Call Center Trends in 2020
Everyone says 2020 is going to be a year of upgrades. And we don’t deny that. Call Center Trends for 2020 look at upgrading call center efficiency, speed of response and productivity. It looks at improving and playing an important role in shaping customer experience. Here are the top 5 trends we predict:
Call Centers use self-service to scale up.
Scaling up call center operations has never been easier. On one hand voice bots, conversational IVR, and chatbots have matured tremendously over the past year. On the other hand, customers are more willing than ever before to engage with these technologies for faster resolutions. According to CCW, more than 70% of customers are open to using bots. 1
The results are already beginning to show. For instance, last year call centers who implemented self-service IVR reported five times higher productivity. In other words, they were able to handle five times greater call volumes with the same number of agents. These interactions included checking their ticket status, bookings, cancellations, FAQs and other L1 queries.
The Omnichannel journey matures.
Enabling a 360-degree view of the customers is a strong priority in 2020. Customer Success leaders will shift focus from call centers to omnichannel contact centers. They will achieve this by integrating digital channels and enabling tight CRM integrations. As a result, agents will be able to access customer information with ease, leading to faster resolutions and personalized interactions across channels.
New digital channels emerge.
Phone calls continue as the most popular customer support channel. This is followed by live Chat. But new channels constantly emerge. This year, WhatsApp will be one such channel. This is because last year the backend technology for enabling large scale customer support via WhatsApp matured considerably. Procedures for getting a WhatsApp Business API number also became far easier and more streamlined.
Smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Home may also be poised to become new customer support channels. In the US, nearly 60 million people use smart speakers. In India, these speakers have penetrated 20.9% Internet Households.3 Functionality and options keep improving on this popular channel. It is highly likely that by year-end, call centers could integrate their voice bots with these smart speakers so that customers can ask Alexa (or Siri) to update them on their delivery status or other such details.
AI gives Call Center Data its due.
Call Centers collect a massive amount of data. This includes customer complaints, pain points, desires, and suggestions. This kind of data is invaluable for improving customer experience, creating user personas, developing marketing programs, measuring product success or developing new features, products, and services.
With new AI-based tools, it is now possible to structure and glean these insights from the call recordings where they reside. Speech Analytics and Sentiment Analysis tools will massively improve how call centers manage their operations. But more importantly, it will transform how they contribute to product development, marketing, and overall business growth.
Customers willingly talk to your bots.
Voice bot technology has quickly moved from a novelty to a must-have feature in many consumer electronics. In the United States, 36.6% of the population use voice assistants. In India, 51% of internet users access voice-enabled functionality. People who use voice assistants get used to it. According to Google, 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines.
Voice technology has reached a point when conversations flow naturally, and answers are given accurately. Many repetitive conversations that take place call centers are moving to bots. And with customers responding positively, this trend is likely to grow stronger in 2020.
The agent’s role gets redefined.
Changes in call center technologies will result in changes in agents’ roles. For example, the need for agents who speak like mechanized robots will reduce. The agents’ role will be to provide a human touch: to calm irate customers, to solve complex problems, to ask the right questions, and to creatively solve problems. As a result, agents will need to change their mindset. But also, call centers will also have to change how they employ, retain, train and empower their call center agents.
Customer Experience continues to rule.
If there is one trend that remains evergreen for successful businesses, it is this: customer-centricity. Customer convenience will remain the center of all call center interactions. Every new technology the call center adopts will aim to improve customer experience—by somehow making it faster, easier, and more pleasant to interact with your brand.