2020 has been a game changer for many reasons, but one change which was predicted for contact centre technology, was cloud utilisation. We think this is accelerating.
In 2019, Gartner found that only 10% of contact centre agents were using Contact Centre as a Service, but forecast this proportion to more than triple to 34% by 2023. Contact Centre as-a-Service (CCaaS) will become the preferred deployment option for 60% of new agent positions in 2023.
All the evidence shows that the flexibility and adaptability of cloud contact centres, including home-working, has accelerated in the past 2 months. So, despite many contact centres being a million miles away from where they were a decade ago, this next period will see some industry-shifting tech advancements.
Here’s why contact centres are changing. Richard Farrell, our CINO, looks to the immediate contact centre future, sharing his vision of what’s in store.
The evolution of cloud contact centres
Many organisations are looking at the cloud to manage rapid changes in customer service and support.
One of the drivers is the need for a more flexible and scalable method of delivering personalised experiences to customers.
This has driven a demand for the scalability that a cloud contact centre model offers. Even larger contact centres that previously didn’t have the opportunity to leave legacy equipment behind, are taking their first steps into the cloud. All over the world, the industry is evolving, and the US and UK are moving faster than others.
Customer behaviour is another major factor. The cloud provides the agility to build and maintain contact centre solutions in parallel with customer preferences.
The increasing value of the call centre
Rather than the traditional view of analysing and reducing the operational cost of the contact centre, organisations are increasingly understanding the importance of customer experience. Many now see it as the key differentiator, particularly in service-led organisations.
We’re witnessing a widespread investment in cloud services from CEOs and CIOs to develop customer engagement. Over the years ahead, the sprint towards cloud-based omnichannel infrastructure will accelerate. And developments in chatbots and NLP tech are raising the bar. It offers an opportunity for industry leaders to gain a competitive edge and improve the experience for both their customers and their agents.
The rise of the chatbot
Once thought of as a cheap remedy to all customer service issues, it’s widely believed now that chatbots are well suited to being a part of a wider customer service offering. They can be particularly useful for simple, easy to resolve enquiries. Voice calls with agents are still likely to be the first choice for anything complicated or sensitive – probably an 80-20% ratio. That said, there are some successful bots doing everything from making medical diagnoses faster (MedWhat) to identifying breaking news topics are of interest to you (NBCPolitics Bot). The technology is here and it’s becoming increasingly sophisticated, responsive, and more “natural.”
“Alexa”, “Siri” and others are driving a new ‘Golden Age of Voice’. This has led to a growing maturity and acceptance of interacting with chatbots in the consumer base. Today’s chatbots are smarter, more responsive and more useful – so expect to see even more of them in the years ahead.
So, the use of a bot will become a valuable channel, due to both the reduction in agent time spent on simple calls and the 24/7 availability. Looking forward, written and verbal chatbot tech will probably come increasingly closer, developing an advanced conversational user interface.
Liberty Converse is our omnichannel contact centre solution and it is available in the cloud, on-premises or as a hybrid. Contact us to discuss your contact centre future and which option suits your organisation best.Learn more here