When Charles Darwin came up with the concept of evolution, he would have never thought that it would be accompanied by an equally rigorous upgradation in technology and machines.
Amongst different business domains, customer services teams using call center software have been the first to feel this change.
The pandemic has caused upheaval, and several businesses are playing catch-up with rapidly changing customer buying tendencies.
A study shows that almost 75% of customers value experience as a crucial factor while purchasing anything.
This is a stark reminder that call center firms need to reorient their policies so that the customer is at the center of all their decision-making.
Not only this, there are numerous other upgrades that one can expect to take place in software for call centers post-2022.
This blog will help you understand the following things-
- Journey of Call Centers Through the Years
- Hello, We Want to Report a Problem
- A Brief Overview of the Post-2022 Call Center
Journey of Call Centers Through the Years!
Time for an exciting history lesson!
The origins of call centers can be traced back to the 1960s.
For the next 10-20 years, more businesses started adopting call centers to contact customers and improve their prospects of ensuring a sale.
The 90s was an interesting year. On the one hand, legislation changed the way and time call center agents could reach out to customers.
While on the other, the internet was making its presence felt.
Email communication emerged as an effective way for customers to interact with agents, in addition to calls.
In the early 2000s, call centers spread their wings worldwide and reached previously unknown shores of India, Africa, South-East Asia etc.
But at the same time, there was a rise in customer annoyance with cold calling and other such outreach activities of the call centers.
Businesses found a way around this. They stopped using the term ‘call centers’ and instead chose to stick with ‘contact centers.
That was also the time when the foundations of providing a good customer experience were taking roots.
Firms were also aided by ever-changing technology such as call center software to reach the levels of efficacy they currently deploy in 2022.
Hello, We Want to Report a Problem
In 2022, call centers stand at the cusp of an evolution.
It has been a long time coming. According to a report, almost 80% of customers want their purchases to consist of excellent service, knowledge enhancing experience, quick payment and comfort.
Hence it is clear that the customers are making their expectations clear. Are call center businesses listening?
If the below discussed issues are any measure, then sadly no!
1. Problems in Recruitment and Retention
Hiring a capable call service rep is a battle half won! However, many call centers find themselves on the other side of luck and, thus, cannot attract top talent.
Retaining them can be challenging even if you build a core team and train them on the latest call center software programs.
One of the many reasons for this can be a lack of planning for handling traffic volume. As a result, many agents are often overworked and face burnout frequently.
2. Inefficient Analysis of Data
Call centers are the primary source of data for various departments specially marketing and sales.
If you have employed obsolete call center software, you can lose out on critical business as well as impact the functionality of other departments.
3. Varying Customer Expectations
“Serve the customer right”–golden words to swear by in this business.
Only that these golden words are actually too tough to decipher.
With the rise in competition, customers are spoilt for choice. Call centers are finding it increasingly difficult to retain customers.
A testimony to this is the fact that more than 30% of customers want their grievances to be addressed and resolved in the first interaction itself.
Therefore, survival is difficult for a business that does not pay attention to their customers’ needs.
A Brief Overview of the Post-2022 Call Center
Believe us when we say that all is not lost. Call centers are finally accepting the need for a revamp such as adopting call center software and are more than eager to listen to their customers.
The industry has seen some promising trends over the past few years that would become more significant in the future.
We discuss some of the prominent ones with you below-
1. Bringing the Contact Center into Focus
It’s true that several call center firms have a mono channel presence to date. This does not leave too many options for the customers in case they want to initiate contact.
But as businesses respond to the growth opportunities, different channels for communication would be solidified.
The best call center software can accelerate the goal of an omnichannel presence.
These solutions allow buyers to reach out to you through SMS, social media, etc. in addition to legacy channels such as call and email.
A word of advice! When establishing multichannel communication, it is imperative to have Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software up and running for success!
2. A New Battalion of Sophisticated Technology
Call centers will see a renewed vigor in the way they handle data.
Earlier, what was seen as a customary practice, now would actually drive deep insights into customer buying patterns.
Modern-day call center software can detect the customer's mood from their voice and tell you how they truly feel about your outreach efforts.
There are artificial-intelligence-powered platforms that enable your agents to give their best, automatically record all calls and allow you to listen to them to analyze agent performance.
If you open your eyes, you can see how a modern suite of technical tools is at your disposal to rocket your business to success.
Have we said enough or do you need to hear more?
Perhaps the convincing touch would be given by the report that found more than 3/5th of customers willing to share more information with a company in exchange for a unique experience.
3. Empowering Agents
What made James Bond an enigmatic character? His bosses at MIB backing him come what may.
Although you may not have 007 working for you, you do have agents that are no less than bond.
In the coming years, agents are expected to move on from just assisting customers in their queries.
Customers are often self-sufficient and try to solve their queries on their own. Only the unsolvable questions reach the ears of the customer service reps.
Thus agents should be thoroughly prepared to assist customers through their complex issues.
This calls for training beyond the normal ‘strengthening communication skills’ category. Future call center agents should be all-rounders with a workable knowledge of topics across domains.
In case they run into a block, call center software would allow for collaboration with external resources while being on the live call.
4. Customer-Agent Bond–A Match Made on Earth
Each customer aspires to connect with an agent that understands their problems seamlessly in the first instant.
Therefore, making customers wait for too long or having to explain the same issue to multiple agents are big red flags that must be avoided.
For the past some years, call centers have been utilizing intelligent routing to connect customers with the most suitable agent and it is only going to get popular.
Most call center software for small businesses provides the feature of sifting through agents on a subject expertise basis or case basis.
Customers can also ask to connect with a particular agent who has interacted with them before.
These small measures go a long way in ensuring a smooth customer experience.
The above trends are bound to drive call center business to uncharted yet exciting territories.
But only understanding these trends is not enough, you have to make them work for your business.
At Convin, we understand the importance of adopting customer-friendly practices from the word go. The platform’s AI-powered conversational intelligence tool would not only derive actionable insights for you but also keep you three steps ahead of your competitors.
Come, visit us and unpack a world of possibilities for your contact center.
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