Contact Centre Technology Trends for 2022
Digital transformation continues to shape the future of customer expectations. With a growing demand for contact centres to offer faster response times, customised experiences and omnichannel communication, it’s crucial for businesses to innovate to stay competitive.
Throughout 2021, digital transformation was fast-tracked to accommodate the nature of the pandemic. This included a shift to remote working, an increase in cloud-based systems, a surge in eCommerce and a substantial focus on cyber security.
This begs the question – what digital trends should contact centres be preparing for in 2022? In this blog, we list the advanced contact centre technologies that are likely to evolve customer expectations, change the way contact centres operate, and boost revenue
Leveraging Artificial Intelligence For Increased Operational Efficiency
The topic of AI often brings up a lot of uncertainty as many believe its purpose is to replace humans, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. AI works to enable humans to do better work, not replace them.
Instead, AI aids and empowers agents to meet customer expectations by automating time-consuming, monotonous and repetitive customer interactions and back-end tasks. By streamlining workflows and processes, AI not only enhances customer experience, but employee experience as well. Samantha Nelson, Regional VP Channels at Observe.AI said; “AI does not stop at automation. Companies are using AI solutions such as Observe.AI to fuel revenue growth, retain more satisfied customers, manage compliance and risk, as well as drive operational efficiency at scale.”
For a while, businesses have had a “watch and wait” attitude towards AI technology with perceived barriers like cost, negative short-term impact on customer satisfaction (CSAT), long time to value (TTV), and negative impact on employee satisfaction (ESAT).
The pandemic, however, had customer experience departments scrambling to meet rising customer expectations, which left contact centres reexamining their operational efficiency and customer experience strategies to stay competitive.
In 2021, we’ve seen AI adoption progressing more than ever as contact centres implement strategies to alleviate human agents from routine tasks and customer interactions. Research from Talkdesk has shown that 89% of customer experience (CX) professionals believe in the importance of leveraging AI in contact centres.
In 2022, we expect to see increased AI-powered automation and self-service technology across contact centres to provide human agents with greater capacity to take on complex customer interactions, proactive customer care and high-value outbound selling.
AI-powered Automation & Self-service
Customer service no longer needs to be customer-facing, instead, it has evolved from traditional one-on-one service to automated self-service.
Organisations believe their customers already expect self-service features around the clock. A Cisco 2020 report found that customers expect AI-based self-service options when interacting with a brand.
AI-powered automation and self-service technology help to reduce the workload for agents by deflecting inbound calls, while improving customer experience by offering 24/7 data-driven customer service.
A report by Talkdesk revealed that 69% of organisations have invested in AI automation for customer self-service features, however, nearly half of those (48%) are not yet using these features. In 2022, contact centres are likely to integrate AI-powered automation and self-service features into their operations to improve customer experience.
Cloud-based Contact Centre Trends
The pandemic, along with stay-at-home restrictions, has forced many companies to change the way they operate. In order to continue business as usual, many companies implemented cloud technology to allow agents to work from home.
Even prior to the pandemic, centres were migrating from hosted to cloud-based technology to reduce operational costs, keep up with evolving technology and increase flexibility. The pandemic has only accelerated cloud-based adoption in contact centres, and it’s expected to increase even further in 2022 and beyond.
Cloud migration is no longer an “if”, but rather a “when”. Talkdesk says cloud-based solutions will dominate the future of contact centres with capabilities that go far beyond hosted technologies, including omnichannel communication, third-party integrations, and increased reliability.
In 2022, unifying contact channels will be a top priority for contact centres as they try to accommodate the growing customer demands of omnichannel communication, particularly the purely digital channels such as messaging.
Customers now expect companies to provide a consistent experience across many channels including voice, email, SMS, webchat, and social media platforms, on any device.
In order for centres to achieve an omnichannel approach, it’s important that every touchpoint functions as a stand-alone service. For example, if a customer contacts a business via live chat, the agent must be able to source data relating to that customer effectively and also achieve the desired outcome without needing to cross over to a different channel.
Omnichannel communication will continue to develop throughout 2022, and we only expect this technology to grow with evolving customer expectations, within each channel and across all channels e.g. asynchronous messaging.
Start Innovating To Boost Revenue in 2022
Contact centres in 2022 will be more data-driven and customer experience focused than ever before. Businesses that fail to adapt to growing trends may be left behind their competitors who continue to innovate.
Contact us today for expert advice on how to modernise your contact centre technology to meet the needs of remote working, omnichannel communication, and to protect against evolving data threats.