Call centres employ millions of people worldwide. They remain a valuable asset to companies, as they provide a place where customers and companies can build relationships. As well as this, they are great for capturing data.
So what are the most significant emerging trends in the call-centre world?
Self-Service Tools for Customers
These tools have become increasingly commonplace in many businesses, particularly retailers. A major benefit is that they can reduce the workloads of a contact centre. The FAQ is the most common self-service tool used by businesses today (also supplemented by chatbots, tutorial videos, virtual agents, and troubleshooting pages).
Big Data, Data Analysis and Data-Driven Action
More call centres are installing and using a variety of analytical tools to evaluate their data, personalise their offerings and improve the service they offer. Close monitoring of the call centre KPIs such as calls handled, customer satisfaction scores and dropped calls is vital if the organisation is to learn, improve and thrive. Going forward, organisations will increasingly use data to predict customer behaviour.
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More customers call between 10am and midday than at any other time.
Because consumers are switching between devices so often, call centres now need to offer an omni-channel service in order to keep up with the competition. Customers will not put up with having to repeat themselves over different communication channels – especially if having to start from scratch.
Voice-activated assistants such as Alexa and Siri are incredibly popular, and it is anticipated that such technology will also play a significant role in contact centres. Virtual voice assistants will help take some of the workload from customer service teams, and some companies are already experimenting with voice-activated verification systems that recognise individual voices – and thus replace the need for remembering passwords/security questions, etc.
Greater IVR System Dependence
Interactive voice response (IVR) will continue to be important in call centres. Companies of all sizes are using IVR in different ways. Initially it was used just to redirect calls, but nowadays it is also being used for post-interaction surveys and to answer FAQs.