Contact Center of the Future: 8 Things to Consider for Seamless Customer Service

happy call center agent with headset

As Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest, “It’s a brave new world.” Much has changed in technology since he penned those words. Technology is simultaneously making our lives more complex and more easy.  And the contact center is not immune to this societal and life-changing paradox.

Here are eight current and emerging trends to consider as you map your contact center strategy. 

1. More Channels: Given that 35% of adults now own a smart phone, SMS chat and ‘Call Me’ will need to become common channels for most contact centers who want to provide increased convenience and relevancy for their customers. Consider that 50% of Mobile users in the US use a Smartphone and 234 Million people in the US have some type of mobile device.

2. Yet More Channels: Video and rich media have become part of our everyday lives.  The ability to use a mobile device to snap a picture or shoot a quick video is just as easy as dialing a phone number and sharing that media. Your CRM should be able to collect and use this data just as easily.

3. The uber-smart CRM application: Many contact centers offer an increasingly wide range of services to their customers.  Even with the best training, most agents will never likely have all of the answers. The CRM should be intuitive.  Agents should be able to type the customer’s question and be guided through the problem resolution. The CRM shouldn’t require a long training effort.   

4. The New “socialism:” In the early 21st century, MySpace was hot.  Today, Twitter and Facebook are highly used social media tools.  Pinterest came on the scene in 2010 and now is one of the fastest-growing social networking sites.  What will be popular tomorrow? New networks will keep popping up.  Contact Centers should choose technologies that allow them to engage on these networks, providing social care

5. Call Centers without Borders: In today’s highly evolving and changing communications environment, consumers are increasingly able to move among networks seamlessly.  Contact centers are going to have to have the same levels on flexibility and nimbleness to keep up with their customers. 

6. United We Stand: Contact centers will need to have a unified queuing capability so they can seamlessly support multiple contact channels.

7. Bringing Simple Back: CRM should be simple. Workflows should be simple.  Customers like simplicity.  Agents like simplicity.  It makes for faster agent training.  It keeps calls short. As Leonardo DaVinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  This means complex designs equals simple processes.

8. Being There — at the Point of Purchase: Contact Centers can now help answer questions in the grocery store aisle, in the car when choosing a restaurant etc.  Contact Centers become the connection between the enterprise and the consumer – not just to solve problems, but to help customers understand the benefits of the products.  This moves contact centers from a Cost Center to being a key part of the revenue stream.

Get in touch with Astute Solutions for help preparing for these trends.