The contact center has changed drastically in recent years.
Complex in-person offices brimming with constantly-ringing phones have been replaced BY global, distributed “customer experience” teams.
Moreover, new channels have emerged to help companies serve customers in an increasingly digital landscape, and innovations are appearing at record speed to boost customer satisfaction levels.
Now, heading into 2023, contact centers will entrench themselves further into innovation, adapting to customers’ increasing demands while safeguarding employee experiences.
While it’s impossible to know what customer experience might look like a few years from now, evaluating the latest statistics in the contact center space can give us an insight into where the landscape is heading.
Top Contact Center Statistics for 2023
In 2022, the term “transformation” remained at the forefront of the contact center vernacular, executing advanced hybrid strategies without compromising on personalized, convenient, and meaningful customer experiences.
As a result, more companies have adopted agile, efficient, and scalable cloud-based tools. Perhaps this is most evident in the growth of CCaaS, a market hurtling toward a projected $19.8BN valuation by 2031.
Many trends are driving this growth, some of which are evident in the statistics below, influencing contact center decision-making.
- Engagement Is Now Digital First: Since 2020, online interactions between companies and customers have accelerated. Around 57 percent of customers from all generations now prefer to engage companies through digital channels (Source: Salesforce)
- Three-Quarters of Contact Centers Are Already In the Cloud: The cloud allows contact centers to be more business-oriented and strategic. However, half of the respondents to a Calabrio survey say their current solution is limited and want to move to a more advanced service (Source: Calabrio)
- The Cloud Enables New Employee Engagement Innovation: Around 60 percent of contact centers believe the cloud has increased employee engagement and satisfaction in their organization. Additionally, 75 percent of companies that have migrated say they’re more likely to trust new and innovative tools like AI. (Source: Calabrio)
- Replacing People With Bots Might Save Contact Centers $80 Billion: Gartner believes replacing people with AI chatbots could save the call center landscape up to $80 billion in staffing prices per year by 2026. By 2031, this number could increase to around $240 billion in savings each year. (Source: Gartner)
- Interaction Analytics Gains Ground: Around two-thirds of respondents in one survey said they believe interaction analytics to be “very exciting” for the contact center. Other exciting tools included predictive routing (56.5 percent), customer prediction models (52.7 percent), and insight generation (52.4 percent). (Source: Call Center Helper)
The Evolution of Customer Experience
When investing in new technologies, companies consistently say their main focus is boosting CX. As such, many contact centers have enjoyed budget rises.
Much of this focuses on AI deployment. Indeed, 51.8 percent of contact centers now have a contact center strategy built around AI, according to Call Center Helper. Meanwhile, 30.4 percent of participants are working on a new AI plan.
What is driving this? Primarily, the goal of “increasing customer satisfaction” at 60.3 percent, followed by contact reduction at 51.6 percent.
Yet, new customer expectations are counteracting the positive influence of AI, moving forward at an unrelenting pace.
Another fascinating statistic from Salesforce suggests that 78 percent of customers use more than one channel to start to complete a transaction.
Additionally, 83 percent of these customers say they expect to interact with someone immediately, regardless of how they contact the company.
Finally, let’s consider a selection of stats that delve deeper into customer service experiences.
- Virtual Agents Can Improve CX: IBM’s Business Value Institute found virtual assistant technology in the contact center led to 12 percent and nine percent improvements in customer and employee satisfaction scores. It also contributed to a 15 percent reduction in handling times and containment rates of around 64 percent. (Source: IBM)
- The Importance of CX Ecplipses That of Products and Services: Around 88 percent of consumers agree that the contact center experience is just as important as the quality of the offering. Further, 73 percent of customers say they expect companies to understand their unique expectations and needs. (Source: Salesforce)
- Customer Conversation Complexity Has Increased Since the Onset of the Pandemic: The Harvard Business Review found the number of calls marked as “difficult” by contact center agents has increased by around 50 percent overall since 2021. Additionally, there has been a 68 percent increase in issue escalations since agents have begun tackling more challenging problems. (Source: HBR)
- 73 Percent of Companies Are Making Customer Service More Personalized: Hyper-personalization initiatives will gain further momentum in 2023, with almost three-quarters of organizations boosting their personalization efforts in the last year. (Source: GetFeedback)
- Customer Preferences for Self-Service Grow: Around 60 percent of UK customers say they prefer to solve issues themselves instead of calling a contact center. A further 72 percent said they want companies to provide more resources online, which allows them to overcome problems autonomously. (Source: Macro 4)
- Customer Patience Is Dwindling: 66 percent of customers have become increasingly less patient with companies that are slow in adapting to shifting expectations. In line with this, average response times increased by 24 percent from 2021 to 2022. (Source: Zendesk)
- Human Reassurance Is Still a Necessity: Despite a love of self-service, 95.5% of customers still say they want the option to speak to a human agent when necessary. (Source: NTT)
Looking to delve deeper into how customer experience may evolve in 2023. If so, read our article: 5 Predictions for Customer Experience in 2023: The Webex Perspective