The call center has come a long way in recent years. It must now handle numerous channels, customer records, and queries that go far beyond: “Where is my stuff?”
Rising expectations and customer impatience reaching record highs also add new levels of complexity, which make working in a contact center increasingly tricky.
The antidote is often technology, which now empowers teams with AI-driven knowledge, enables connections to SME support, and automates several processes.
Moreover, it can deliver 24/7, convenient support through conversational AI, proactive support, and self-service systems, including a customer-facing knowledge base.
Yet, for all its promise, operations are often stuck in the mud, thanks to complex legacy systems, budget limitations, and little access to developer expertise.
Recognizing these challenges and supporting managers in combatting this swirl of tricky customer queries, CCaaS vendors are evolving their portfolios. Here is how.
1. Cloud-Native Platforms Become the Norm
Cloud paves the way for heightened scalability, ease of integration, and data accessibility.
Moreover, it allows businesses to keep up with the latest updates, access the latest version of each technology, and evolve with it.
Yet not every CCaaS platform is “cloud-native.” Indeed, when cloud hype first hit the sector, many vendors rushed to the cloud, building big monolithic platforms.
Unfortunately, these vendors now struggle to pivot quickly and release updates at the speed of their most innovative competitors.
So, while the importance of being cloud-native is perhaps underappreciated now, the concept will gain momentum, and many vendors will likely consider how to rearchitect their solutions.
These will enable the agile contact center of the future, which can react to emerging trends that the contact center can detect through managing data better and harnessing analytics tools.
Such an approach allows for data-driven decisioning that simplifies the manager role.
2. Interoperability Comes First
The CCaaS market is becoming increasingly suffocated. Over the past 12 months, CRM and UCaaS vendors – including Microsoft, Salesforce, and Zoom – entered the space.
The trend stems from a palpable market desire to reduce complexity by converging CCaaS with other technologies from a single vendor. The benefits often include a single number for support, more manageable payments, and workflow simplification.
However, for now, mid-market and enterprise customers must proceed cautiously – especially those who view the contact center as mission-critical. After all, these solutions are still in their infancy, and some analysts have expressed worry over their sophistication.
Perhaps most predominantly, these concerns relate to voice, which remains – and will likely remain – the king of all customer support channels.
Robin Gareiss, CEO of Metrigy, recently noted this on LinkedIn, stating:
Though CRM providers have started offering voice on their own or through partnerships, they simply aren’t as reliable or advanced as contact center providers. And many large contact centers are complex and rooted in the technology for their contact center providers.
Of course, with the extensive resources of many of the more prominent providers, this will – in time – improve. Yet, for now, increasing interoperability within the customer experience (CX) stack must take precedence.
Such interoperability includes tight integrations between the contact center, CRM, ERP, marketing, and many more platforms. With this, operations can unlock a unified view of the customer.
As such, it is likely best to join forces with a CCaaS provider that offers a deep partner ecosystem.
3. Low-Code Offers Speed and Differentiation
Alongside interacting with customers, the modern contact center must also play a significant role in pushing forward digital experiences.
Typically, when doing so, contact centers have two options:
- Develop solutions in-house, using precious IT resources to build custom solutions that fit the contact center architecture and meet unique needs.
- Harness no-code solutions to innovate faster but without customization.
Low-code tools bring together the benefits of both, minus the shortcomings. They give contact centers the building blocks to accelerate transformation and allow developers to expand the code to deliver unique, differentiated experiences.
Consider how they have supported the development of conversational AI. Indeed, Opus Research suggests: “If you can play a videogame, you can build a bot.”
Of course, there remain conversational design and customer psychology considerations to mull over. Nevertheless, by distilling the best bot experiences into building blocks, developers can work at a much faster pace.
Moreover, they can enjoy more engaging work, adding the icing on the cake and differentiated features instead of building the base code. Such an approach is the future.
4. CX Converges with EX
Attrition. Absence. Low engagement rates. These are all pressing contact center problems. Moreover, they are symptoms of inadequate employee experiences (EX).
Unfortunately, technology has played its part here. Gartner research, dating back to 2018, pinpoints this, suggesting that, on average, agents use 8.2 different tools during a customer interaction.
Again, this is an issue relating to growing contact center complexity. As agents scour many systems, customers become frustrated, and their stress levels rise.
Of course, easier channel integrations through CCaaS help. Yet, numerous other frictions harm agent experiences. These include inflexible schedules, micromanagement, and high occupancy rates.
Thankfully, most modern platforms account for such difficulties in employee experience. For example, reporting tools help to tie CX and EX together.
ComputerTalk is one such platform provider. “We can migrate their current systems to a modern solution with real-time monitoring, historical reporting, access to chat transcriptions and call recordings, and more,” said Chris Bardon, Chief Software Architect at ComputerTalk.
This way, their agents have the tools they need to increase customer satisfaction by moving to an advanced platform designed for the modern consumer.
Furthermore, such vendors now augment these with analytics to spotlight key employee and customer satisfaction drivers – making it easier to build business cases to support agents.
Such use cases may include bringing agent-assist, gamification, and automation tools into the contact center to simplify contact handling and increase engagement levels.
5. Data Security Expectations Impact Design
Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about how businesses manage their data.
Indeed, the Consumers International and the Internet Society research suggests that 69 percent of consumers are concerned about how companies collect their personal data via mobile apps.
As such, any contact center solution must demonstrate its ability to proactively support brands in maintaining compliance and security.
Cloud-native CCaaS solutions, like the ComputerTalk ice Contact Center, give businesses peace of mind with PCI DSS, SOC 2 Type 2, and HIPAA compliance.
Moreover, it provides options regarding data sovereignty and ensures ongoing reliability for businesses accessing the contact center, with seamless failovers and 99.99% guaranteed uptime.
Learn more about the ice Contact Center solution by visiting: www.computer-talk.com