Having a contact center and following the contact center automation trends is more important than ever.The post-COVID world requires companies to provide an excellent With just one bad experience, PWC reveals that one in three customers will leave a beloved brand and 92% would reject it after two or three encounters. It is for this reason that contact center technology is so beneficial – enabling you to identify and solve problems quickly before they have a negative effect on your income. The right technology efficiently boosts productivity, enhances analytics, and improves the customer experience, with more cutting-edge solutions and applications set to be adopted by contact centers in 2023.
A company’s strategy will rely on the use of the most advanced technology in its contact centers. Technology is a differentiator and a driving force behind the ability of best-in-class contact centers to provide excellent customer service.
What customers expect from customer service and contact center automation trends to watch in the coming year are discussed in this article.
How do customers expect customer service to be?
Consequently, many businesses have made providing excellent customer service a top strategic priority, while others are already doing so to their advantage. Customers expect prompt and high-quality customer service. Those with large budgets purchase the best customer support software.
However, it is often difficult to go above and beyond to keep customers satisfied these days. The reason for this is the enormous, competitive, and uncertain nature of the market, best exemplified by customers’ constantly changing expectations. The expectations of customers are unavoidably shifting even though they are now at the center of customer service.
In order to make the concept of excellent customer service seem more achievable, it’s helpful to go back to the basics and determine what customers really want. You can spot potential weaknesses in your service strategy and suggest ways to strengthen it if you understand the basic requirements for good customer service.
2023’s Contact Center Automation Trends
1. Contact centers that are omnichannel
In the wake of the pandemic, we have learned that customers want and expect to connect with your company whenever, wherever, and however they want. Whether it means by phone, text, web, email, or virtual assistant, customers want the option to switch channels while maintaining a seamless, cohesive experience.
Invesp research shows that companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers on average.
The importance of an integrated omnichannel strategy for customer engagement and experience is crucial. If you need a full omnichannel platform, Live can provide it to you. By optimizing and automating internal and external communications, the solution helps companies around the world grow their profitability. It also facilitates processes, making it easier for customers to interact with their brand actively.
Personalized customer journeys will enable agents to easily switch between channels and interaction touchpoints in omnichannel contact centers. Additionally, interactions that follow customers from channel to channel while gathering important data along the way are important. In order to execute an omnichannel strategy effectively, channels must be seamlessly connected, applications must be fully integrated, and routing must be intelligent.
2. Improve IVR for more effective use
One of the earliest trends in contact center automation trends was Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which remains a popular channel for communication today. Automation, remote working capabilities, conversational AI, and speech recognition are providing opportunities to streamline procedures and make the most of existing technologies. Data from Statista indicates that 40% of organizations utilizing IVR have increased its adoption rate. While other channels exist, phone remains the best choice for dealing with delicate or critical customer inquiries.
An adaptable IVR editor with various features can be provided by Live software solution. Live provides you with a visual interface for creating an IVR tree. Menus, custom music, queue routing, and advanced features such as authorization text-to-speech and multilingual support are just a few of the features included.
3. The customer experience is enhanced by Artificial Intelligence (AI)
No doubt, technology’s disruptive influence has aided the contact center industry to experience drastic transformation. There has been a swift advance of innovation and the introduction of new contact center solutions. Artificial intelligence is one of the latest contact center automation trends in this arena. Live customer experience platform allows one to classify and group customers based on their behaviour, purchase propensity and lifetime worth so as to capitalize on their potential.
As a result of a range of autonomous and semi-autonomous software applications that automate processes, artificial intelligence offers substantial advantages. Providing intuitive routing of customer interactions to the most qualified agents and predictive responses when resolving customer inquiries are just some of the ways AI enhances every aspect of business.
Developing and implementing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that improve contact center operations is at full speed. There is no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) has a place in contact centers. The digitalization of contact centers will continue to benefit from advances in artificial intelligence in contact center automation.
4. Chatbots and chat are the future
Through chat features and chatbots, our interactions with companies have changed dramatically. Chat is frequently the preferred communication channel because it is immediate, interactive, available around the clock, and does not require live agent assistance, depending on the demographics and type of interaction.
The use of chatbots, conversational AI, or virtual AI assistants across a wide range of industries enables them to answer simple questions, set or revise appointments, handle account and payment information, and much more. As part of contact center automation trends, chat and chatbots should be included in an integrated omnichannel solution that caters to customers’ sustainable solutions.
5. Predictive analytics can help you make better decisions
Surveys are often used to gauge customer satisfaction in businesses. However, as data needs become more varied, these methods cannot provide the necessary precision. Predictive analytics can bridge this gap by collecting unbiased data about customer interactions which can illustrate their satisfaction levels and overall experiences more accurately. Furthermore, predictive analytics benefits from machine learning algorithms to help companies deliver better services to their customers.
The next major customer experience trend is becoming more prevalent and will only get bigger in the coming year.
6. Providing savvy customers with more self-service options
The modern customer is tech-savvy and has shorter attention spans than ever before. In response, 79% of customers expect to have a self-service option, according to the Customer First Academy report. Because of this, they lose patience easily when they have to wait a long time for their problems to be resolved.
The data makes it clear that, given the right methods, customers would much prefer to resolve a problem themselves. Brands would greatly benefit from investing in these technologies. Their customers would be able to solve their own problems in the easiest possible way.
Customer service remains a top priority, but self-service is becoming more and more the go-to form of customer support. Customers favor access to independent solutions, something that self-service tools can give them. Contact centers benefit as well since customers won’t bother calling if they can quickly get answers on the company’s resources, thus reducing workloads for agents and allowing them to focus their concentration on more complex resolutions.
Automation of Contact Centers: Tools and Trends for the Next Decade
Contact center automation is accelerating in 2023, so companies must implement best practices to avoid falling behind.
As technology advances in robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), customer care is literally changing. The fact that you can automate something in a contact center doesn’t mean you should. Knowing which tasks to delegate to a machine and artificial intelligence is a challenge.
This article discusses how to automate your contact center, outlines the main types of contact center automation tools being used in contact centers, and discusses the benefits of balancing humans and artificial intelligence in your automation. We also provide a series of downloadable cheat sheets at the end of the article that take a lighthearted look at the pros and cons of various contact center automation tools.
Automating the contact center with intelligent technology
We have learned that successful contact centre automation hinges on striking the right balance between service requirements and KPIs, and applying automation to better customer experiences and operations. Our goal is to optimise omnichannel services for customers and staff, utilising a combination of human contact from live agents as well as AI-powered virtual assistants and automation processes. This delicate balance between manual and automated processes is what we call “Thoughtful Automation”.
Intelligent automation in the contact centre can go beyond just cost containment. Its most commonly known use is to automate menial and tedious tasks, helping to reduce handle times and freeing up contact centre agents for more complex, customer-focused interactions. Automation can be used in other beneficial ways too; assisting staff with decision making, scaling up digital service knowledge capture and application, and boosting long-term customer service quality.
Generally, contact center automation tools are used as follows:
As part of customer interactions, chatbots and active listening tools such as natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU) power natural language generation (NLG) and conversational user interfaces (CUI).
In place of tier 0 and other simple interactions that are task-oriented and programmable, robotic process automation (RPA) replaces them. Instead of deploying individual bots for every task, a digital worker factory model trains a single intelligent virtual agent (IVA) to handle multiple use cases, and then integrates it into multiple channels for a single, consistent, omnichannel experience.
In statistical machine learning, patterns in associate activity, resolutions, and customer feedback are identified from interaction data to continuously improve systems. As ML is used to perform tasks for a longer period of time, operations can become faster, more efficient, and more effective.
In ways that mimic the human brain, deep learning neural networks take machine learning to the next level by constantly learning and drawing conclusions. They are starting to be used in the contact center to classify, learn from, and improve conversations with consumers, as well as associates and the systems they work with.
Implementations of effective contact center automation
It is important to note that each of the above contact center automation tools has strengths and weaknesses in terms of improving the customer experience, the employee experience, and the operations of the contact center. The ideal balance between human and AI can be achieved in the contact center by embracing what automation does well, while also recognizing its limitations. Automation tools bridge the manual, human-intensive gap with AI-enhanced systems of intelligence, making it a closed loop system in which humans help AI to help humans.
Considering the breadth of channels in which customers engage, it is easy to recognise the benefits of integrating customer information systems and automated tasks into contact centres. This integration can empower associates to provide swift resolution to customer issues. Automation can draw on pertinent sources such as CRM, ERP, knowledgebase and billing data, enabling the associate to quickly retrieve all necessary information and ensure a better customer experience.
Three examples of effective contact center and customer experience automation that combine the best of humans and AI are provided below.
Through chatbots and voice assistants, customers can connect automatically to the systems of record, regardless of the engagement channel they use. As a result, communication channels are eliminated, resolutions are sped up, and manual associate responsibility for resolving issues is eliminated. With automated intelligence, customers are able to interact directly with internal systems without human intervention, acting autonomously, self-serving.
As a result, your contact center operations can deflect lower value Tier 0 and Tier 1 interactions, while simultaneously delivering 24/7 customer service. The faster resolution times chatbots can accomplish for less complex issues can also help contact center KPIs like average handle time and customer satisfaction rate to improve.
Expert associates train the AI on which interactions to automate and which to keep under human control with machine learning automation models. The contact center staff use their institutional knowledge to augment services in new, innovative ways, while maintaining the quality and tone of traditional interactions at the same time. To help the AI learn, reason, and optimize customer interactions, employees are required.
In the competitive contact center space, employees are a company’s differentiator. It is often their employees who have the “secret sauce” of what makes the customer experience successful. Human associates can teach AI systems how to be more thoughtful by using certain inflections, phrasing, and cadence, or by knowing when to push and when to pull back. All of these are insights we can teach AI systems.
Assist associates with the information in the system of record more quickly and effectively with automation and AI. They can interpret information and data accessed in real time and scale to help customers resolve issues. Intelligence can be used to serve associates the right information at the right time.
A computer’s brute force ability to memorize and calculate a staggering number of options and outcomes is combined with human intuition, creativity, and empathy in this thoughtful automation approach.
Automation of contact centers has many benefits
Contact centers benefit from incorporating AI-enhanced intelligence into their systems. With a layer of automation and artificial intelligence, surge events or unexpected issues can be managed more easily. It redefines the nature of service value creation at speed and scale. Automation can be turned on when it’s needed, and turned off when it’s not.
In addition, AI transforms customer experiences and creates new service models. Employee stress is reduced, allowing them to focus more on customer-centric issues. The infrastructure in place allows for the addition of new channels and the consideration of new ways to serve customers. Employees are informed about how to resolve issues by the knowledgebase, which is continuously updated.
Machine learning and AI can aid companies in distinguishing patterns in interactions or analytics, sometimes better than a human could. This gives firms the ability to take a proactive approach based on issues that customers may not even be aware of. Moreover, deep-rooted cause analysis can lead to the formation of new services and products, as well as uncover potential new markets with more advanced service features and performance. With the automation transformation in the contact centre, there is an emphasis on recruiting, transitioning and retraining the service workforce with a focus on augmenting human work with intelligent machines that automate repetitive tasks.
Automation has drastically altered the idea of success in a contact centre. Instead of basing it on operational KPIs such as handle time and calls per hour, the criteria now focus on customer satisfaction with the interaction, first contact resolution and NPS. These outcomes measure the actual results rather than how “hard” an automated bot has worked or how many conversations it had. Ultimately, this is how success can be determined for customers.
Brand ambassadors are replacing “agents” in contact centers to resolve issues and represent the brand promise in meaningful customer interactions.
By combining the emotion and empathy of people with the speed and accuracy of digital tools, intelligent automation develops and improves enterprise interactions at scale. It combines the best of human and technological skills. As a result, a contact center that operates quickly and accurately is able to provide fantastic customer experiences that were previously impossible.
Discover our best practices for contact center automation
We hope this article has been useful in outlining some of the top practices for contact centre automation. If you’d like to learn more, our strategy guide – How Contact Centre Automation is Transforming Customer Care – offers insight into how you can use AI-driven technology and adapt your service workforce accordingly. We also provide customer and employee case studies to show automation efforts in action.
Contact center automation trends patterns in customer experience are rapidly growing, encompassing more than just what a customer buys. Pre-purchase conversations grippingly come alive for customers and payments are made with the utmost convenience. Issues are promptly addressed and 24/7 customer service provided that is supportive rather than obstructive. Additionally, follow-ups that seek to understand with helpful material, not too intrusive, make it a journey worth remembering – paving the way for future sales opportunities.
To remain competitive, you must use contact center automation trends like AI, sophisticated IVR, and recall innovations. Even better, you must use omnichannel communication and self-service tools that are cutting-edge.
In order to meet these demands, new technologies must be adopted and implemented strategically. In addition to improving agent productivity and engagement, business profitability, customer engagement, and more, every contact center metric will be improved.
There are many trustworthy options available for setting up a contact center, but Live solution platform is a good place to start because it is both omnichannel and packed with features.