For the last few years, there have been two overarching needs driving trends in contact center tech—the need to improve customer experience (CX) and the need to become more data-driven.
One ICMI study found that 74% of customer service leaders believe they are not fully empowering agents to maximize CX. But with the advent of new technologies like artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and cloud-based data processing, you have a chance to change that.
By embracing the following five contact center tech trends for 2019, you can meet the demand to become a more customer-centric, data-driven organization.
1. Cloud Contact Center Solutions
It doesn’t matter how big your company is, where it’s located, or what industry you’re in—customers won’t stand for sub-par experiences anymore.
But it’s not enough to just include live chat or messaging as a customer service channel in addition to phone calls and emails. Now, you need flexible, scalable, and feature-rich solutions that empower agents to serve customers more efficiently, conveniently, and personally. The modern contact center agent needs more intuitive interfaces and seamless integration between existing business systems and the innovative technologies that promise newfound CX benefits.
While traditional contact center solutions have struggled to keep pace with these needs, contact centers are quickly shifting to cloud-based solutions. By 2023, the cloud contact center market will be worth over $24 billion, growing 25% year-over-year.
These solutions enable quick deployments, unmatched scalability, and a continuously-updated set of features to keep you at the forefront of customer experience innovation.
2. Intelligent Routing Across Channels
Customer experience is about more than just being accessible through whichever channel is most convenient. It’s also about making sure the customer is always connected with the right person as quickly as possible.
One significant advantage of deploying cloud-based contact center solutions is that you gain access to intelligent routing capabilities. These solutions can pull data from your CRM system to understand purchase history, billing information, past support tickets, and more to gain a better understanding of customer context.
That contextual information helps the system intelligently route customers to the appropriate agents whether they contact you through voice, chat, email, social media, or any other piece of your omnichannel strategy. And because the cloud-based system integrates across your key business systems, your agents see a single, unified view of the customer journey as soon as they are connected.
3. Speech Analysis
Advancements in artificial intelligence for contact center solutions have opened the door for speech analysis. Speech analysis features enable you to gain deep insight into how your agents interact with customers over the phone.
When you’re analyzing past recordings, you can identify training opportunities for agents to create an atmosphere of constant improvement across your contact center. And with the right tools, you can use real-time speech analytics to give agents instant, actionable insights during customer engagement.
Think about the impact this technology could have on both customer experience and operational efficiency. Instead of having aggravated customers request an escalation to supervisors, speech analytics can send alerts to managers so they can step in proactively. Not only does it save time for your contact center staff, but it also leads to happier customers because they’re served more efficiently.
With artificial intelligence at the core of speech analytics, your contact center solution will continuously learn more about how customers interact with you. Over time, it will become more effective at picking up the subtle nuances of voice inflection and generating valuable insights for your business.
4. Self-Service Applications
For years, customer experience leaders have cited one key Gartner prediction—that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with brands without interacting with a human.
This is one prediction that certainly seems to be coming true. Customers want to be able to solve their own problems whenever possible. And they need intuitive, smart self-service tools available to do so.
Modern contact center tools should enable advanced self-service functionality that creates omnichannel, personalized, and conversational customer experiences.
However, it’s important not to take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to self-service tools. Just because your customers want self-service tools doesn’t mean more hands-on channels can stay stuck in the past. Customers need to be able to quickly and easily escalate their concerns from self-service channels to phone calls, live chats, and emails with agents.
5. Artificial Intelligence
At the core of many contact center tech trends is the ability to make practical use of AI. They may not be as flashy as voice assistants and self-driving cars, but AI in contact center solutions can transform customer experiences and significantly improve your operational efficiency.
As natural language processing (NLP) improves, AI-powered contact center solutions will be able to understand contextual information more effectively. And over time, that will lead to more opportunities for automation, which will streamline costs and free up agent resources for more valuable tasks.
Artificial intelligence isn’t a technology you implement in a vacuum. It works best when it is woven into the backbone of your contact center, powering more personalized customer experiences while enabling agents to provide just-in-time service.
Stay Ahead of the Latest Contact Center Trends
The technologies listed here are just a few of the innovations that will change the contact center in 2019 and beyond. Your contact center is the front line of customer experience, which is why you can’t let your organization fall behind trends in which competitors capitalize.
However, you don’t have to worry about trying to address all of these trends individually. Contact center solutions can support voice, video, chat, text, email, and social media communications to give customers total control over how they interact with your business—without sacrificing agent experience on the backend.
The modern contact center is all about meeting customers where they are, providing efficient support (both self-service and full-service), collecting data, and analyzing that data to make improvements both in real-time and after the fact.
But finding the right contact center solution to help you accomplish all of this can be a challenge. That’s why we’re here.
If you want to get out ahead (and stay ahead) of the latest contact center tech trends, contact us today for a free consultation.