As more businesses look for ways to stay in constant contact with customers, learning how to personalize communications effectively has been a long process of trial and error. With the ultimate goal of optimizing customer service, businesses have looked to install contact center as a service (CCaaS) functionality in a well-intentioned effort to reduce friction and provide fast, reliable, and usable information, all while equipping the agent with customer data points. CCaaS applications manage not just employee interactions with clients; they also route inbound and outbound calls and track customer journeys, all while collecting valuable customer data like behavior, personas, scenarios, and customer journeys.
As the industry evolves, what can we look forward to in CCaaS capabilities in 2022? Read on for several key trends to look out for in CCaaS this year.
Hybridization of AI + Human Interaction
The past few years have seen an increase in the hybridization of human-to-human interactions with the efficiency and data processing capacities of artificial intelligence (AI). This hybridization of services is designed to improve an experience that most consumers find aggravating, frustrating, and time-consuming. (Hint: Customers hate it when they've been waiting on hold, only to hear an intermittent and overly-cheerful voice tell them how valued they are as customers.) Speaking of customers on hold, let your CEO spend 15 minutes listening to what customers hear when they call the support line. This simple act may just move mountains.
Proactive Problem Solving
The goal of customer experience optimization, and for employee experience optimization as well, is to successfully achieve proactive problem solving. Proactive problem solving is the practice of discovering an issue, fixing it, and notifying the customer before they become aware that there is a problem at all. Predictive analytics help anticipate these problems in advance. So can old-fashioned active listening and staying in contact through every step of the process.
Bots Will Save Time By Updating Systems and Reducing Busy Work
Whether it's a customer-facing or agent-facing chat bot, chats reduce the wait time for customers to contact your company. In 2022 and beyond, chat bots will become increasingly sophisticated. Just about any mundane task that can be automated will be, such as updating records in CRM and other systems. The idea is to preserve live agent time for where it's needed most
Omnichannel Is the Future
Consumers are increasingly expecting a seamless experience with your brand from end to end and from one touchpoint to the next. Whether they switch devices or communicate with your organization through multiple channels, all data related to that individual will be stored in one place and easily accessed by your agent, whether bot or human.
Organizations today are expected to maintain a presence on every social platform and respond in a timely manner, regardless of how busy its employees are. Today's consumers have little to no tolerance for wait times or poor customer experience. This is where it becomes necessary to manage your omnichannel strategy effectively and efficiently by incorporating automated technologies, bots, and self-service options. While efficiency isn't everything, it's part of the puzzle - and being efficient in certain areas frees up your employees' time for more one-on-one human interactions.
24/7 Customer Service Is a Must
In today's rapid economy, customers expect customer contact centers to be available 24/7. Those who refuse to offer round-the-clock support will fall behind as customer experience becomes the key differentiator for businesses. According to a study by Walker, this change is coming sooner than later: customer experience is expected to overtake both product and price by the end of 2022.
The AI of the not-too-distant future will offer seamless omnichannel experiences that feel continuous, even across multiple devices, apps, and operating systems. This is likely to create a major uptick in both employee and customer satisfaction rates as systems become more user-friendly, easier to navigate, and more empowering to the agents and customers who use them.
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