Nov 29, 2016
What does 2017 hold for the contact center? A number of key trends are dominating the conversation and have started to infiltrate the market well before this year. Customers report that analysts and the media have discovered new tech and trends, promising that 2017 will be an exciting year. Do you agree? Have we missed any critical developments? Tweet your thoughts to us @tcn and use the hashtag #CallCenter2017.
Big data remains a leading trend with its ability to impact not only day-to-day workflows but also profitable bottom lines. So, what’s next? Perhaps a growing emphasis on sophisticated business intelligence (BI). Data is plentiful but only useful if it’s relevant and accessible. Tomorrow’s BI aims to deliver just that by tying real-world business goals with metrics and analytics from across the organization.
2. Call Recording
Automatic call recording is super important in a number of call center technologies, but businesses will want to go beyond the status quo and use more versatile options in 2017. Communications no longer occur solely on the telephone. Automated recording tools will need to follow suit to stay up-to-date with call center trends and to keep a business’ contact center operations competitive and effective.
Gone is the static nature of yesterday’s instant messaging technologies. In the call center, today’s agents can use lots of iterations of chat such as text-based and video. Tomorrow’s call center can use sophisticated next-generation chat as a competitive advantage, implementing innovations such as agent-side personalization and multi-channel communication options.
The cloud seems like old news – but it’s cutting edge in the call center. Many organizations are in the process of considering or switching from a legacy application to a cloud-based one. Businesses and organizations will have to adopt the cloud to keep up with customers, remote agents, and competitors while keeping costs down.
Regulatory compliance will not be a concern that disappears in the next year. Security breaches and hacks are part of the cause; others fall to the FTC and similar organizations. Their oversight, particularly when it comes to call center communications with customers, will continue long into the future.
6. Customer Satisfaction
A new metric may take the forefront in 2017: customer satisfaction. Datamark reports that contact centers are following Amazon’s lead when it comes to measuring performance. Rather than focusing on average call handle times, the online retailer almost exclusively centers on “Negative Response Rate (NRR),” a good indicator of both customer resolution and satisfaction.
7. Data Integration
Many businesses look for a call center technology that integrates data. For them, the goal is a single customer record because it enables faster and better service. It also proves pivotal to capturing, analyzing and using data to improve operations and profits.
Omnichannel was touted as a trend in 2016 and it’s going strong in 2017. Customers seek convenient, on-demand service. They want answers, now, on whatever device is on hand. Call centers that meet the need with omnichannel communication, i.e., communication across email, telephone, text, and other channels, will continue to gain ground in the next year or so.
9. Performance Management
SoftwareAdvice notes an interesting trend within the call center: a shift to performance management (PM) over quality (QM) and workforce management (WFM). The company suggests the shift might be due to increased weight being given to personal productivity. All three management types serve a purpose, but for the moment, most companies focus on one arena over another.
10. Remote Employment
Remote work shows no signs of slowing in 2017. Customers desire flexibility. Employees do, too. Plus, remote work offers great benefits to call center organizations with a decentralized workforce or one with offices scattered throughout the world.
Customers want intelligent self-service tools, so it’s in a company’s best interest to offer them. FAQs, video tutorials, and other elements go a long way in improving — and transforming — the customer experience.
12. Social Media
Many people voice their complaints on social media, not a telephone call with a call center representative. For this reason, social media will become a critical component within the call center going forward. The current challenge may be collecting and harnessing the data for real-time use within a call center platform, but it should become less of one as data integration capabilities improve.
13. Suites Over Standalone Tools
Finally, organizations will pursue a single platform, or suite, over a slew of standalone tools. An all-in-one solution, such as TCN’s call center technology, improves operations and response times and allows for improved performance management capabilities.
2017 will soon be here. Is your organization ready? Which call center trends interest you the most? Let us know here or in the comments.
Learn more about how cloud-based call center technology can transform your operations and increase profits—download our eBook today!
About the Author: Mckay Bird
Mckay Bird is the the Marketing Manager for TCN, a leading provider of cloud-based call center technology for enterprises, contact centers, BPOs, and collection agencies worldwide. Mckay oversees all marketing operations, campaigns and conferences including; content production, email marketing, and other inbound marketing activities.