During the COVID-19 pandemic, call centers faced a number of challenges including a sudden influx of complex customer phone calls and emails while dealing with their own internal staffing issues and adjusting to remote working models. Mounting calls and emails coupled with outdated technology and unreliable Wi-Fi connections made it ultimately too difficult for most customer service representatives to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
As a result, contact centers in Toronto are being forced to embrace the impending next wave of the massive digital transformation that’s evolved over the past few years to rely more on artificial intelligence. Moving forward, there will be an even greater focus on improving customer experience as a means of scaling business growth.
Challenges Faced By Contact Centers in 2021
A 2020 study in the Harvard Business Review states that the number of complex calls in contact centers increased by about 50%. Unfortunately, contact centers weren’t aptly prepared to handle the sudden influx of constant customer communications. As a result, the number of escalations increased by about 68% and wait times went up by 34%, which caused further aggravation from customers.
Without the proper tools, resources, equipment, and access to company leadership support, many customer service representatives struggled to maintain positive customer rapport. Manually routing calls instead of automatically transferring them to the correct department or individual contributed significantly to these challenges.
Upcoming Contact Center Predictions and Trends for 2022
At this point, it seems like the worst of it is over, but we’re not completely out of the woods yet. New variants of the COVID-19 virus and the ongoing pandemic are still a course for concern—although, society is now much better equipped to deal with the ensuing challenges. Contact center companies are now much better prepared to provide their representatives with new equipment and safe working conditions to continue working remotely or return to the office as they see fit.
Here are some of the contact center trends we predict will dominate the industry in 2022:
The Role of AI in Contact Centers
The ongoing digital transformation has made the hybrid work model possible. The goal is to improve the speed, accuracy, and satisfaction rates of customer response services on a global scale. Technological advancements and ensuring that representatives have reliable and secure network connections while working remotely have made it possible to answer phone calls, resolve customer problems, answer questions, complete transactions, and respond to emails much more quickly and efficiently than before.
Sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) software is constantly being developed to provide additional automated support and analytical data that allows customer representatives to optimize their efficiency and accuracy ratings. Ultimately, the goal is to consistently work to improve customer experience and continuously elevate it to the next level using smart technology.
Analytics to Improve Customer Experience
Analytics have and will continue to be a vital tool in every contact center operation. They provide important statistical data that can be used to exponentially improve the customer experience. From tracking past purchases and viewed products or services to helping you better understand the needs and preferences of your customers, analytics are a key driving force in the contact center industry that help you track and predict prominent industry trends, performance, and productivity.
Omni-Channel Communication for Personalized Customer Service
Omni-channel communication is another major driving force of excellent customer service and experience that will remain relevant in 2022. Customers like a personalized brand experience and the best way to make that happen is to provide them with multiple communication options. This includes website optimization so it can be viewed from any device, having a strong social media presence, and allowing for phone, email, and live chat communications. Comprehensive contact center services in Toronto fully support the omni-channel communication approach and allow customers to interact with your brand using a variety of touchpoints to create a more personalized customer service experience.
Customer Self-Service Tools
Another effective customer service personalization method is to offer as many digital self-service tools as possible to your customers. That way, they have significantly more options when it comes to personalizing their brand interaction and getting the type of assistance they require. Self-service tools include the use of virtual assistants, online reservation or appointment booking platforms, FAQ pages, troubleshooting information, instructional videos, and automated chatbots to assist customers with general questions or issues they’re having.
Retrieval Technology for Enhanced Precision in Customer Conversations
Retrieval or recovery technology is a form of AI that automatically detects and filters misinformation regarding your brand, products or services and aims to correct it immediately before it reaches your customers. The main goal is to maintain accuracy and precision in every customer transaction and interaction to avoid the spread of misinformation and boost customer satisfaction.
Digital Transformation in Contact Centers
Contact centers will continue to evolve their use of advanced technology to improve customer experience through faster and more convenient interactions and transactional processes. Hybrid and strictly remote working models demand that contact center representatives have reliable access to a number of important resources, equipment, and omni-channel platforms that facilitate efficiency and accuracy at all times. Team collaboration tools that include network connectivity, the Internet of Things (IoT), and interdepartmental omni-channel digital communications are all instrumental in establishing a robust customer service dynamic.
Social Media as Channels for Customer Service
The majority of your customers and target audience are on social media. Leveraging multiple branded social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok is an effective way to expand your outreach and create meaningful two-way interactions. Customers can reach out to brands directly and get a quick response to their queries.
The Importance of Cloud Communication
Cloud communication is another growing trend that will become more prominent in 2022. Cloud-based platforms allow remote working representatives to safely and securely gain access to important customer files and analytics. With more flexibility and cost-savings, cloud-based platforms allow contact centers to expand their employee base on a global scale while downsizing their current physical infrastructure.
24/7 IVR Communication
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology has always been an integral component to efficient contact center operations. Companies that adopted the use of IVR during the pandemic are predicted to continue to use it even more as a means of mitigating simple customer queries and reducing call volumes for representatives.
If you’re looking for professional contact center services in Toronto to manage and improve your customer service platforms, then you can trust the experts at 3C Contact Services. Get in touch with us today to learn how our extensive customer response services can boost your bottom line.