On a yearly basis, our team meets to review the next year objectives and forecast our expected activity levels through different inbound and outbound channels. Within this scenario, we evaluate existing contact centre predictions and make our own ones.
This year we predict three key elements:
1. From omnichannel to integrated channels
Every day we are more and more interconnected with machines. Smartphones, intelligent houses, self-driving cars… willing it or not we interact and depend more and more on machines. Technology advances will impact in the way that customer contact centres. In last few years we have observed the migration between multichannel contact centre to omnichannel customer support. Nowadays we are shifting again. Customer experience is evolving and demanding a more integrated approach were technology may lead the way. Does it sound familiar apps to control the heating at home or printers using wifi to order tonner online? The future is closer than you may think.
2. Higher demand for skilled workers in the contact centre arena
Savvy buyers demand savvy customer care representatives. This prediction is becoming more and more important every year. Call Centre agents require soft skills but also a good knowledge of computer and software. Enquiries are becoming more complex and responsibilities in the contact centre arena are increasing. Far away are those days of just message taking and answering FAQ’s. Customers are now using the web and online channels to find answers to these enquiries. Therefore, enquiries received by the contact centre require a more elaborated answer which usually involves a follow up or liaison with other departments (e.g. finance, logistics, warehouse, marketing). A good knowledge of different software systems is a must in the industry at the moment and in the future.
3. Hours of operation: 24 by 7 as a must have
The number of businesses operating 24 by 7 will increase quickly over the next year. While this is not per se a new trend, the number of companies using business outsourcing providers especially in the area of customer care that will increase. In fact, our team has already experienced in the last few months an increase in enquiries about providing after-hours and 24 by 7 customer support. The reason for this contact centre prediction is clear for any trading business: remain competitive while selling online is a must have. People buying through websites and apps increase by the hour and the 9am to 5pm business hours is becoming something from the past.