Top 20 Tips for Contact Centers to better evolve into the future

Here is what you must realize about call centers and contact centers – that, they are not just a cost centre, rather they are a center for profits and revenue. Therefore, equipping them with the latest tools and technology such as with the best cloud contact center software is of utmost importance. Let’s delve further into the core meaning of this statement to help you understand better. If we were to ask you, what is the core or fundamental unit of a company, what would your answer be? Quite simply, it must be the customer. The customer of a company determines how the company would be performing in the market.

A call center, especially a modern cloud call center, is developed in such a manner that it is solely dedicated to the customer. It is all about exploring the customer’s needs and going all out to fulfil them. This is what a call center, equipped with a modern cloud calling software really does.

A modern call-center to that is equipped with the latest tools such as modern call center cloud software is also a centre for the revenue of the company. That’s because the call centres, even if you’re outsourcing your customer care, play an instrumental role in retaining your old customers and even getting hold of new ones. What we’re trying to say is that, call centers are not only here to stay, but also in the future, call centers are only going to become more important.

That’s precisely why it is so important to make sure your call center on cloud is equipped for the future, because let’s face it, none of this is short term. If you think your call center business has only started flourishing, you need to ensure you’re ready for what’s coming your way. Here’s how-

1) Providing a great experience

Gone are the days when a customer would stick to a company only for the sake of loyalty. All people want is the best and nothing but the best. It might make you cringe, but that’s the truth. Your customers are looking for a great and seamless experience which wouldn’t require too much of an effort on their part.

2) Numerous channels of communication

There was a time when call centers used to communicate with customers through traditional media like phones. Over the last few years, that has changed. Think about it, even in the last couple of years, you must have had to incorporate new and upcoming media like emails and so on. Similarly, in the next few years, you will have to expand to other channels of communication- channels which your customers are comfortable with. When it comes to providing your cloud call center solutions, you need to have a futuristic view.

3) Using webchat

If we were to ask you what the latest fad in the field of call center cloud solutions is, you would likely say, social media. Currently true, yes, but in a few years, there will be something that could become even more significant than social media, such as something like webchat. You see, customers want online help from call centers. For instance, if they’re shopping online, they would want the call center to help out while they’re actually online. And that’s where webchat comes in.

4) Take into account smartphones

While most of us actually laugh about this, smartphones pose a real threat, to say the least. Even ten year olds you meet today have smartphones and we can only shudder to think what can happen a few years from now. In the future, customers hold all the power that has been given to them by these tiny, sleek devices. They would expect a round the clock customer service and are all set to “tweet” or “post” about it online should you fail to meet their needs.

5) Contact center models will change

True, today’s call center in the cloud has been equipped to handle all kinds of customer related issues. But that was when customers called these call centers about every little issue. That’s not the case anymore, and that’s increasing with every passing day. The customers are becoming self sufficient and they would be approaching the call centers if they have some complex issues. Thus, it is important to keep your contact centre models equipped to deal with such complex issues.

6) Switch to the cloud

This is basically for the people who haven’t done this already. With the number of customers and the amount of business increasing every day, it is very important to have a software that provides cloud based call center solutions. Basically, this cloud based system is so integrated that it will enable all your departments to work smoothly together. That will make sure that you’re able to satisfy all the demand of your customers and beyond.

7) Mobile supervisors

If you have been associated with a call center, you would know that supervisors play a key role in call centers. For now, there’s one or more supervisors at each center. In the future, it is estimated that there would be mobile supervisors who would be able to monitor the agents and all call centre activities on the go.

8) Wholesome view of customers

Increasingly, when customers call up call centres, the agents have every little bit of data that exists about this particular customer. In the future, this feature would become even more advanced to provide and even more wholesome view of every customer. As soon as the customer calls up, the call center agent would be able to access this well organized and efficient database which shows every record about the customer.

9) Transparency in contact centers

Here’s the biggest issue that customers have with call centres – it’s the trust factor. “Can I trust them?”- this is the question that runs through their minds. That’s exactly why steps are being taken to make the whole system more transparent. Such a system would allow the customer to have the upper hand at all times would enable the customer to even choose the agent they wish to talk to.

10) Mobile customer service

Mobile customer service or care is a reality today; so just imagine where it’ll stand a few years from now. However now, it is something that only a few contact centres are trying out- a lot like testing the waters. But the reality is, it’s working wonders. Very soon, this system is going to become a standard practice- something that all call centers will unanimously embrace.

11) Video conferencing

Some feel that call-centers lack a “human touch”. That’s because you aren’t able to communicate with the agents directly. That would become a possibility in the future with video conferencing. It would allow the customers to communicate with the agents, almost in person. The rise of virtual assistants will also be an increasing occurrence of the near future. While current cloud call center pricing is still somewhat prohibitive, who knows what’ll happen a few years down the line?

12) Self sufficient customers

We have already talked about how customers would only be approaching call centers if they have an issue that needs solving. Technological advancement will make them self sufficient to the extent where they are able to find solutions to their own problems. That happens with the rise of the online forum culture.

13) The work from home culture

Remote agents are becoming a reality in this era too. It is actually more convenient and beneficial, if you think about it. Remote agents would be reducing the vast amounts spent on overhead costs and also other expenses. It would also reduce all kinds of geographical barriers since an agent could be be working from anywhere as long as they have solid connectivity. So far, the work from home culture has been inculcated into a few contact centers. It is estimated that very soon, this would be overtaking the entire traditional customer care system.

14) Technology to monitor agents

The call center agents are the ones who directly interact with your customers. Don’t you think that it’s important to keep a tab on them, and how they feel? The mantra is pretty simple – a happy agent equals a happy customer. If your agents are happy with the way things are going, and if they are satisfied with their job, then that would be having a direct positive impact on the way they deal with customers. Very soon, you would be able to make use of specialized software that allows you to determine how the agents are feeling.

15) Technology to increase agent productivity

Truth be told, you have software for that even today. But the question that arises, is that are they good enough. You see, the productivity of your agent is largely dependent on a number of factors. If there’s even a slight imbalance in any of these factors, it takes a toll on their productivity. Software, that is still being developed, would be able to analyse an agent’s productivity and take necessary precautions to increase it.

16) Customer analysis

Technology and other software that helps analyse customers are available even today. But advancement in science and technology would help us get a deeper insight into the customer’s mind. What is it that goes through their mind when they are buying something? What is it that the customer exactly wants? In the future, you would have even better answers to these questions to back you up in dealing with customers.

17) Decrease in the popularity of Facebook

This tip is mainly for those call centers who believe that Facebook is the future of the internet and have been spending all their time and energy to incorporate this social media platform into their cloud calling solutions. You would be glad to know this, Facebook is not the future of the world wide web. Of course, its popularity wouldn’t decrease per say, with new members joining each day. However, it wouldn’t be the all powerful and most important medium of communication.

18) Use of speech analytics

Speech analytics would actually allow your agents to have complete access to your customers and their emotional states. Use of such analytics would allow the agent to automatically estimate what the customers are feeling and what they are going through based on their speech and tone. Talk about a call center model that revolves entirely around the customer!

19) Prevalence of online forums

You must have come across online forums – all the big companies have launched an online forum where any member can start a discussion about a relevant topic. The best part is, everyone can partake in the discussion. Say, a customer comes up with a peculiar problem. They post about it in the forum. Another customer who had experienced a similar problem a while back and has received help about it, responds. The call center agents, who function as administrators, authorise the solution. What could be better than this perfectly co-dependent system?

20) Use of voice-biometrics

If you think about it, biometrics are being used in almost every field today. If you incorporate voice-biometrics into your system, it would make verification of customers much easier. As soon as your customers call you up, you would be able to verify their identity with biometrics and then proceed with your transaction.

The Case Study

Yes, that’s right. We aren’t just providing you with twenty tips and sending you on your way. We have every reason to believe that each of these twenty pointers here are valid and would actually help you. And that’s why we have come up with a case study that would prove the above points to you. The case study that we bring to you will show how using the latest technologies and software would allow you to reduce threats and also eradicate any chances of fraud which is pretty common in the field of call centers.

Helpline, which is a part of the group named Istituto Centrale Delle Banche Popolari Italiane, has implemented a path breaking new technology by NICE- that of Robotic Automation Solutions.

The system by NICE demands something very logical. It states that as soon as an agent dealing in credit card fraud receives an alert or a heads up from a customer, they must take necessary precautions within maximum five minutes. Especially since, each minute is precious here. So far, that was quite difficult since agents would require time to actually analyse and go through all the data and then take precautionary measures. This analysis part would take up a lot of time, and damage would be done by then. Thus, it was important to adopt a system which allowed the agents to access their customers’ data almost immediately after receiving the alert, thus reducing damage.

The final outcome

The NICE Real Time Process Optimization has helped the agents in innumerable ways. Now, when they are notified of possible credit card fraud, this system guides them through a series of pop ups and notifications during the interaction with the customer. It also guides them throughout the lengthy procedure of investigation. Since the system would be guiding them, it would be reducing chances of processing errors and most important, it would be reducing handling time. This system eradicates any need for human intervention; that automatically reduces errors and also hastens the process to a great extent. So you see how implementation of such systems could do wonders for your business?

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re dealing with. In every sphere, you should have one aim only. That is to make sure you satisfy each demand of the customer and no inconvenience is caused to him or her. As you can see for yourself from the case study, incorporating the new and the trending would not only increase your relevance, but also make lives a tad bit easier for both the customer and the contact center.