Contact centres as we know it have changed almost beyond recognition over the past 20 years or so. Earlier it was all about voice, database and software development kits (SDKs). Now we have real-time speech recognition, data analytics and APIs. Automation and robotics have taken the centre stage!
“What was once a department designed exclusively for dealing with telephone calls is now a multimedia hub handling multiple different streams of customer feedback.”
To businesses of various sizes this has led to an almost overwhelming flood of communication, with customers expecting responses and resolutions more quickly than ever.
Those trying to deal with this with pure manpower alone will soon find themselves falling behind the competition, or having to invest heavily in staff to cope with the increased demand. But there are various technological measures that can help automate and streamline these processes, which not only relieves the pressure on the contact centres, but frees up time and resources, enabling agents to deal with more complex tasks.
At the most fundamental level, transforming to a cloud-based digital infrastructure increases scalability and cost efficiency, allowing teams to grow more easily in response to the needs of the business, but it also means you can offer a more proactive service that allows you to deal with customers across multiple channels.
“Embracing this kind of omni-channel communication allows you to gather valuable insight on customer journeys and offer a more personal feel with any communication and resolutions.”
Furthermore, efficient and effective collaboration within and between different customer servicing teams, combined with innovative technologies, allow far greater use of the workforce’s collective knowledge and skills, no matter where they are in the world.
Human judgement and experience can also be augmented through the use of artificial intelligence and analytics. Basic things such as call routing can be handled by AI, but it can also take on other repetitive tasks and free up human employees to do more complex jobs or handle cases that require the kind of emotional intelligence that machines can’t offer.
With contact centre activity generating more data than could possibly be monitored and processed by human resources alone, running analytics on the information allows companies to create dashboards that show all the relevant statistics for their business. These aren’t just for behind-the-scenes analysts to utilise, they can also be displayed in the contact centre to provide real-time feedback for staff on the ground to take advantage of.
Enterprises – large, medium or small – can leverage the power of AI and analytics to improve customer satisfaction.
“The scalable nature of cloud-based solutions means that the insights are available to all- sized businesses, enabling them to take advantage of all the data their systems generate.”
Vendors that offer hybrid cloud solutions, as Tata Communications does, also allow business to make the transition at your own pace and in direct response to business requirements.
As more and more organisations implement innovative contact centre strategies, the analytics will only become more sophisticated. Likewise, advances in IoT tech mean that a growing number of future customer service cases are likely to be initiated autonomously by connected devices, so a futureproof approach to digital infrastructure will pay off even more noticeably in the coming years.
With bigwigs like Google, Facebook, Apple, Twilio and Amazon entering this sector, the growth of contact centres is imminent. Businesses need to adapt and adopt innovation to ride on this growth.
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