According to a market research study conducted by Grand View Research,
“The global contact center software market is projected to expand at a remarkable CAGR of 15.6% and reach USD 47.77 billion by 2025.”
The global contact center market growth will be driven by several key factors including cloud-based contact center services, business process automation, call center analytics, and social media. The enterprises will modernize their contact centers to improve and accelerate omnichannel customer service delivery.
In addition to this, they have to focus on text-based, voice-based, and social media-based interactions to improve omnichannel customer experience. But decision makers must remember that the contact center technologies have been evolving consistently.
Also, contact center trends keep changing at a rapid pace. While modernizing contact centers, the decision makers must keep in mind some of the important contact center trends for 2019. Also, the businesses must keep in place a robust strategy to prepare for emerging trends.
1. Digital Transformation
Several studies suggest that cloud-based contact center software is one of the key factors driving the growth of global content centers. The cloud-based solutions and services enable small businesses and start-ups to set up and manage contact centers smoothly. They offer computing resources-based pay-as-you-use pricing model.
Cloud technologies also help businesses to streamline and modernize their call center operations. Cloud-hosted contact centers provide next-generation interactive voice response (IVR) solutions, automatic call distributors, and auto dialers. They make it easier for managers to track customer journey and personalize customer experience across multiple communication channels.
2. Routine Task Automation
Artificial intelligence (AI) enable the contact center to automate routine tasks like gathering customer information and answering FAQs. Many contact centers leverage AI to make agents focus on higher-end activities.
AI and machine learning are also helping in understanding customer expectations. They integrate customer experience across commonly used communication channels – phone, emails, live chat, and text messages.
They will further use AI-powered IVR solutions to analyze trends, make a recommendation to agents, and suggest responses. AI-driven solutions will help contact centers to personalize customer experience based on real-time data.
3. Agent-Assisted Automation
As a disruptive technology, AI has already started changing the roles of call center agents. Many businesses these days use AI-powered chatbots to answer simple and common questions asked by customers without any human intervention.
They are also implementing AI technologies to enable customers to avail information or resolve simple issues using self-service options. But this is also true that no call center can replace live agents with AI-driven customer service tools completely in the current scenarios.
The contact centers have to implement agent-driven automation to make agents more productive and deliver better customer service.
4. Customer Self-Service
The leading businesses already enable customers to solve simple problems on their own. Customers these days use the website and mobile self-service options to solve simple problems without interacting with a live agent.
Many businesses use cloud-based IVR solutions to deliver customer self-service 24 hours a day. The businesses will use customer self-service as a powerful alternative to incoming calls and live chat in 2019.
They will further help customers to solve simple problems and gather product information by creating how-to videos. Many businesses will leverage customer self-service options to promote their products and services.
5. Social Consumer Service
Most businesses nowadays promote their products and services on multiple social networking platforms. But in the age of omnichannel customer experience, businesses need to provide customer support proactively through popular social media channels. The businesses will focus extensively on improving social consumer service and support in 2019.
They will deploy dedicated staff to respond to social media posts proactively. The businesses will further beat the competition by remaining active and accelerating customer support delivery on social media channels.
6. First Call Resolution
While modernizing their contact centers, businesses have to adopt one of the most crucial call center trends – first call resolution (FCR). The trend requires contact centers to work on resolving customer questions and meeting customer needs without requiring them to follow up. Many enterprises use FCR as a key metric to assess the performance of their call centers.
They further use cloud-based IVR solutions to ensure first call resolution. It transfers the incoming calls to the most appropriate department or the most qualified agent. In 2019, many contact centers will improve FCR by monitoring repeat calls, and gathering feedback from agents.
7. Next Generation Analytics
Most contact centers these days use data analytics to track customer journey, personalize customer experience, and measure customer satisfaction. But the call centers need to use new generation metrics to measure customer experience.
The next generation contact center analytics will enable managers to measure customer experience and satisfaction using targeted customer satisfaction metrics. The managers can further use advanced analytics to track and measure customer experience across multiple communication channels.
8. Remote Agents
Often contact centers opt for offshore agents to curtail operational cost. While working with offshore agents, contact centers need to boost customer experience and satisfaction by eliminating linguistic and cultural barriers, addressing information security concerns, and facilitating collaboration with staff agents.
The cloud-based contact center software enables businesses to work with remote agents. The call centers can further leverage cloud-based technologies to control operational expenses by replacing an offshore agent with work-at-home agents. Hence, many contact centers will switch from off-shoring to remote on-shoring and home-shoring in 2019.
9. Omni-Channel Transition
In 2019, contact centers have to emphasize on delivering customer service proactively through multi-channels. But they cannot optimize omnichannel customer experience without facilitating the omnichannel transition.
The businesses need new generation contact center solutions that enable customers to interact with businesses through multiple channels. And switch between various channels during the same interaction. For instance, they need call center solutions that enable customers to switch from email to live chat without sharing the same information repeatedly. The contact center managers will measure and monitor omnichannel transfer consistently.
The contact center technologies and trends keep changing frequently. Disruptive technologies often make existing trends obsolete and create new trends. The businesses must keep their contact centers flexible, customizable, and extensible enough to adopt the new trends early and efficiently.
They must leverage cloud-based services to set up contact centers that can be customized seamlessly according to the current and future trends in customer service.