Discover a series of insights that may help to inform your contact center decisions in 2022
CX transformation initiatives have accelerated at an unprecedented rate over the last two years. Embracing the modern digital-first customer, companies have learned to support and grow their customer base through multiple channels. Cloud migration was the top trend to facilitate such strategies.
Yet, as the industry advances, more trends will emerge, begging the question: how will CX strategies change in the next 12 months? Will 2022 bring exciting innovations to the fore, or will 2021’s top trends gather momentum?
The following roundup of the top 12 contact center statistics aims to shed light on the industry’s future.
The 2022 State of CX Report by GetFeedback found that personalization will be a top determining factor for CX decisions in 2022. Some popular tactics to drive personalization are to collect data through customer surveys (53%), recommend tailored products (51%), provide dynamic web experiences (43%), and segment customer messaging (43%). Such tactics will enable brands to stand out in competitive markets.
According to Gartner, most consumers will retain the behavioural patterns (and expectations) they adopted in 2020-2021. 78% feel there will be no change in their online ordering volumes via mobile phone, and 73% will stick to online ordering via their PCs. Contact centers must prepare such a “digital deluge”, with less than 15% of customers looking to decrease their online habits.
Customer experience surveys are a longstanding staple for many contact centers and, according to McKinsey, this trend is not poised to change, despite the drawbacks of this approach. McKinsey warns that surveys do not provide granular visibility into customer sentiment and may not indicate the root cause of behaviours.
According to The Future of CX: 2022 report by Freshworks, speed is the most influential factor behind customer satisfaction. To increase speed, more than one in three consumers (38%) expect agents to have prior information about their query and its context. Such a statistic indicates a growing demand for omnichannel integration as a contact center “default.”
The Freshworks report also found that companies are eager to anticipate customer needs and stay ahead of their expectations. Indeed, Freshworks found that 80% of customers were more likely to buy from brands that provide personalized experiences. Fortunately, one in three business leaders is investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to better understand customer expectations and personalize CX accordingly.
Like most industries, contact centers faced a resource crunch in 2020-2021. Some had to downsize or implement a hiring freeze. However, customer demand kept growing, which is why eight out of ten contact centers are now ready to hire, according to ICMI’s latest State of the Contact Center Report. Half of this segment will create new roles, in addition to filling vacancies.
As the pandemic drags on, contact center agents are more prone to stress than ever before. Calabrio’s report titled Health of the Contact Center 2021: Agent Wellbeing and the Great Resignation found this worrying insight into the state of agent mental health. Fortunately, contact center employers seem to be listening. 50% invest in health coaching, and 48% cover therapy via insurance, as per a Lucidworks survey.
In other words, support teams will rarely get any smaller. Instead, businesses are eager to ramp up hiring and contact center technology adoption to support customer needs. In the wake of an economic resurgence, inbound and outbound teams will be crucial for maintaining profitability. That’s why only 1% will downsize and just 17% will continue a hiring freeze in 2022, as per ICMI.
According to a 2022 survey by conversational AI company, Replicant, poor customer service is pervasive. 91% said they experienced poor service in the last six months, and a third said the quality of service is worse than before the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, long wait times is the most pressing issue faced by over 40% of customers. Yet, interestingly, wait times affect only 5% of boomers, compared to 48%-55% among other generations.
The replicant study also found that long wait times are not just an inconvenience. A customer’s positive feelings towards a brand diminish when they wait on hold for prolonged periods. After all, they are likely to feel undervalued or anxious when kept on hold without any clarity. Furthermore, a hold time of over five minutes tells customers that they interact with an automated system without the promptness of organic human conversation. Contact centers must recognize this in 2022.
This year, contact center operations will go beyond the status quo. They will play an instrumental role in growing business and generating value. 64% of customer service and support leaders will shift their priorities in 2022, as per Gartner’s research, and 82% of companies either have or plan to invest in a value enhancement strategy.
A recent survey by Deloitte and Chrome OS revealed that many companies are looking to adopt virtual desktops to manage costs. Indeed, 62% are eager to purchase a solution that integrates endpoint hardware, operating systems, and desktop virtualization – e.g., Citrix.
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