Digital disruption is pervasive across nearly all industries currently. As the saying goes, if you are not disrupting your industry, you are likely being disrupted.
Artificial intelligence (AI) applications have been the root of many digital innovations, particularly call center automation.
And this trend shows no signs of slowing down. A recent survey predicts that AI and other emerging technologies will handle 70% of call center customer interactions this year.
While AI and other advanced technologies are finding greater use in nearly all industries, they have entirely redefined call center customer service.
With the new year upon us, analyzing how increased digital transformation and call center automations may impact call centers is a great idea. After several tough years of experiencing an increase in complex calls, call escalations, and hold times throughout the pandemic, the industry is ripe for transformational change.
Here are the top 8 call center automation trends to watch for in 2022.
1. Call Center Automation Trends: Automation of Tasks
Achieving greater efficiency is critical for call centers. After all, if customer service representatives can respond quickly, they can reduce wait time and improve the customer experience. Automating repetitive tasks, such as inputting customer data and scheduling, can increase efficiency.
Call center automation software can also help live agents multitask. These platforms often allow agents to access data quicker and help achieve resolutions that improve the customer experience.
More importantly, process automation removes the burden of simple tasks and actions, allowing your CSRs to spend more energy and time on complex tasks.
2. Call Center Automation Trends: Forecasting Automation
Call centers rely on data related to customers, products, sales, and other essential details. However, contact center automations can also be combined with analytical data for better results.
For instance, forecasting automation software can help call centers determine trends related to call volumes. Additionally, deviations from forecasting can help you better understand your business and product. For instance, if you see a massive spike in calls, it can indicate a lousy product release, allowing you to pivot and prevent further damage to your brand.
3. Call Center Automation Trends: Performance Automation
In addition to other types of automation in call centers, there are also transcription capabilities within many call center automation platforms. This feature provides a transcription of all calls.
Moreover, some software may include virtual coaching. This virtual feedback can help agents identify areas of improvement and arm them with strategies to deal with difficult calls.
In today’s era, one-on-one coaching can be enhanced with digital solutions. This shift to a digital solution can deliver practical training and feedback without impacting efficiency. Examples include more one-on-one coaching, highlighting exact calls and conversations to demonstrate quality assurance while making the process more efficient.
The benefits of digital training include:
- Breaking down training into short microlearning modules
- Personalized feedback specific to actual interactions
- AI-driven training practice scenarios
- Gamification of training, which can keep employees more engaged in the lesson
4. Call Center Automation Trends: Automated Analytics for Customer Insights
There is no way around it – companies can collect tremendous amounts of data about their customers. As data collection has increased in recent years, most companies hold onto far more information than companies have in the past.
Customer data can be used to deliver superb digital customer service. The more agents know about the customer, the more likely they can help solve real-time issues.
But even more importantly, agents can provide personalized and meaningful interactions with customer data. This is accomplished by understanding the unique attributes of the customer based on archived data. Then, the agent is uniquely positioned to improve communication-based on the customer’s history with the company.
This personalized type of customer-driven analytical software provides a solution accessible on an agent’s desktop that puts all relevant customer information at their fingertips in seconds.
5. Call Center Automation Trends: Increased Automated Interactions
Automated interactions, frequently conducted by chatbots, will continue to increase throughout 2022.
As call volumes continue to climb, automated interactions offer a way to decrease the call wait times by handling easier requests for information.
Automated interactions can also solicit information from the caller. This information can then route them to the right digital customer service providers.
Automated interactions often include natural language processing, making them easier to use.
Customers can expect an interactive voice or text response from an intelligent virtual agent that mirrors natural conversation.
Additionally, these interactions can decrease the average handle time and answer some questions quickly, improving the overall customer experience.
And with advancements in natural language understanding, cutting-edge platforms, such as Level AI, are taking things to the next level in 2022 with accuracy rates that far exceed the capabilities of current contact center platforms.
6. Call Center Automation Trends: Shifting Customer Expectations
Shifting customer expectations is unlike other contact center trends on the list because this trend does not address how call centers operate. However, this trend is vital in understanding the future of call centers.
Today’s generation is more impatient than ever when it comes to holding for customer service. Customers want (and in many cases, expect) to help with their own problems. Furthermore, Millennials are overwhelmingly willing to do so using various tools, including social platforms and messaging apps, live chat, text messaging, and more.
The vast majority – 86% – of customers have come to expect a personalized experience that can hop across various channels. Omnichannel self-service with human agents available for more complex support scenarios will be the most efficient business model in 2022 for many call centers.
7. Call Center Automation Trends: Increased in Cloud-Based and Remote Call Centers
The days of the crowded call center are long gone. Many companies with call centers began remote work before the pandemic started. This shift gave those companies a leg up throughout the pandemic since they required less transformation. However, many are still transitioning, and building a remote call center takes a lot of planning and selecting the right technologies.
A proper transition often requires a cloud-based system that routes calls, software to access the customer’s history, tracking software, and performance software. Throughout 2022, many companies will likely evolve to a distributed workforce.
AI-powered call center software will be an important component. This more intelligent automation will increase customer satisfaction and customer engagement.
But the evaluation of AI touchpoints in a call center is critical and should occur at four distinct phases – before contact, during contact, directly after contact, and post-contact. This in-depth evaluation can help you identify strategies to continue enhancing customer satisfaction.
8. Call Center Automation Trends: Seamless Digital to Human Interactions
A seamless interaction is a part of delivering an exceptional customer experience.
As we find more uses for artificial intelligence and natural language processing to assist with easy customer requests, there are still interactions that will require a human agent. In fact, 86% of consumers prefer to interact with a human agent. Further, 71% report they are less likely to use a brand that has no human customer service representatives available.
Call tracking solutions can help you understand the customer’s journey in finding the information they need and how customers interact with your site and support resources. Additionally, call tracking can facilitate the proper routing of a call once it is determined to be a problem that automated virtual agents cannot solve.
As automation technology advances, call centers will continue to identify ways to improve operations leveraging these technologies. Looking to 2022 and beyond, the industry will be marked with change that drives efficiency, and call center automation will serve as a critical strategy in increasing efficiency.
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