Five Contact Center Industry Advancements You Must Know

Date:   Wednesday , August 31, 2016

Headquartered in Haryana, C-Zentrix is a Cloud platform that enables the SMBs in the B2C segment to setup contact centers varying from 500 seats to 5000 seats or more. Its complain management and lead management solutions help businesses to provide a better experience to their end customers.

In the mind of a consumer, a company\'s brand is as strong as the speed and usefulness of response it offers to their queries. To be sensitive towards consumer needs, companies therefore must have contact centers that are modern, responsive and most importantly, helpful.

Traditionally, contact centers are concentrated on voice-business. Remember, they were known as \'call centers\' earlier. They focused on offering services at the lowest possible cost, turning the whole industry highly price-competitive. From Mexico to India to China to Vietnam to Philippines - the low-cost advantage has been shifting continuously.

For India to maintain its leadership position, companies must focus on high-value businesses and on digitalizing their consumer-connect. Technology-driven advancements can help India maintain its strategic edge in the market which is over populated by price-warriors. Let\'s examine these advancements that promise to transform the contact center industry soon.

- Omnichannel Approach: According to Dimension Data\'s 2015 contact center benchmarking report, digital interactions account for over 35 percent of all the customer interactions. The report predicts that digital interactions will overtake voice interactions in two years and non-voice traffic will grow by 87 percent. Going forward, contact centers will need to develop multi-channel capabilities such as web chat, email, video chat and social connect, besides voice-communication.

\"Over 50 percent of organizations will soon be managing a multi-channel contact center, featuring at least eight different forms of contact methods. Seven of these are digital. A key challenge for contact centers is maintaining integration levels with a view to provide consistent services across channel offerings,\" mentions the benchmarking report.

- Smart Apps & Self-Service Capabilities: Emerging as a new way of customer-engagement, smart apps will grow to 54 percent in 2016, the benchmarking report predicts. The Gen Y consumers prefer a full-feature mobile app or a self-service portal than traditional voice communication to keep track of their accounts or resolve queries on their own.

In the near future, contact centers will also remove channel-silos and use appropriate bridging technologies to incorporate features such as call-back. Web chat will also become an essential consumer-connect mode.

- Getting On The Cloud: Cloud vendors deliver integrated services along with advantages such as easy on demand service-provisioning and cost savings. For contact centers, cloud will be the way to go. Cloud-based contact center market is set to grow to $14.7 billion by 2020, according to research firm, MarketsandMarkets.

Companies will also need to rope in specialist software providers to help them scale up fast. Cloud based solutions can save initial investments of the up to 8 to 10 times of the in-premise infrastructure cost.

Specialist software vendors and the cloud model will catalyze a steady decline in direct infrastructure ownership for companies by 23 percent, according to the benchmarking report. Gartner\'s Magic Quadrant report mentions - \"The emerging contact center as a service (CCaaS) model - involving hosted, multi-tenant systems - is gaining attention as cloud approach increases\".

- Transforming An Agent\'s Role: A contact center agent\'s role has been evolving in the recent past - from basic call-answering, to delivering a complete service package. To keep agents motivated and relevantly skilled, companies are exploring the use of gamification. This involves introducing elements of gamification in activities such as onboarding, team engagement, performance tracking and rewarding.

Some companies use cutting edge software that facilitate real time decision making for agents by presenting insightful caller information during a customer\'s call waiting time. As an incentive, some companies even allow their agents to telecommute.

- Social Media Analytics: Social media is now a preferred point of contact for the millennials. Contact centers are yet to leverage social platforms fully for customer-connect and acquisition. However, within the next five years, social media analytics will emerge essential for contact center success, according to the 2015 benchmarking report. Social media analytics tools can help ensure that companies can offer a seamless 360 degree service to their customers. Companies are focusing a lot on analytics, both voice and data. The basis of predictive decision-making depends on data and the analytics tool built around it.