Which technology will change contact centres in 2018?
Ask five technology experts about the tech that will change contact centres in 2018 and you will probably get five different answers. Everyone has a different view on what is important and how the systems that agents use might evolve as the contact centre becomes more integral to the relationship between brand and customer.
But what’s really changing? Business Tech magazine in South Africa recently listed some interesting trends including omnichannel support, an increase in home-based-agents, and artificial intelligence leading to automated chatbots.
These are all fair observations that combine to make the role of the contact centre agent more important than ever before. The agent is the most important interface between the brand and customer. This has always been true, except the customer service team used to only ever be called on when the customer had a problem. They managed post-sale questions and problems. Now those same agents are leading your sales and marketing process in addition to handling the more traditional service issues.
With this increase in status it’s about time that agents got some support. Artificial Intelligence systems should not only be for chatbots. How about AI that listens to the customer and helps the agent with suggestions in real-time? The technology can draw on the experience of every support call ever recorded and place relevant suggestions in front of the agent before they even have a chance to start responding to the customer.
Likewise with sales support. When customers are interested in products that are complex and have many different options - like a mobile phone package - what are you doing to help guide the agent so they can always present the best option to the customer?
I believe that this support for agents will be one of the biggest changes in contact centres this year. Brands are finally realising that the entire customer relationship is being managed by these agents - they need support if they are to deliver a great customer experience every time.
Honeybee is conducting a survey (until early March) to ask contact centre executives and influencers about the tech they think will be important in 2018. It will take only a minute of your time to complete the survey and you can remain anonymous.
Please click here to complete the survey - we will publish the results here in March.