The Evolution of CX in the Contact Centre Market 

Rebekah Carter

The transformation of CX and the contact centre 

Strategy
The Evolution of CX in the Contact Centre Market 

The terms “CX” (Customer Experience) and “contact centre” go hand-in-hand. Though there are many factors that can influence your customer’s perception of your brand, few are more important than the contact centre.  

The right contact centre environment acts as the essential connection point between you and your clients. It’s how you reach out to sales prospects and deliver the service that makes customers want to stick with your brand.  

Today, customer experience is one of the most important areas for any business to focus on if they want to ensure longevity. Companies in the US alone risk losing around $494 billion in revenue as a result of poor customer care. Elsewhere in the world, the losses can be just as dramatic. Unfortunately, figuring out how to consistently delight your audience isn’t always easy. 

In the age of digital transformation, users expect more than ever from the companies they work with. Survival in this landscape demands rapid investment in the right technology, processes, and people. Let’s explore the evolution of CX in the current contact centre market.  

The Trends Driving The Evolution of CX: AI in the Contact Centre 

The way companies approach customer experience is being influenced significantly by the rise of technology, and the digital transformation of the contact centre. According to Gartner, by the end of 2022, CCaaS (Contact Centre as a Service) will already be the preferred model for 50% of all contact centres. Technology in the cloud can adapt more flexibly to an environment where customer preferences and trends are changing every day.  

In this newly flexible cloud environment, different companies will take different routes towards amazing customer experience for their audience. One of the most important trends influencing the transformation of the contact centre right now is AI.  

AI is becoming increasingly important in all parts of the communication landscape, but it may be particularly essential in the contact centre. Intelligent tools can deliver a number of benefits to the contact centre environment, including: 

  • Improved employee performance: Real-time assistants and bots in the contact centre can enable and empower modern employees. These tools can help to improve business efficiency by intelligently routing the right customer to the agent with the correct skills. The same solutions are excellent for instantly delivering contextual customer information from integrated tools in the contact centre, so employees can access information immediately.  
  • Better personalisation for customers: AI can offer suggestions and best-practice guidance to employees to help them deliver more relevant, personalised experiences for customers. The right tool could pull up CRM information for your agents when they’re in a conversation. These solutions can even track things like the sentiment in human voices, to determine when a conversation is going poorly.  
  • Automation and efficiency: AI can record information quickly and safely when necessary, to reduce the manual work an employee needs to do in the contact centre. There’s also the option to implement self-service bots and tools capable of answering customer questions too. This not only gives customers more options for how they get service, but it also reduces the amount of work human staff needs to do

Artificial intelligence in the contact centre has the power to enable everything from improved self-service opportunities to better team productivity. As CCaaS continues to evolve, AI is also becoming much easier to access for companies of all sizes. 

Omni-Channel Experiences: More than Just Audio 

The transformation of CX in the contact centre is also prompting companies to look beyond the basics of audio and phone calls for serving customers. Increasingly, omni-channel contact centre technology is becoming a must-have for businesses of all sizes. Today’s teams are accessing everything from SMS to WhatsApp and web-based chatbots to serve customers. Over 40% of customers choose olive chat over social media and email for company communication, and live chat also has the highest customer satisfaction rate, at 73%.  

The right omnichannel environment can connect all of the different communication pathways in a brand’s CX strategy and provide a single pane of glass for tracking information. This allows for a much better view of the customer journey. Speaking of the customer journey, platform centralisation and alignment in the contact centre also allows for deeper insights and better business decisions.  

A single integrated CX platform combines behaviour, data, and marketing from all platforms, so companies can see which channels their customers are using the most, where they need to change their scheduling strategy, and how they can remove friction from complex parts of the customer journey. Increasingly, CCaaS solutions are growing more flexible, offering deep integrations with everything from CRM tools to quality management systems, so end-to-end analysis can be as accurate as possible.  

The rise of the ultra-flexible CCaaS environment is also paving the way for new “as-a-service” ecosystems. As companies continue to look for ways to keep teams and processes connected in an age of remote and hybrid work, the demand for connected UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS platforms is beginning to grow. Already, the number of companies using systems like Microsoft Teams with direct routing and operator connect for combined UCaaS and CCaaS is rising at a rapid pace. 

Preparing for a Demanding CX Landscape 

All companies today know they need to have an excellent CX solution if they hope to compete with other leading brands. This means businesses everywhere are constantly innovating and implementing new strategies for CX, raising the expectations of your target audience. Today’s businesses are under more pressure than ever to delight their audience and retain their existing clients.  

Preparing for a new future of CX means not just investing in the latest tools as they arise, like AI analytics, or automation, but finding effective ways of solving problems in the customer journey. Remember to: 

  • Respond to pain points: Rather than just implementing AI technology because it’s new and exciting, find actual solutions to problems. For instance, you could consider using historical AI analytics to help you find trends in customer demand, so you know when to have extra team members ready to answer calls. Alternatively, you can use real-time analytics in CCaaS to help provide employees in a hybrid environment with information about customer sentiment at the moment, reducing the risk of churn
  • Prioritise security: Implementing new technology into the CCaaS landscape shouldn’t come at the expense of security and privacy. Many companies in the new world of work will need to embrace tools for remote and hybrid work, which means exploring greater levels of cloud flexibility. If you’re dealing with sensitive data, creating VPN connections, and finding ways to secure the flow of data will be essential
  • Use data to your advantage: If there’s one thing the modern contact centre has plenty of – it’s data. Companies capable of gathering and understanding data effectively will be able to make more intelligent decisions about what they need to invest in for the future of CX. Find ways to collect data at the right points in the customer journey, so you can learn more about your employees, audience, and the market as your business evolves
  • Good employee experiences improve CX: To deliver an amazing customer experience in any environment, you first need to provide a good employee experience. Your workforce needs to be equipped with the right technology wherever they are, whether working remotely, in the office, or in a hybrid environment. This means investing in easy-to-use tools that are accessible to your staff and packed with intuitive features
  • Feedback loops will be essential: Collecting information directly from your customers can be an excellent way to improve the CX strategy. You can build on top of your statistics from contact centre data with insights into what your customers really need and expect from your brand. Make it easy for customers to share their thoughts

It’s also helpful to keep an eye on the competition, and the changing trends in your industry. If your competitors start experimenting with new solutions, like IoT tools for tracking and repairing problems for customers in real-time, or VR for virtual reality interactions, you may want to consider these concepts too. While not every new form of technology will be relevant to your business, being aware of the latest trends should stop you from falling too far behind. 

The Future of CX in the Contact Centre 

Nothing is more important in the contact centre than ensuring you deliver an excellent customer experience. The good news for modern business leaders is that the rapid digital transformation of the current landscape has revealed a host of new opportunities for amazing CX. The bad news is this could mean you need to rethink your CX and CCaaS strategy.  

In the years to come, the way we serve, and support customers will only continue to evolve. Innovations in things like extended reality and AI could even mean we have new ways to connect with customers from a distance or create automated service experiences.  

To ensure you’re ready for the future of CX, do your research. Don’t just jump on a new technology trend because it’s exciting or “trending”. Find real friction points in the customer journey and determine which tools you really need to repair those issues.  

 

 


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