Did you know that the oldest evidence of customer service is in the form of a clay tablet from 1750 BC?
Imagine having to carve out your complaint in clay, baking it and then mailing it.
Can’t imagine that? Well, that’s because comparatively, customers today have the fastest, most convenient, and most helpful customer services available to them.
If you’re wondering how customer service could possibly get any better, let us take you through time to see the future of contact centres.
1. Bots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will do more work.
It’s not breaking news that bots are being integrated into contact centres. You’ve probably experienced bots answering your service calls and chat bots greeting you on websites.
The question is: how much more will bots take on in 5 years?
For one, bots will be implemented 24/7 so you can extend your customer service hours.
That’s right, bots work around the clock and don’t complain!
Besides having an easy time with HR, bots give your customers flexibility because they can contact your business when it’s most convenient for them. This is especially useful for working customers whose work schedules often coincide with customer service hours.
In the future, Bots and AI will be advanced enough to answer simple and repetitive questions. Questions that agents spend 90% of their time answering. By freeing them of these simple tasks, agents will have more time to go above and beyond for each customer.
Subsequently, your business will only need a small customer service team. This provides an opportunity to increase the quality of your customer service agents. It’s clear that bots and AI are going to be a big part of future contact centres. So, don’t resist evolving and instead keep up to date on the latest bot technology.
2. “Super agents” will provide more value.
Say goodbye to regular agents–there will only be “super agents” in the future.
What does it mean to be a super agent?
Well, super agents only handle the most complex problems. Problems that no bot or AI can find the answer to. Be it a highly unusual question or just an emotionally charged client, super agents will have the right set of skills needed to solve the issue. Skills such as:
- Technical knowledge
- Emotional intelligence
Aside from dealing with difficult situations, super agents will also create additional value for customers. Value creation can be done by presenting special offers at the right moment or even finding internal ways to improve the customer journey. Bots may be able to answer questions, but it takes a human to recognize opportunities to provide more value to customers.
3. Contact centres will evolve into “Relationship hubs”.
Acting as the the point of communication between the business and its’ customers, the contact center will eventually evolve into a “relationship hub” that specializes in building relationships.
As a relationship hub, contact centres will need to proactively recognize customer’s needs and use data to continuously evolve the customer journey.
For example, a relationship hub understands that while chatbots can initiate interactions, they can’t provide that personal touch that customers need. Relationship hubs know to escalate customers from chatbots to the right agents at the right time in the customer journey. The transition will also have to be subtle and not cause any disruptions or repetitions in the communication.
All of this is done to go beyond solving the customer’s problems and to provide customers with a personable and unique customer experience.
4. Contact centres will move to Cloud.
Sounds familiar? Well, chances are your business already implements cloud technology.
Cloud is a very convenient way to share information and it is constantly adapting to new technology. Most recently, it has adapted to the rise of online communication channels like Whatsapp, Twitter and Messenger.
Cloud technology lets you integrate these communication channels onto one platform. The goal is to create an omni-channel platform where agents can switch between channels easily. Letting agents juggle multiple customers on different platforms at the same time.
Contact centres are already using cloud technology to communicate with clients on different platforms. And as the technology continues to grow and gain traction, this will become the norm in the customer service industry.
Pretty soon, contact centres will transition into virtual workspaces because agents can interact with customers from any location through the cloud. Plus, remote working saves on office space and provides agents with the flexibility to work from anywhere.
5. Social media as platform for customer service.
Facebook was originally created to connect college students to each other. Today, the platform has evolved so much that it is connecting businesses to their customers.
In time to come, social media will continue to grow as a popular customer service platform. Globally, people are already spending an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media a day. It’s safe to say that social media is an accessible and familiar platform for customers.
Social media provides a fast and interactive experience to customers, making it an even more attractive communication platform to use. Businesses that don’t adapt to this platform are restricting customer communication and depriving itself of a strong customer relationship.
Furthermore, it is a very cost-efficient customer service tool for businesses. There’s no need to invest in expensive software or equipment because agents can do everything from a smartphone.
6. Video chats will be a prominent customer service channel.
It’s difficult to explain how to defuse a bomb over the phone…but with video chat, you can show someone how to do it!
While most situations aren’t as life threatening, sometimes communicating through video is more convenient. With video, agents can demonstrate or visualize technical information and ensure that customers fully understand it.
Not to mention, face-to-face communication is much more personal and helps your business form a close relationship with customers. This builds trust in your customers and increases their loyalty to your business.
To further make the case for video chats, they provide visuals for a call. So, whenever the agent is not speaking, customers will be visually occupied and not get impatient or frustrated.
Need I say more? Video chats are sure to break barriers in the customer service industry and will soon be adopted by many businesses.
7. Mobile apps.
Mobile apps for businesses is another rising trend that can be seen in today’s customer service landscape.
Roughly 78% of Malaysians own a smartphone (Source: MCMC) and that means that 78% of Malaysians can download mobile apps. It is no wonder that businesses are tapping into this opportunity to expand their reach by creating their own mobile apps.
Soon enough, mobile apps will be another platform for customer service communication.
Mobile apps bring your customers one touch away from your agents. Making it convenient and quick to get in touch with your business.
Aside from that, mobile apps can give your customers an interactive experience. Customers can explore the app or pull up information all while speaking to an agent.
This experience can be enhanced further through in-app support tools. These tools can help customers explore the different ways they can get in touch with your business.
All in all, mobile apps create an accessible and interactive customer experience and there is no doubt that they will be part of the contact evolution.
The contact evolution will change the industry to better service customers. Reach out to us and learn how to fully prepare yourself for the future!