The contact center ahs evolved drastically in recent years. Complex and inefficient call centers have been replaced with “customer experience” hubs, capable of empowering clients across a range of channels and mediums. Perhaps one of the most significant changes of all has been the adoption of cloud-based contact centers, built to offer agility and scalability in the modern age.
CCaaS or Contact Center as a Service platforms offer businesses the freedom and flexibility, they need to build dynamic customer experience hubs which can be accessed anywhere. In a time of hybrid and remote work, these tools have grown increasingly popular. In fact, they’re accelerating towards an expected value of around $11.76 billion by 2028.
As interest in these cloud solutions continues to grow, so too does their range of features and functionalities. Today, we’re looking at some of the major trends likely to influence CCaaS solutions in the years to come.
As companies shift more of their communication stacks into the cloud, it’s becoming increasingly commonplace to combine the back-end environment, with the customer-facing team. Aligning UCaaS and CCaaS solutions in a single platform makes it easier for businesses to maintain comprehensive visibility across their entire technology stack.
It also ensures employees responsible for managing customer experiences can collaborate with subject matter experts and team members from throughout the company. With an all-in-one environment for communication, companies can reduce the number of disparate bills they need to manage each month, and ensure their distributed employees remain synchronized and aligned.
Many evolving CCaaS vendors are even beginning to look at the concept of “XaaS” or Everything as a Service. These platforms allow companies to integrate not just their UC tools, but also other SaaS solutions with their contact centre environments, such as WFM and ERP technology.
Engaged and empowered employees are crucial for any company hoping to build effective customer experiences. When employees have the right tools and support to work seamlessly in any environment, they’re more productive, efficient, and capable of delighting customers. This has prompted many CCaaS vendors to embed tools for employee engagement into the CCaaS space.
Increasingly, we’re seeing a rising number of tools built specifically to support all kinds of hybrid, remote and in-office workers. Workforce management and engagement tools help with scheduling and organizing employees, while gamification features keep staff motivated.
There are even new features emerging in the contact center to provide business leaders with a way of keeping track of employee experiences. Reporting and analytics tools can track everything from technology adoption, to changing levels of efficiency in an employee’s workflow.
Both the UCaaS and CCaaS industries have begun to see a rising focus on the use of multiple new channels and tools for communicating with customers. Over the years, consumers have begun moving away from relying exclusively on phone and audio conversations for service. Instead, they’re beginning to look at things like messaging, social media, and even video.
CCaaS platforms in 2023 and beyond will continue to introduce a variety of new platforms for business leaders to explore. Some already include tools and APIs which allow companies to embed contact centre functionality into their own mobile apps, or link to tools like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Many also include multiple options for aligning communications across voice, video, and text in a single environment so agents can more easily manage their workflow.
Looking into the future, there’s no limit to the number of new experiences a CCaaS solution could help to create. Some brands in the communication industry have already begun to explore integrations and partnerships with XR (Extended Reality) vendors. This allows companies to build customer interactions into VR and AR apps and tools.
The focus on analytics in the CCaaS environment has been increasing for some time now. Most companies know if they want to deliver personalized and valuable experiences to their target audience, they need to collect and leverage the correct information. As a result, we’re seeing a multitude of new analytical capabilities emerging in the contact centre.
Not only do these tools allow companies to track important information about their customers, such as intent and sentiment, but they also make it easier to create “proactive” strategies for getting ahead of consumer problems. According to Gartner, proactive customer service and engagement will soon outweigh reactive strategies in most contact center environments.
Using a combination of intelligent monitoring tools, machine learning, and historical insights, businesses will be able to stay one step ahead of potential issues facing their target audience. This could make it possible to eliminate issues before they ever begin.
Speaking of artificial intelligence, it’s beginning to play a more important role in helping customers to navigate their purchasing journey. While self-service solutions have been available within contact centers for some time, old-fashioned solutions focused mainly on question-and-answer bots, designed to respond to specific words with pre-determined phrases.
Now that 81% of customers say they prefer to seek out solutions to problems on their own before contacting an agent, self-service tools need to become more advanced. CCaaS vendors are beginning to implement natural language processing and conversational analytics tools into their self-service portals and services, to improve the customer experience. Intelligent bots and virtual agents can now complete tasks for customers, and solve a wider range of problems with intuitive strategies.
These enhanced self-service solutions can also help to boost employee experience too, by giving staff members access to intelligent tools which help them to find crucial information automatically. The right tools can even provide next-best-action suggestions to employees when they’re struggling to deal with a complex issue.
Finally, as regulatory guidelines and compliance concepts continue to evolve around the world, CCaaS vendors are beginning to focus more heavily on security and control. Many of the top tools now provide companies with more options on how they structure their contact center environment. You can determine where data is stored for sovereignty purposes, and decide how calls are routed and managed by different teams.
Many CCaaS solutions come with built-in solutions for encryption, multi-factor authentication, and access control, so businesses can maintain complete visibility over the flow of data. It’s even possible to build IVR tools and bots capable of adhering to GDPR guidelines. In some cases, brands are also beginning to experiment with AI technology to boost security in the contact center.
Advanced new tools can help to protect consumers and mitigate fraud by using things like biometric scanning to define whether a customer is who they say they are. AI bots can also automatically scan for policy issues and risks, and inform employees and business leaders when there’s a security problem in their network.
As demand for flexible and agile contact center environments in the cloud continues to grow, vendors in this space are constantly finding new ways to boost the quality of their solutions. Today’s CCaaS tools offer access to everything from AI automation and sentiment analysis to intelligent self-service.
If you’re struggling to choose the right contact centre solution for your business in the evolving landscape, contact PrimeTel today for expert advice and guidance.