Currently, there are more than 6,200 contact centres in the UK, and more than 4% of the country’s working population are employed at contact centres, with that number increasing annually.
With the call centre industry constantly growing and evolving, below are six trends that industry experts and marketers should keep top-of-mind for 2018.
Big data evolution
Big data remains a leading trend with its ability to impact not only day-to-day workflows but also profitable bottom lines.
Big data will continue to advance contact centre platforms’ features, capabilities and benefits with more precise data and sophisticated User Interfaces (UI’s).
Big data provides call centres with an in-depth analysis of information gathered across various mediums for different periods of time.
The analysis of the data can then be used to increase efficiency within the operations.
In order to meet performance demands, end users of business intelligence (BI) will require heightened precision with input and output data sets, requiring further research and technological advances in predicative modelling.
2018 will demand big data to be even more accessible and accurate in today’s competitive market.
Evolving call recording technology
Automatic call recording technologies has been a standard protocol of the call centre industry for decades.
However, call centres will soon move beyond the status quo and develop new automated recording tools to stay up-to-date with call centre trends.
Being that smartphone usage has skyrocketed, call centres will be expected to develop compatible smart-phone services and tools to be utilised by both the employee and the consumer.
Rise in omnichannel delivery
As the world continues to progress into the data-driven age, customers will relentlessly search for tools that provide instant answers with the fastest response times, leading to an increase use of omnichannel features in 2018.
Omnichannel tools combine all support and communication channels (email, telephone, text, social media, etc.) into one seamless experience for the customer. Omnichannel integration will be a pivotal business tool for contact centres in 2018.
Remote employment seen as a benefit for all
With the rise of a decentralised workforce, remote work is expected to increase exponentially in 2018.
As technology advances, real-time monitoring of agent activities has become more reliable, making it easier for contact centres to track the strengths, weaknesses, and workload of their agents around the globe.
Call centres should consider adjusting their policies to meet the growing demand for flexibility in the workforce.
In general, customers want their issues resolved in a convenient and timely manner.
For minor customer issues that don’t require a lengthy conversation, customers are requesting alternative ways to resolve issues themselves.
Today’s consumers find tools such as video tutorials, detailed FAQs and self-service portals useful in expediting the resolution process.
Investing in the online customer experience in 2018 is one of the best ways to generate customer loyalty.
Use of social media to its full advantage
Over the years, social media has grown into more than social networking.
It has evolved into a platform that can be utilised by companies and individuals alike to file grievances and monitor customer feedback across the globe.
In recent years, social media has been a primary method of choice to ask questions and voice customer complaints, compared to using a phone, email or face-to-face interaction.
>See also: Twitter: what’s changed for businesses?
Almost one in five adults prefer social media as their desired form of direct communication.
In an effort to advance customer relations over social media in 2018, companies should focus on ways to personalise their messages while still maintaining a quick response time.
As data integration improves, compiling social media data will enable enterprises to pull survey results faster and implement internal changes based on customer feedback.
Due to the ever-changing industry landscape, agent salaries are expected to increase as a reflection of the complexities and growing demands of agents’ roles and contact centres overall.
Contact centres have consistently found ways to grow, adapt and revolutionise themselves since the 1950’s.
2018 will be yet another exciting year for contact centres, for customers and agents all around.
Sourced by Kerry Sherman, vice president of business development for TCN