Did you know that the worldwide market value of call centers will be $496 billion by 2027? This shows that more companies are embracing customer service experience and support.
But, call centers are not what they used to be. Thanks to technology, call centers are evolving. Apart from supporting only the traditional communication channels, now they are integrating even digital channels.
With technology upgrades in call centers, many companies are using an omnichannel contact center, AI, Self-service, actual customer journey mapping, and more. Even though the options are several, a better understanding of each technology would help a business owner know which to use.
So, this guide provides an in-depth view of several call center technologies that improve performance and customer experience. Read to the end.
What Is Call Center Technology?
This is both the software and hardware that contact centers use to enhance customer service and support.
Initially, only the traditional phone lines enabled call center communication, both inbound and outbound. With time, the phone lines advanced and became more technical with features supporting web calling and call routing- VoIP and IVR.
Now, the advancement of call center technology is far beyond a phone line.
With more focus on the importance of good customer experience, digital channels are rising in demand. As a result, two main trends are emerging:
- Customers are looking for actual engagement and support.
- Customers want to engage brands using several channels.
Thus, a single-channel telephone network might not be enough to handle consumer demand.
Nonetheless, businesses must invest in appropriate call center technologies that encourage quick responses, real-time communication, and support from multiple channels.
Let’s dive into the current market’s updated call center technology options.
1. Omni-Channel Contact Center Software
According to Microsoft research in 2017, about 66% of consumers actively use over 3 channels for customer service procedures.
Consequently, it shows that businesses need to provide multiple contact channels. Also, a company should ensure smooth transitions of different channels when a customer decides to change from one channel to another. Better still, the connection should ensure the customer receives a unified context in all channels they engage.
This connection of multiple channels is known as an omnichannel contact center. Customers can effortlessly switch contact channels without repeating their issues on every channel.
For instance, a customer can send a message on Facebook stating the problem, and it switches into a real-time live chat that also develops into a video chat, still in the same connection.
Omnichannel contact center salesforce helps businesses create a unified customer experience that enhances customer service.
This contact center omnichannel software features all multiple contact channels in one place. So, call center agents can effortlessly and quickly switch interactions between different channels to meet the customer’s needs.
Also, once a company connects to its CRM, the omnichannel contact center network provides real-time access for agents to respond to customers’ details and previous interactions.
But what’s the difference between multichannel and omnichannel contact centers?
Unlike the omnichannel contact center, a multichannel contact center supports digital channels but doesn’t allow seamless switching between communication channels. This makes it hard for customers and agents to maintain the same context while transferring between channels. Most times, a multichannel contact center leads to a poor customer experience.
But the best omnichannel contact center provides a more customized and personal customer experience.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is reinventing so many processes, call centers included. With Artificial Intelligence, businesses are now significantly redefining the customer experience with fast, personalized customer service. Customer experience is the main reason companies spend a lot applying AI systems.
Besides, a 2020 poll states that nearly 53% of businesses are using AI to enhance customer service. So, AI powered call center technology will help any business stay ahead of competitors and boost customer experience.
How can businesses use AI in a contact center?
· Conversational AI
Also called chatbots or virtual agents, these chatbots enhance automated customer service when a customer connects to the brand through a website or app. Still, it’s possible to connect chatbots to social media platforms for your business.
With AI machine learning and natural language processes, chatbots easily engage in customer interactions to handle several demands. However, it works best when AI works with people instead of replacing human agents.
More specifically, Artificial Intelligence helps handle FAQs and channel customer discussions to the correct department for answers. Though, it’s better if the AI channels the interaction to people who can answer the customers better to avoid frustrations.
· Sentiment Analysis
It’s a process where technology evaluates the sentiment of customers’ queries.
This means that the AI can route negative interactions to contact center managers to help the agent improve customer service.
Artificial Intelligence, in this case, also assesses customer satisfaction while highlighting where query resolution needs improvement.
· Call Routing
While this is not a new technology in the contact center, implementing AI improves and makes it more accurate.
As observed, AI helps businesses better understand customer sentiment, intent, and queries. Hence, it enables customer calls to reach suitable agents quickly and accurately. This way, it ends up boosting the general customer experience.
3. Self-Service Channels
This contact center technology is a significant win for the company and its customers.
About 70% of customers expect organizations to provide self-service options. This shows a high demand for self-service channels in modern call centers.
A self-service channel for customers provides online support that doesn’t require an agent’s interference or interaction. So, a business receives reduced call volume when there are many self-service options for customers.
For instance, a FAQ page on a business website is a quick and straightforward self-service tool for customers. Still, other complicated self-service technology tools like chatbots and online portals exist.
By using self-service options, customers can find answers effortlessly on their own, which minimizes the need for call center agents.
4. Video Chat
Among the vital call center technologies is video customer service. With digital sales and shopping taking over consumer behavior, video chat ideally allows face-to-face customer service.
Most importantly, video chat offers the visual interaction that phone calls don’t.
What’s more, its software is versatile to meet the needs of each customer.
For instance, the customer and agent can see each other (two-way), or only a customer sees the agent (one-way). The video chat software is also compatible with all devices so customers can interact on mobile.
Video chat also allows screen sharing to enable a fully cooperating customer interaction.
Technology is the backbone of call centers, improving customer experience and driving innovations.
However, investing in an updated call center technology trend for your business is crucial. You can achieve fast and modified customer service in multiple channels.
Implementing the right technology also helps your customer service team to provide better support to your customers.