The contact center industry that was conceived as a traditional customer support experience has been in the midst of a digital transformation since past 5 years. The usual phone-based contact center is now being replaced by self-service, digital customer support, virtual call center software, cloud call center solution, and intelligent chatbots. With the rapid increase and acceleration in automation and artificial intelligence, customer service interactions have now become more personalised. As more companies cross the chasm and enter the early majority phase of digital transformation, customer experience (CX) leaders must keep pace. For CX leaders who strive to serve their customers best over the years, they should level up their support by accepting and investing in the technology . It is equally important to prioritise which technologies should be in place to support future goals and initiatives. As customer experience (CX) and contact center leaders, industries should already start investing in artificial intelligence (AI), virtual call center software, and voice-assisted technologies to extend their customer support. Lets look deeper into what’s next for CX and Contact Center in 2022.

Adopt Virtual agents as the first point of contact

In the near future, contact center and customer experience, will bring about a lot of excitement and plunge in ways how a customer support executive resolves queries. According to Gartner, Inc. “By 2022, 20% of businesses will initiate contact center service levels by self-service”. Similarly, according to BIA/Kelsey “virtual agents: the next frontier in customer service automation, businesses will embrace self-service channels like chatbots as the first point of contact between companies and customers by 2022″. In recent times, while other industries are taking a knee, CX and contact centers are getting back up and dusting themselves off. These industries are well aware of how the future looks ahead and now that they know what’s out there, they have started strategically improving their service delivery in preparation for it. The key drivers for good customer experience now include AI-based virtual agents that are available 24/7/365, that get smarter each day, paired with a sharp but friendly agent whenever there’s a client need.

Understand the unique needs of your customers and adopt Conversational AI for deeper insights and quick resolution

AI and cloud call center solution will take centre stage in call centers across the globe and revolutionise the customer experience. For better and advanced customer support, customer experience (CX) and the contact center industries should exceed human customer service capabilities. Customers should add advanced AI-based capabilities, i.e. AI chatbots and voice bots to customer service interfaces. Today, we see Voice User Interface (VUI) agents are replacing traditional digital channels. Conversational agents like Amazon Alexa and Google Home allow customers to ask questions in plain language without having to memorise commands or navigate between pages. This is transforming the customer experience by democratising access to products and services for a broader set of consumers. CX leaders must embrace conversational interfaces as an emerging channel for delivering a personalised brand experience with every interaction. The contact center industry achieved massive growth in the past few months. And it’s predicted that in the coming year it will be even bigger for contact centers and customer experience (CX) teams. Contact centers are still evolving, and will continue to evolve well into the future.

No more siloed customer data, use a single view of the customer

In 2020 more and more contact center and customer experience agencies started to talk about “the single view of the customer” as the holy grail. Since then, a single view of the customer has become an accepted methodology, adopted by many companies and integrated into a variety of marketing and sales solutions. The contact center of the future will utilize a single view of the customer to stand out from the pack and delight customers with a consistent, seamless experience. The increasing diversification of customer touch points, the sheer growth in digital channels, has made it more critical than ever for enterprises to build holistic digital customer experiences. Each interaction between a brand and its customer becomes a brand touch point.

Humanise your company: Create an employee experience that reflects your commitment to great customer experiences.

Significant changes are taking place in the customer experience industry, with new technologies and practices coming into the spotlight. Customer experience is moving more toward proactive engagement and personalised experiences with consumers. As a result of this changing digital landscape, contact centers are becoming smarter and more automated than ever before. Contact centers need to become more humanised in order to deliver on today’s (and tomorrow’s) expectations—and companies that are ahead of the curve on redefining their relationships with customers are going to be the ones that win. The next big leap for customer experience (CX) and contact center agents is obvious: a combination of artificial intelligence (AI)–dubbed as “cognitive”–and natural language processing. While digital assistants are becoming more popular in the workplace, the reality is that companies face a lot of challenges when it comes to adding them to their workforce.

Takeaway

People today are looking for experiences that help them purchase, engage and retain brand loyalty. The goal of any organisation should be to deliver memorable customer experience (CX) across all channels and deliver consistent brand experience. With evolving customer expectations and changing purchasing behaviour, businesses should look at improving the customer journey across both digital and physical worlds.

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