is able to build greater relationships with customers and maintain their expertise with information being widely available through their computer.
With this also comes a level of freedom for agents and managers. Agents will be able to choose their preferred work schedule. 24/7 support will become more applicable to businesses. Customers, being able to choose their preferred social channel at any hour of the day will undoubtedly acknowledge a greater level of customer experience.
Next 10 years
Over the coming decade, we would be unlikely to have any contact centre; instead, it will be ‘contact anywhere.’ Agents can receive calls from anywhere in the world and AI will be able to match customers with agents based on personality and emotional intelligence.
Artificial intelligence will be able to turn what used to be a non-personable customer service call into a client interaction with purpose. Customers can choose an agent they would like to speak to and schedule calls to that specific agent.
AI and self-service will continue to develop and solve most customer queries, in-fact becoming the main method of technical support. Agents’ roles will shift more towards customer behaviour, psychology and relationship management as opposed to solving specific issues.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lee Cottle .