Call Center Automation – Latest Trends and Tools
Call centers are one of the most important communication channels between the company and its customers, which is why they need constant improvement. People who are unsatisfied with such a service often share their experience with others, and that could cause great damage to your business’s good name. Thus, especially now, living in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the help of modern technology is more necessary than ever to enhance the quality of call centers.
If you are wondering what are the latest trends and tools in call center automation nowadays, you will find everything you need to know in this article.
What is call center automation?
Call center automation is the introduction of technology in the call center services; it’s all of the services that are performed electronically, such as phone calls, emails, chats, and other software services. Thus, for example, automated chats are those where you connect and text with a chatbot instead of a human being or when you send an email to the company, and you get an automatic response.
What is the difference between the call center and the contact center?
Contact center (or customer interaction center) and call center are both for customer service, and those terms are often confused because of their similarity. Even though their goal is mutual, the resources they use differ from each other. So, what is the difference between a call center and a contact center?
- A contact center is a central point where each customer’s interaction with the service is managed across various channels. The main goal is to provide users with effective and practical support for technical matters, customer service and sales.
- One contact center can include more than one call center and other kinds of customer contact such as emails, webchats or even social media interaction. Companies usually integrate contact centers into their CRM strategy.
- While call centers offer only one type of communication – inbound and outbound calls, contact centers provide a whole range of communication channels between the client and the company. This multi-channel approach allows you to create a much better user experience and solve various issues faster, significantly improving your company’s development.
Current call center automation trends
Call center automation trends are often changing as the technology in this industry is moving forward rapidly. Here is the list of the most important current trends in automated call centers.
It’s not an option anymore, it’s a must, and the only thing you should worry about is how to use AI even more efficiently?
Artificial Intelligence provides several autonomous and semi-autonomous functions that can significantly improve internal customer service processes. Thanks to AI-assisted processes, the work of agents will not only be easier but also more efficient. Accuracy and quick reasoning will increase along with customer satisfaction.
Omnichannel solutions are a must if you want your business’s customer service to be the top one. According to statistics from Cisco, 91% of contact centers think that omnichannel experience is the best any call center can provide.
Customers want to be able to contact the company’s service with the channel they want when they want. However, omnichannel support should go even beyond that. Users will appreciate a consistent experience when they don’t have to repeat themselves while switching between different channels, platforms, or agents.
Suppose you want to provide an omnichannel solution in your customer service. In that case, you will need to implement some innovative technologies such as a central repository with customer information any privileged agent can access at any time to provide the service. Also, omnichannel should be integrated into your CRM, QA, sales, etc.
More attention to analytics
There is no well-run call center without data analytics and reporting. According to Cisco, 90% of call centers consider customer journey information a crucial part of their service. Thus, no wonder that analytics and reporting software are among the most trendings in the call center industry.
You can’t expect your call center to rely on the skills of your supervisors to track agent performance and your customers’ experience. Even though manual observation and monitoring are still present, they are only routine checks, and the real analysis is done with the help of appropriate software.
To improve your customer service operation in the contact center, you need advanced analytics observed in real-time. Then you will be able to quickly and easily make corrections when an error occurs.
Another important trend in call center automation is the increased adoption of recall technology.
Mistakes tend to happen to humans, and agents are no different. Fortunately, filtering technologies can prevent communication errors that could affect your brand’s good name.
One such technology is recall technology; with the help of AI, brands introduce her to call centers to catch inaccurate or unwanted communication. As a result, call center agents can quickly stop erroneous messages from reaching consumers. Additionally, if a fault occurs during the conversation, it can be quickly noticed and resolved.
Recall technology is critical for call centers to maintain accuracy in the conversation with each client. Thus, even though it sometimes adds a few minutes to the transmission, it keeps the conversation flowing and results in a positive customer experience.
According to 2020 statistics, 62% of call centers planned to implement cloud technology in their companies during the next 18 months. As we could observe during the pandemic, many of them really did. Nowadays, since we have moved almost entirely to the digital world, cloud-based and remote solutions are no longer a surprise. They are the new normal.
In the case of businesses, remote-based solutions are much more affordable as they cut down on admin costs, and what’s probably even more important they offer much greater flexibility.
Companies have long used cloud communication as part of their communication strategies, but it has only recently become a reality in call centers. Nowadays, brands have already discovered the advantages of going with this solution, and many of them have cloud-based platforms. Thanks to this, agents can easily interact with clients remotely, regardless of where they are.
This brings a number of benefits and provides the brand with stability and security in situations such as a global pandemic. In addition, this solution allows you to reduce the number of internal agents while increasing the number of clients served, minimize overall costs, and make it easier to find the best talent around the world.
Support on social media
A few years ago, hearing that social media can be used as a technology supporting communication in a contact center, you would indeed be surprised. However, today it is the norm and one of the leading trends in call center automation. Even though this solution is quite simple in itself, it opens up a lot of possibilities.
The popularity and amount of social media are constantly growing. It would be a challenge to find a person in our environment who would not use at least one channel of this type. Almost 53% of the world’s population are social media users, so it is no surprise that customers are happy to use tools they know perfectly well to interact with your brand and solve the problem.
People like direct contact and often prefer to talk directly to a brand representative instead of a chatbot. Additionally, chatting on their favorite social media chats feels like they are talking to someone they know.
The changing attitude of customers to use social media to communicate with brands has made it an integral part of a unified communication system. Companies can thus significantly improve the responsiveness and usability of a social media service.
This is definitely a trend that will continue to develop, so it’s worth keeping an eye on it.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Even though IVR was one of the earliest trends in call center automation, it continues to be popular. It’s still beneficial and doesn’t seem to go away just yet. In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, one in three companies only just decided to introduce the technology. Meanwhile, according to Statista, companies that already used it increased their IVR usage by 42%.
When Artificial Intelligence supported IVR technology, it was possible to take even more benefits from it and make it more advanced. Interactive Voice Response technology adapted in this way responds to today’s needs and has great potential in modern call centers.
Artificial intelligence supports IVR technology in, for example, speech recognition, thanks to which call centers can easily redirect customers to the appropriate departments automatically.
Additionally, with AI, IVR systems pull up relevant data from the customer’s history, enabling agents to deliver even better service.
Digital scorecards are another trend in call center automation, but they focus directly on overall evaluation rather than the customers themselves. These cards are used to evaluate agents, customer experiences, business processes, and general contact center performance. They provide feedback that would otherwise be impossible to obtain, allowing you to identify new trends and develop a more effective strategy.
The digital scorecard will be most efficient if it is fully configured for your business. This means your scorecard should be matched to your business goals or the strengths and weaknesses of your agents. Design your digital scorecard based on your priorities and the sector you work in, and you will surely notice the results.
The areas that you should consider are the agent’s soft skills, call center processes, compliance and outcomes.
Self-Service Customer Service
According to statistics, 75% of users believe that they should be able to solve issues on their own before contacting the call center, and 65% of them feel satisfaction when they manage to overcome a problem in self-service on their own. Therefore, the contact center needs to provide such an opportunity to its clients.
To create such a solution and for it to work well, you need to create an online knowledge base, which will include the so-called FAQs, i.e. the happiest questions and the basic date. Such a service should be available from anywhere in the world and from any device around the clock. It must also contain user guides and other useful information so that the client has everything he needs to handle the problem himself. If you provide reliable and clear instructions, you can be sure that you will be positively received by self-service.
Which software is best for a call center?
We’ve presented you with a list of the latest trends in call center automation. Now, let’s see some examples of the best software for a call center.
Aircall is an example of a cloud-based call center; it can help your support team bring user experience to a new level of quality.
Thus, the tool combines some of the best trending features for call centers, such as IVR, cloud-based calling, call routing, etc. Additionally, this software has other exciting features, including skill-based routing, call queuing, queue callbacks, live call monitoring, or call whispering. Aircall also has call center analytics so you can monitor the performance of your agents, either individually or as a team.
Call whispering functionality enables managers to advise teammates on what action they should take in the real-time of the call. Thus, users don’t have to wait too long to resolve their issues which increase customer experience.
If you need intuitive and effective call center software, then HubSpot’s help desk software and Service Hub is the best choice for you.
HubSpot’s help desk software, integrated with Aircall, is built on top of its leading CRM and connected to its sales and marketing software. Thanks to this, regardless of which agent the client calls, he will have access to all the data necessary to solve the issue right away. Collecting all information in one view allows employees to improve customer service.
Additionally, HubSpot’s software has modern automation and reporting tools that allow you to make improvements. At Service Hub, you will find a shared email box, live chat software, self-service tools and more. On top of that, all of those integrate seamlessly with Aircall, so you can easily maintain phone support.
If you combine HubSpot with Aircall’s cloud-based phone system, you can be sure to provide a great customer experience across a variety of channels.
Nextiva is an easy-to-use solution that helps you connect with more callers in less time and with fewer agents. With Nextiva, you get features like IVR, automatic call routing, and call queuing.
Nextiva is another excellent tool for contact centers automation. It is easy to use, and its primary purpose is to help you connect with more callers in less time. The good news is that you won’t need more agents to accomplish that. Nextiva provides you with features like IVR, automatic call routing, and call queuing.
Moreover, you can optimize agent call flow, leverage virtual agents to automate interactions, and streamline the experience for the caller.
Another innovative tool that we would recommend to you is CloudTalk. It’s a modern call center software that provides customers with a range of unique features. For instance, you can benefit from a custom queue feature and let your support teams dictate where incoming calls are distributed. Moreover, CloudTalk’s inbound calls are routed to agents who have the best skills and resolve issues as quickly as possible. Call transfers are eliminated, so customer experience quality increases.
Additionally, if your team cannot pick up a call, customers will get a personalized voicemail and inform them that agents will respond later. That way, users don’t have to wait on hold for too long and be sure someone will get back to them.
Trends in call center automation are changing with the evolving technology and the challenges we face worldwide. Thus, our approach to customer service and digital solutions is changing. Many of the tools that once played an important role in call centers are no longer used today, but some of them can be combined with AI technology, and the effects may surprise you.
We can be sure of one thing; call centers automation will go on, and the trends and tools implemented in this industry will keep changing. If you want your business to thrive on the market continuously, remember to keep up with modern solutions.