8 Interesting Call Center Trends from 2021 to Watch in 2022

by Time Doctor
Call Center Trends

In this ongoing pandemic, the world has seen paradigm shifts in consumer behavior and customer expectations. As social distancing prompted growing virtual connectivity, call centers worldwide have utilized new technologies to their advantage to stay ahead of their competitors. 

And to continue delivering seamless customer experiences and generate higher revenue, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the trends calling the shots in the call center industry. 

In this article, we’ll cover the top eight call center trends 2021 that will continue to play a crucial role in determining business outcomes in 2022. We’ll also highlight the key takeaways from each of these call center trends. 

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From using cloud computing in call centers to automating agent workflows, several advancements have streamlined call center operations in recent times.  

Let’s go over the most critical call center trends of 2021:

1. Revamping the Work Model with AI

Artificial Intelligence has allowed organizations to take customer satisfaction to the next level. AI tools can help call center agents detect customer sentiment and decode ambiguous feedback. 

This way, the call center can deliver quality customer service, reduce the service wait time, and make the customer journey smooth and hassle-free. 

Robotic process automation (RPA) can help call centers automate repetitive, routine tasks. The RPA bots can answer common customer queries, pull out relevant customer data when the agent is on call, route customer issues to the right agent, and so on. 

As a result, artificial intelligence plays a significant role in resolving customer issues promptly.  

In fact, according to the 2019 Gartner Survey, 37% of organizations have incorporated AI in their workplaces to boost business efficiency. 

Call centers can also implement the recall technology with the help of AI to avoid agent embarrassment from sending incorrect emails to the customer. This enables call center agents to instantly delete or modify the sent messages in real-time if there’s any spelling mistake or inaccurate information.

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why call centers should adopt artificial intelligence:

  • Call center supervisors can use AI and machine learning to boost agent productivity. 
  • Artificial intelligence can help you retain happy customers through proactive service and, in turn, build customer loyalty.
  • AI is instrumental in helping call center, and contact center agents understand the patterns in customer behavior.

2. Optimizing Communications with Omnichannel Support

As per the 2019 Omnichannel Marketing Automation Statistics Report, marketers attained a 90% higher customer retention rate through omnichannel communication than a single channel. 

When the call center provides omnichannel support to their customers, it allows them to choose from different communication channels (live chat, email, social media, SMS, phone call, text messages). 

Consequently, most customers prefer the omnichannel contact center over the traditional call center. 

During the COVID pandemic, many companies with remote agents have resorted to digital communications via instant messaging or video chat. It has helped them resume call center operations and maintain business continuity. 

Further, omnichannel communication allows call centers to fulfill their customer needs on any platform. It enables your customer service teams to consolidate customer interaction in a centralized interface. 

This way, they can easily access information on customer communications, regardless of the channel they’re using to connect with the customer.

It ensures that customers won’t have to repeat their issue all over again if they decide to shift from social media to email. As a result, omnichannel support paves the way for unified communication and delivers a better customer experience

What’s the key takeaway?

Here’s why call centers should implement an omnichannel communication strategy:

  • It helps you reduce hiring costs by relying on automated chatbots
  • Omnichannel communication improves the customer’s accessibility to the customer service agent and the call center services.
  • It frees up your agent’s time from attending phone calls in cases when they can address the customer needs via instant messaging.

3. Improving Work Flexibility with Cloud

As the world moves towards remote and hybrid work models, cloud technology is the only way to ensure that this transition is smooth and risk-free. 

Call centers based on cloud communication technology enable the remote agent to work from anywhere. Cloud contact centers and call centers can help you deliver 24X7 customer service by creating rotational shifts for each remote agent. 

Cloud computing is an important call center and contact center trend that can help you establish an agile workflow and help your agents deal with high call volume. 

For example, a call center supported by cloud communication can utilize the virtual hold feature. It helps customers with a call-back option when they don’t want to stay on hold. Instead, they can leave their number and get a call from the customer service agent once they’re available. 

It can help you make your customers feel more valued, improve customer satisfaction, and guarantee business continuity. 

Investment in cloud technology can help companies create a flexible work environment and increase customer data security. That’s why according to the 2021 Gartner Press Release, investments in public cloud services will surpass $480 billion by 2022. 

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why a call center should partner with cloud service providers:

  • Cloud technology can help call centers manage remote work agents efficiently. 
  • It can help you decrease the hardware maintenance budget and other infrastructure costs. 
  • Cloud technology provides intelligent call center solutions for data storage and backup. 

4. Driving Conversations with Chatbots 

Chatbots are virtual agents offering real-time support to your customers anytime, anywhere. And customer service centers are increasingly turning to chatbots to enhance customer experience. 

This is clearly evident from the 2019 Gartner CIO Survey. The report reveals that company executives identified chatbots as the main AI-based application used in their enterprises.

While automated chatbots can answer common FAQs and share self-help articles with customers, agents can focus on more complex tasks. As a result, it helps you reduce the call volume.

Using chatbots, you can speed up the customer service workflows by addressing the customer queries via live chat at any point in the customer journey. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have also allowed chatbots to become more empathetic than robotic. 

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why call centers should continue using chatbots: 

  • With chatbots, call centers and contact centers can offer 24X7 customer support without causing agent burnout. 
  • It helps you collect customer data so call center agents know their conversation history beforehand.
  • Implementing chatbots at the workplace will help you improve customer engagement and enhance your call center’s reputation. 

5. Offering Personalized Customer Experience

Call center agents can analyze customer behavior from the previous queries or service requests. This data can help you accurately cater to your customers’ needs and personalize the customer experiences. 

And a personalized customer experience can go a long way in building customer loyalty. It also boosts customer experience metrics like customer satisfaction score, customer retention rate, and so on. 

In fact, according to a study by Infosys, 59% of the customers feel that personalization has a major influence on their buying decisions. 

Interestingly, automation can help you create a personalized customer experience. Automating routine tasks can elevate agent performance and save them a lot of time to focus on one-on-one customer interaction. 

Additionally, it can help agents create consumer profiles with individualized details about their preferences. 

What’s the key takeaway?

Here’s why call centers should seriously consider personalizing their customers’ experience:

  • It helps you fulfill your customers’ exact requirements and creates long-lasting customer relationships.
  • Personalizing customer experience also helps you receive positive feedback on your call center services on the website or social media. 
  • Implementing this practice can give you an edge over your competitors who aren’t paying careful attention to your customers. 

6. Increased Implementation of IVR 

Owing to the recent technological expansion and digital transformation, the call center industry has witnessed greater integration of IVR systems. 

IVR helps your customers can get information or opt for issue resolution by interacting with automated voice messages. Ideally, the IVR system plays a series of automated menu options which the customer can choose from. 

If they require further support, the IVR can connect the customer to your most qualified agent for problem resolution. It helps call centers speed up ticket resolution.

That’s why 42% of organizations have increased their use of IVR to scale their call and contact center operations, as per the 2020 Statista report. 

Further, you can enhance IVR capabilities by integrating them with AI. Artificial Intelligence makes it easier for the IVR systems to understand the caller intent through sophisticated voice authentication. 

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why call centers should consider transforming themselves into IVR call centers:

  • It provides the customer service agent with pre-recorded information about the customer’s problem before connecting them to the caller. 
  • With IVR systems in place, your call center can address customer queries when your team is understaffed or agents are on leave.
  • It can help you reduce customer service wait times.

7. Assessing Business Efficiency with Analytics

Analytics can help you derive insights on agent performance and customer behavior

The data helps you focus on key call center metrics like first call resolution rate, average handle time, and agent idle time. Moreover, predictive analytics lets you analyze customer sentiment and predict their future decisions.

In short, analytics and reports play a crucial role in determining any business’s growth and success rate.

That’s why call centers need real-time performance management tools to generate reports on employee productivity.  

And Time Doctor is one such tool that can help you monitor agent performance. 

What’s Time Doctor?

Time Doctor is a powerful time tracking tool used by large enterprises like Ericsson, as well as by small businesses, like Thrive Market, to boost productivity across the organization.

With Time Doctor, call center managers can keep their agents accountable for their tasks. 

Call center supervisors and contact center leaders can use Time Doctor’s detailed reports to assess how the agents spend their time throughout the workday. These agent metrics and reports can help you identify the ones needing proper training to improve their average call handling time. 

As a result, you can spot issues before they escalate into more severe, time-consuming problems with call center analytics. 

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why a call center should use analytics and reports:

  • Analytics-driven data helps you identify the latest call center and contact center trends. 
  • It allows you to develop the right customer service strategy to maximize their satisfaction levels.
  • Reports in your contact center software can help you recognize the top performing agents.  

Read more about customer experience analytics to make better business decisions. 

8. Growth of Self-service Tools

The modern customer is more intuitive, intelligent, and prefers to make informed decisions. 

Naturally, they prefer self service tools like knowledge bases, community forums, webchats, FAQ pages, and so on. 

This tendency has become more prominent during the COVID pandemic. People have become more accustomed to contactless, self-service options to minimize the scope of human interaction. 

Moreover, not every query requires human assistance when customers can look up the solution on their own using an advanced self-service functionality. Naturally, 88% of customers worldwide expect brands to have self-service capabilities. 

It allows customers to find their answers via tutorials and comprehensive FAQs instead of spending time explaining their problem to the agent. This, in turn, improves the customer journey. 

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why call centers should integrate their call center software with self service tools:

  • You can effectively reduce the agent workload while creating positive customer experiences.
  • It’s a cost-effective technology that can help you cut down on staffing costs.
  • Your customers won’t have to spend hours on call with an agent, which often leads to a dissatisfying experience. 

Wrapping Up

Adapting the latest call center technologies will help you live up to your customer’s expectations and establish your market authority. 

These call center trends can also help you enhance agent productivity to address all customer concerns proactively.

Once you align your business with the call center trends 2021 we’ve mentioned above, you’ll be able to provide and satisfy your customers with top-notch service. This way, you can grow your customer base and streamline call center operations effortlessly.  

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