As customer communication moves virtually and contact center employees migrate to remote work, sales and customer service hiring managers need to modernize their call and contact methodology.
Managers leverage communication technology to meet unprecedented contact center call volume
Hiring managers, inside sales teams, and customer service departments alike experienced a 50% increase in call and contact volume during the Covid-19 pandemic straining workflow and ballooning call center queues.
“What was known as a call center has transformed into a contact center, and the relationship between contact employees and their customers has never been more vital.” Says Evan Violette, CSS PSG Managing Sales Director.
A hold time increase of 34% since 2020 has led companies to invest massive capital into the functionality and efficiency of in-person albeit increasingly remote contact centers. Managers are implementing components like artificial intelligence and automation while expanding existing resources like interactive voice response to give customers the best communication experience possible. These five factors below will shape the future of contact center functionality, hiring requirements, and customer engagement in 2023 and beyond.
Workforce distribution and remote employment offer flexibility and opportunity
In an age where 65% of employees report they’d prefer remote work with another 34% preferring hybrid, it’s a top priority for contact center managers to digitize their work environments.
Voice over IP (VOIP) tech and cloud system migration will ensure remote work is accessible with the tools needed to satisfy customer calls, email, and other outreach needs. On top of that, expect managers to invest in cybersecurity measures like VPN and private cloud infrastructure. Remote working means remote onboarding and most importantly remote training. Managers have a plethora of options for software providing virtual training capabilities. Call recordings, transcriptions, and even in-call monitoring allow managers to coach remote contact center employees from anywhere in the world through customer conversations.
Expanding beyond traditional call centers and into omnichannel communication
The classic call center that comes to mind with ringing phones followed by hundreds of customer conversations is evolving into a contact center, a hub of communication beyond a conventional phone call. Studies show that over 90% of customers prefer the ability to connect through multiple communication networks; the flagship capability of an omnichannel environment.
This new network bridges customer calls, emails, social media inquiries, and other methods of communication all onto one platform. This diversified communication pipeline eases the queue burden on sales and customer service representatives solving customer complaints more efficiently.
Artificial intelligence (AI) paired with interactive voice response (IVR) clarifies call routing
Contact centers are bridging tried and true IVR technology with burgeoning AI in the field of VoIP to better handle customer complaints with enhanced call routing. AI and machine learning (ML) bots track past and present text and speech data to leverage predictive analytics. These technologies can then direct a customer accurately to the most qualified agent on a particular team for said specified inquiry. If a customer calls in off clicks from a billing page, the customer is automatically routed to an accounts payable or receivable agent. If a call comes in off a subscription cancellation page, that customer is rerouted to a retention specialist.
Invest in self-service tools to free-up agents for the most complex calls
This deluge of post-Covid-19 contact center activity leaves little room for error for sales and customer service agents tasked with satisfying countless customers daily. Managers should alleviate the load of inbound calls with investment in self-help digital tools for customers. A Coleman Parks Astute 2020 study shows that 91% of customers would rather use self-service options like AI-encrypted chatbots or simple FAQ site resources to solve simple problems instead of calling in. Obviously, this exposes the fact that companies aren’t investing enough resources into self-help alternatives with the sharp uptick in contact center calls through the pandemic.
Streamline your communication operations with today’s technical toolkit
Enable your contact center employees to excel in their positions by leveraging the best new customer communication technology on the market. From helpdesk workflow software to omnichannel support platforms, equip your team with the communication technology of the future starting here.
Partner with CSS Professional Staffing Group for your contact center needs
The CSS PSG team are expert in staffing for call and contact center support with almost 20 years of experience supporting client’s inbound and outbound sales, customer service, and other contact center needs. Connect with the staffing professionals at PSG today and modernize your contact center today.