It would be fair to say that 2016 has been a pivotal year for the contact centre industry. Technology developments have changed the way we work, and currently being in the midst of a digital era is certainly bringing a lot of opportunities for the industry and helping to improve the way we look after consumers.
With customer expectations constantly on the rise, and new challenges facing contact centres every day, it is important that you keep ahead of the curve in 2017.
Here are 5 trends that will shape the contact centre industry in 2017:
- Omnichannel will become more important
Not to be confused with multi-channel, omnichannel combines all channels of communication and support, providing a seamless customer experience. This means that if a customer speaks to an agent on social media, the query can be picked up by an agent on the phone, without the customer having to start over.
Seen as the buzzword for 2016, it is being predicted that we’ll see more contact centres investing in omnichannel infrastructures in 2017 in order to improve how they look after their customers and to make it easier for them to speak to companies.
- Self-service will grow
Customers wants things to be easy when dealing with companies, and nowadays, they are more likely to search for their problem online and follow instructions to solve it before they contact an organisation.
Because of this, it is likely we will see companies investing in self-service portals, FAQs and video guides to allow customers to solve problems themselves. Companies that offer self-service, and combine it with agents on the end of the phone, webchat or social media for additional support, will have that competitive edge and will be seen by customers as providing the ultimate customer experience.
- Data security will become top priority
With more than 2000 data breaches in the UK in 2016, and companies being heavily fined for not preventing cyber-attacks, it is not surprising that contact centres are making data security a top priority in 2017. Over the next year, we’ll be seeing contact centres doing more to minimise the risks of security breaches and data threats, and ensuring that payments by customers are done safely, but still remain easy to do.
- Data will drive customer engagement
Over the last couple of years, more and more contact centres have been using customer data to improve the service they are providing. However, in 2017, data analysis will even more important as a way of improving the contact centre journey. It is likely we’ll see contact centres investing more resources into analysing a broad range of data including web analysis, WFO data, self-service analytics and customer feedback to improve their company’s customer experience
5. The rise of chatbots
With chatbots starting to become prominence in 2016, we suspect that in 2017, we will see artificial intelligence having a bigger impact on customer contact – whether that be chatbots being used in messaging threads or through virtual assistant being part of the web journey for customers.