The call center industry is always evolving and changing. Especially with the new technologies introduced in recent years, the focus is on improving efficiency, customer experience and agent satisfaction. To that end, here are four trends in call centers that we are keeping an eye on in 2024.
- Increased Use of AI
AI was certainly a hot topic in 2023 and we don’t expect that to change in 2024. In fact, we expect call centers to continue to explore how using AI can both improve the customer experience and make agents’ jobs easier. Many businesses are already using chatbots to answer basic customer questions so that people don’t have to get in touch with a real person, but we expect the abilities of these bots to continue to grow and expand in ways that give customers more agency in troubleshooting their own problems. However, we also expect this expansion to happen carefully. In today’s market, customer patience is at an all-time low. In the case of AI, it’s critical that businesses do not overpromise and then underperform when it comes to the information customers will be able to access using these tools, as that will only serve to worsen the customer experience.
- Expansion of Self-Service Tools
Hand in hand with the increased use of AI comes the expansion of self-service tools. While customers today are looking for instant gratification when it comes to solving problems or getting questions answered, they are also savvier than ever about the products they use on a daily basis. That’s why providing more self-service tools, from written articles and guides to how-to videos and more, will be a key part of improving the customer experience in 2024. It’s true that there are still many instances in which a customer will want to speak to a live person about something, which is why a well-staffed and knowledgeable call center continues to be vital, but customers never want to feel like this is their only option. Offering them other ways to come to a solution, many of which will likely be less time-consuming that making a call to the call center, will go incredibly far towards improving their experience and improving the experience of your agents.
- More Personalized Customer Interactions
As we just mentioned, it doesn’t matter how sophisticated your AI capabilities or how extensive your self-service tools are—there will always be situations in which customers prefer to speak to a person for help. And we expect that when these situations do arise, customer expectations are going to continue to grow. One way to rise up to meet them is by taking steps to personalize these interactions are much as possible, especially because the people calling your call center have likely reached a point in their customer service journey in which they feel that they need personalized help. We expect agents to be more empowered to solve a wider swath of problems, as well as possess the expertise to dive deep into customer issues without having to pass off a customer to a different agent or a supervisor. We also expect them to have more and immediate access to customer information that will give them a leg up in problem solving, plus streamline the call itself.
- Continued Focus on Agent Well-Being
On the agent side, we don’t expect the focus and priority placed on agent well-being in the last year or two to be going anywhere. Indeed, it’s become clear that agents whose physical, mental, and emotional needs are being met are going to excel at the jobs and stay in them for longer. We expect cloud-based call center software that allows agents the flexibility to work from anywhere to continue to displace premise-based call centers. Hand in hand with this location flexibility comes flexibility of hours and a continued focus on establishing work-life balance that is both sustainable and satisfactory for agents. At the same time, we expect companies to continue to take steps to make agents feel like they are part of a team and a community that supports them. This combination of factors improves the day-to-day experience of agents, which is directly correlated to better agent performance and efficiency and increased customer satisfaction.
Want to learn more about how CallShaper can help you adapt to and embrace these changes and trends in 2024? Contact us today.