As 2021 begins we analyse our predicted trends for the coming year along with trends that took our contact centres by storm throughout 2020. Contact centres have had to totally pivot their organisational models in 2020 to adapt to unprecedented changes, but we are sure we don’t need to narrate how totally bizarre 2020 was for each and every individual and organisation.
Over the past few months, contact centres have been inundated with anxious customers looking for information and solace. With the cultural changes within contact centres and more uncertainty on the horizon here are our predicted trends for contact centres in 2021.
Arema Connects predicted contact centre trends for 2021
1. A greater emphasis on Customer Experience
More than ever before consumers are now relying on customer support teams. This is a result of the unorthodox outcome of the recent pandemic and brick-and-mortar stores and offices being closed. Consumers have a higher level of anxiety now and this is the chance for support teams to assist consumers and create an amazing customer experience.
According to forbes.com, “we are now serving a customer that’s been financially impacted by COVID-19, who wants to be a touchless and digital customer”
At Arema Connect, customer experience is paramount and we serve our clients and their customers to add constant value to their journey. Our top tips for doing so are;
- Providing a multilingual platform and serving your clients in their native language
- Bestowing a highly experienced workforce. With one of the highest staff retention rates in the industry Arema Connect have an extremely experienced team, this is one of the main factors in providing consumers with an unforgettable experience.
2. Increased use of Artificial Intelligence
Over the last decade, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been on the rise but with the recent widespread move to working from home, the usage of AI has soared.
Artificial Intelligence is a stimulation of human intellect processed by computer systems or machines. With remote working, the use of such technologies have increased to streamline processes and allow for products and services to be provided to clients and consumers with little or no disruption to offerings.
Often when we think of artificial intelligence, the first thing that comes to mind are robots or autonomous vehicles but in actual fact we are surrounded by AI. The Alexa speaker is a very popular artificial technology that is present in many of our homes, other common types of artificial technologies are chatbots and cloud communications.
- ChatBots are a form of Artificial Intelligence that allow companies to automate conversations for convenience. We predict that throughout 2021 many contact centres will introduce ChatBots to answer consumers’ need for instant response times.
- Cloud communications – Traditionally the telecommunications market had to rely on onsite telephone communication systems but cloud communications have completely changed this. Prior to Cloud, there has never been much room for movement or advancement within the customer support industry. The introduction of cloud communication systems, such as Amazon Connect has revolutionised service offerings at Arema Connect and through the wider industry.
We predict that the use of Artificial Intelligence will skyrocket within the customer service industry in 2021.
3. Introduction of more support channels
Days where contact centres only provide telephone answering services are gone. More than ever before clients are looking for an integrated outsourcing experience and this is leading the change for the customer service industry.
To meet the ever-changing needs of clients and their industries, Contact Centres are rapidly becoming more skilled. Contact Centers are now centres that cater for all needs from supporting the end to end consumer journey to offering extensive market research services. At Arema Connect, our service offerings are continuously improving and expanding – this is a trend you are sure to see more of within the industry in 2021.
Increasing your channel offerings allows clients and their customers to integrate their processes and gain a competitive edge through their customer support advancements.
4. Remote Working
In the past, businesses were reluctant to offer remote working as an option. This is going to be a major topic for discussion in 2021 for decision-makers. Remote working has proven to be possible and worthwhile so the options open to a lot of organisations. The question is how businesses can integrate it into their long-term strategy taking into account employee wellbeing, corporate culture, training, and of course information security. At Arema Connect, we offer our team the option to work remotely or do a mixture of working from home and from one of our four office spaces.
Temporary changes made within the industry during the recent crisis are now becoming permanent procedures in contact centres. 2021 will most definitely be a year for growth and expansion in the customer support industry.