Top 4 customer experience trends for contact centres

With the global contact centre market expected to reach $25.8 billion by 2032, executives are on a mission to establish CX goals that utilise technology to capitalise on this growth. This comes down to the growing adoption of advanced technology to offer superior customer experiences within the contact centre space.
Top 4 customer experience trends for contact centres | Probe CX

In this blog, we outline the 2023 contact centre goals for organisations and the relevant customer experience (CX) trends that will make them a reality.

2023 contact centre goals

From self-service capabilities to delving into the unknown world of the metaverse, contact centre executives have big goals lined up for 2023.

The pressure to maintain remote work practices

Employee experience is becoming just as important a KPI as customer experience. While hybrid working environments started to emerge and balance the need to return to in-office operations with employee desires to stay working from home, 39% of employees still would consider quitting should their employers not allow them to remain 100% remote. Around 71% of business leaders are planning to meet these needs by making remote or hybrid work practices permanent.

Providing self service options

90% of customers expect companies to have an online self-service support portal that addresses their queries with 67% preferring to solve their questions on their own over speaking to a contact centre agent. However, with only 13% of customers able to fully resolve their issues through self-service options, 78% of executives are planning to invest more in self-help portals and AI-powered chatbots to improve CX.

Incorporating the metaverse

The race is on to join the metaverse from both sides of the coin. McKinsey & Company have found that 59% of consumers are excited to transition everyday activities into the metaverse and 57% of organisations are starting to build long-term goals to incorporate this concept.

Balancing proactive versus reactive customer service

A Gartner study found that implementing proactive customer service initiatives resulted in a full point increase across key CX measures such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Customer Effort Score (CES) and Value Enhancement Score (VES). In the same study, only 13% of the 6,000 customers interviewed reported receiving any kind of proactive customer service.

Incorporating proactive customer service in a contact centre can be done across four focus functions: support, educate, update and nurture.

  • Support: When customers contact your agents about an issue, offer them proactive support by suggesting resolutions to commonly asked questions to help troubleshoot.
  • Educate: Send messages about system-wide issues or how-to guides for the next software update.
  • Update: Offer personalised product or service offerings based on previous purchases.
  • Nurture: Provide your customers access to resources that may assist them in using your product or services more efficiently.

Build consumer trust through data security

76% of customers want organisations to do more in keeping their data secure and so by 2025, 40% of executive leaders plan to include a cybersecurity committee overseen by a qualified board member to build consumer trust.

2023 customer experience trends

To achieve these goals, executives are turning to customer experience (CX) technology for help.

Quality assurance and workforce management software

Ensuring organisations have processes and the tech necessary to sustain a remote workforce for contact centre employees comes down to investing in quality assurance (QA) and workforce management software. Let’s face it, we put in the hours to maintain work-from-home contact centres during COVID, now it’s just about fine-tuning any key outliers or ‘bugs’ that may have been overlooked for the sake of urgency to facilitate an effective remote contact centre workforce.

We don’t want to fall into the trap of micromanagement where we are analysing every single action and activity of our remote contact centre employees. The QA and workforce management software is there to help understand remote agent call times and how to efficiently schedule remote employees.

Chatbots and virtual agents

Imagine a technology that can ask “How can we help you today?” and understand the intent of a response to direct to the agent best equipped to meet their needs. Imagine a voice-activated, self-service menu featuring literally hundreds of options. Imagine a customer service representative who is willing to handle enquiries 24 hours a day, seven days a week without being paid penalty rates. Enter chatbots and virtual agents powered by the latest in interactive voice response (IVR) and natural language processing (NLP) technology.

Not to be mistaken with traditional chatbots that are often limited by a set of pre-registered answers, virtual agents are rewriting the CX script by enabling computers to simulate real conversations and engage with customers in a manner that replicates humans. Powered by cognitive process automation, they can save and use memories of a conversation to initiate context-related, human-like dialogues.

Virtual and augmented reality

With the metaverse set to reach around 400 million monthly active users, by 2025, it’s expected that virtual reality tools will be used in 65% of contact centres as customers look to engage brands within the virtual space. This comes down to the need to create more immersive customer experiences within an environment that is completely flexible and manipulated by consumer desire.

Customers can simply put on a headset to sit ‘face-to-face’ with your customer support teams via holograms. These holograms can be augmented to allow the customer to show exactly what the issue is or even allow your contact centre teams to provide demonstrations on product use. With studies outlining that augmented or virtual reality allows information to be stored in memory up to 70% higher than with non-visual aids like a call or an email, VR could revolutionalise contact centre support capabilities and amplify CX metrics.

Business analytics and data analysis

To be able to identify proactive customer service initiatives businesses need to be able to understand customer data efficiently. It would be proactive to offer self-service menus filled with answers that best anticipate the customer's issue to help troubleshoot. It would be proactive to provide recommendations to customers based on previous purchases.

But how can we fill in the gaps to identify what FAQs go into self-service menus and what products to recommend to each customer? Organisations need technology and software that successfully brings together previously siloed data and digs deep to uncover a multi-faceted view of the customer journey that reveals their needs, wants and expectations.

Investing in this software can seamlessly integrate data from a wide array of sources to understand better customer interactions and, in turn, use such insights to create more compelling, proactive engagements.

Secure knowledge management systems

From employees on the frontline to customers searching for answers, it is essential to implement a knowledge management system (KMS) that acts as a single source of truth and is easily accessible while having the necessary data security measures in place. From ensuring your organisation has effective firewalls, to ensuring that your contact centre employees are regularly changing their passwords, this can all be monitored by having a KMS that is intuitive and secure.

What are the top contact centre CX challenges in 2023?

Maintaining CX in a contact centre environment can be incredibly complex. Customer demands are dynamic and organisations need to adapt to the changes in their customer service needs. Understanding the common CX struggles within a contact centre environment and how to overcome them, will make the implementation of the above trends more seamless and achievable for your organisation.

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