Contact centres are going through their biggest changes in decades. Instead of calling a company for support with every issue, customers can now turn to chatbots, mobile apps, social media, and a variety of other channels. Better connected than ever, delivering the outstanding service these customers expect requires the right mix of tech, talent, and investment. To help you prepare, here are eight predictions based on customer experience (CX) that will be critical to contact centre success in 2019 and beyond.
Chatbots Could Ruin Your CX (If You’re Not Careful)
According to a report by Gartner, chatbots will handle 85% of all customer engagement by 2020. Offering 24/7 access and the cost-saving benefits of automation, they have become many businesses best friend. But even augmented with Machine Learning capabilities, the ability of a chatbot to answer questions not written into their code is limited.
While chatbots can serve as an efficient way to offer customers solutions to simple problems, most consumers want to speak with a live agent when seeking answers to complex or technical questions. As a result, their future success hangs on the capacity of businesses to seamlessly blend automation with the human touch.
Chatbots-To-Agent Escalation Paths Will Become Crucial
Customers almost always try to solve problems themselves before calling. For this reason, many traditional call centres operate as escalation channels, meaning customers only talk to an agent when a self-service technology (SST) such as a chatbot fails.
To boost CX, businesses need to let customers know they are talking to a bot and that a human agent is only a click away if the conversation gets too difficult. Clear and effective escalation paths like this are vital, because if a customer feels like they’ve been the victim of poor service, they may leave your business for good.
Fixing Common Contact Centre Problems Will Stop Your Customers Shopping Around
Research by NewVoiceMedia reveals that 42% of UK consumers left a business last year due to poor customer service. For millennials (those aged 25-34), this increased to 53%. The reasons causing irritated customers to switch stem from problems within the contact centre that are relatively easy to solve.
One in three of the 2,000 adults surveyed said they had left a company after not being able to speak to a real person. A further 30% blamed being passed around multiple agents, and 28% switched after being put on hold for too long. In short, failing to fix these problems increases the likelihood of your customers switching to a company that can deliver better CX.
Maintaining Context Between Channels Will Be Key to Making Conversations Great
Although today’s connected customers love switching between support channels, they hate repeating information even more Consequently, creating chatbot-to-agent escalation paths will not be enough to make every conversation great on its own.
An omnichannel contact centre unifies all inbound and outbound communications, allowing you to treat all touchpoints as one. So, when a customer is escalated from a chatbot to live agent, your business can carry over the context from all previous interactions. Customers don’t have to repeat themselves, even the most complex customer journeys get simplified, and your agents can access all the information they need to ensure conversations run smoothly.
Contact Centre Agents Will Handle More and More Emotionally Charged Issues
To get the most out of chatbot technology, businesses need to understand the tech is better at different things than humans service agents.
A bot is a simple computer program that runs on rule-based code. AI-based chatbots learn from your data set and are able to give more personalized answers. However, both these types of chatbot are miles behind a human agent in regard to understanding the complexities of emotion.
Humans have empathy. They know how to persuade, listen, stay silent when needed, and then find a solution to complex issues that require sympathy and compassion. In the future, this means you should let bots handle quick and simple enquiries, freeing agents to deal with the higher value, emotionally charged issues that can make or break a customer-business relationship.
Click-to-Call Adoption Will Force Contact Centres to Focus on Crystal-Clear Voice Quality
In the purchase stage of the buying cycle, Google research reveals that 61% of mobile users rate click-to-call capabilities as ‘extremely important’. The growing popularity of this technology led BIA/Kelsey to predict that the number of annual calls from mobile to businesses will reach 169 billion by 2020.
Think about these stats for a second and they make sense. Many customers conduct research using their smartphones, and then call a business to make an additional query, purchase or booking. In this context, ensuring your contact centre can deliver high-quality voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls will be an essential part of meeting your customers’ needs.
Cloud Will Be Key to Reducing Customer Frustration
On-premise solutions typically run your telephone network, digital channels, reporting, and business data on separate systems. Contact centre cloud technology unifies everything, and, better still, plugs straight into your CRM without the need for expensive hardware changes. Allowing you to drive automation in the right areas and make better-informed decisions by capturing data from every interaction, the adoption of cloud technology will be key to reducing customer frustration in the contact centre.
Sentiment Analysis Will Help Your Agents Exceed Customer Expectations
An advanced form of speech analytics, sentiment analysis provides the tools to uncover how your customers feel. Using AI-based Natural Language Processing, computational linguistics, and text analysis, it examines call duration, hold time, speaking rate, silences, and even pitch.
Uncovering insights that will otherwise remain locked inside your call data, this means you can build a picture of the scenarios that leave customers stressed or satisfied. From testing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns to inventing techniques for handling common complaints, sentiment analysis will help you train agents to exceed expectations.
Learn more about meeting the biggest customer service challenges faced by businesses today by reading NewVoiceMedia’s whitepapers where you’ll discover how to boost the efficiency and productivity of your contact centre in all the key areas.