The contact centre industry is a big one, and it still continues to grow. Statista reveals that the global contact centre market will have a total of almost 340 billion US dollars in 2020 and is expected to reach up to nearly 500 billion US dollars.
Contact centre services serve as support hubs to establish relationships with customers. Excellent and personalised customer support solutions equate to great customer relationships.
According to research conducted by Forrester, over 70% of customers are willing to pay a premium for better customer experiences. In another study by Gartner, nearly 90% of customers expect a more personalised experience.
And contact centres can unlock the potential of personalisation. How?
But first, what are the contact centre services?
What are contact centres?
A contact centre is a centralised department of an organisation that handles both inbound and outbound communication from customers over several communication channels. It aims to provide technical support, customer services, and sales assistance, among others.
The dawn of the digital age and several cultural shifts have changed customer preferences over the years. These preferences can be boiled down to wanting more innovative customer support solutions.
In response, the contact centre as a service has undergone a remarkable transformation and gained new functionality. Thus, they have become an excellent asset for companies, driving more revenue and improving the customer experience.
But how exactly did contact centre service evolve to meet modern demands? Let’s discuss.
Contact centre service advancements
Flexibility holds significant importance, which is why the cloud is the preferred choice for many businesses. In fact, over 60% of companies are planning to shift their contact centres to the cloud. This solution can help your company implement new teams, departments, and technology.
Moreover, it allows you to employ remote workers and reduce costs such as rent and overhead. With these, you can expect greater efficiency, business continuity, and global expansion.
Modern contact centres use several technological advancements designed to enhance the customer experience. Also, they can help improve efficiency while lowering the company’s overall costs. These tools include:
- Automatic call distributor system. It is a computerised telephony system that analyses all incoming calls. Then, these calls are distributed based on specific instructions.
- Email response management systems. It is a system that works to receive, acknowledge, analyse, and organise email inquiries submitted by customers and directs the emails to the appropriate resources for response.
- Interactive voice response system. This system allows callers to use their telephone keypad or voice commands. That way, it can provide information without any assistance.
Aside from these systems, they also use collaboration tools like file sharing, video conferencing, and messaging for more efficient collaboration and to uphold data integrity.
It’s not enough to have multiple communication channels. Do you know what is more efficient? Streamlining the data gathered across these channels, hence utilizing the omnichannel engagement. This approach is especially useful for a customer service contact centre.
With several options, customers can choose which channels suit their needs, preferences, and convenience. Additionally, you can decrease the queuing time and can speed up time resolution thanks to the centralised data.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence plays a significant role in modern contact centers. The combination of machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) enables AI to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) and schedule appointments. Also, it offers self-service solutions, encouraging customers to find answers independently.
Overall, AI increases convenience and provides 24/7 coverage while decreasing the need for agent assistance.
There are other parts of contact center services where AI can assist such as:
- Skill-based routing. This is essential in facilitating better customer experiences. The AI collects relevant customer data during incoming calls. Then, the customer will be automatically assigned to an agent based on their skill set, concern, and customer history.
- Data collection. Contact centres collect and examine customer interactions and preferences using AI-powered systems. With that data on hand, they can determine trends, customer needs, and areas for improvement. Then, after a thorough analysis, they can craft personalised experiences for each of your customers. Let’s say a client frequently avails of certain types of services. An AI system will be able to notice this trend immediately and recommend similar services they might like, increasing the possibility of another transaction.
- Call analytics. AI helps contact centre managed services analyse customer sentiments, tone, and personality. It identifies whether the customers are having a positive or negative experience.
- Compliance and security. AI offers automated systems that work to ensure all calls and conversations are safely recorded. All of these are necessary, especially for compliance reasons and security measures.
Metrics and optimisation
Metrics are helpful in measuring your company’s performance. When you can assess business performance and identify areas that need further improvement, you can take corrective actions to achieve optimal results.
Contact centres can collect and analyse massive datasets, turning the findings into actionable insights. They can track customer satisfaction rates using the following metrics: first contact resolution, chat rating, average queue time, average call abandonment rate, and handle time.
Meet customer demand with modern contact centres
As long as there are customers, contact centres are surely going to be a mainstay. They will undoubtedly remain an integral and enduring facet of business operations. However, their continued presence does not imply stagnation; on the contrary, there exists ample opportunity for ongoing improvement and evolution.
In fact, they hold the potential to unlock the door to a transformative customer experience, propelling interactions to new levels of excellence and sophistication. Far from being static entities, modern contact centres are dynamic hubs of innovation, tirelessly striving to enhance the quality of customer interactions.
Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.