We’ve all experienced our share of challenges this year. But by using technology that empowers their agents, many contact centers have done more than simply adjust to these changes. They’ve faced them head on and transformed operations to provide customers with the service they expect, in the ways they expect it — through phone, chat, email, social or other channels.
As we look forward to 2021, there will be a continued emphasis on providing great customer experiences and enhanced customer journeys. Here are some contact center trends you can expect in the next year.
The COVID-19 outbreak and associated stay-at-home restrictions dramatically increased companies’ reliance on the cloud. To continue business as usual, companies moved their agents to home offices and set up their contact centers in the cloud.
We expect these innovations to continue in 2021. Companies that embraced a cloud contact center immediately saw the benefits it delivers, including business agility, business continuity, improved security, enhanced productivity and better agent experiences.
Your customers don’t want arbitrary restrictions on how they operate a cloud-based contact center. They want cloud their way — with flexibility, scalability and portability on their terms, no matter the size or complexity of their business.
In 2021, expect to see more customers saying “no more” to proprietary systems, single-vendor lock-in and forklift upgrades. Instead, they’ll welcome customizations that let them buy and plug-in features that are best for their businesses.
3. Workforce Engagement
Smart contact center managers know that delivering a great customer experience starts with their employees. Empowering agents to manage a customer’s journey across channels and touchpoints improves their engagement and job satisfaction.
Expect to see more contact centers turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to handle smaller, more routine tasks. This unburdens agents and frees them to provide more personalized customer experiences.
4. Personalized Customer Experiences
If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s the importance of truly understanding customers. From medical to financial settings and beyond, customers want more personalized help.
That means your agents need the right information at their fingertips. This emphasis on data-driven service — having insight into your customers to provide the services they want, when they want it — will continue to grow through 2021.
Omnichannel capabilities – SMS, chat, email, artificial intelligence, messaging – are more than underlying technology. It’s about leveraging that technology, with your customers in mind, to drive better business outcomes. In 2021, more companies will turn to tools like AI-powered chatbots and digital assistants to transform the contact center and personalize the customer experience.
Delivering better customer experiences means developing a real understanding for what matters to your customers. You need your best agents to show customers empathy. And doing this requires technology that provides context and insights into the full customer journey. To provide this compassionate customer service, companies will seek technology partners dedicated to innovation and mutual support.
7. Experience as a Service
To deliver exceptional customer experiences, you must manage your customers’ journeys. Actionable data lets you know and understand your customers; AI tools can create real-time insights that allow you to personalize interactions at the right time. And engagement tools let you define and optimize customer segments and treatment strategies. In the next year, contact centers will zero-in on these key capabilities to deliver on an Experience as a ServiceSM vision.
To find out how you can improve your customer experience in 2021, check out the Genesys Research for Empathy and Personalization.