Technology Trends in Call Center Management: AI, Chatbots, and Automation

Rolling Plans Pvt. Ltd. Apr 9, 2024 138 0

A happy and satisfied customer should be the end pretension of any business indeed along with other substantial goals. With the reason to accentuate customer satisfaction in order to hold the same customer in business for a longer time and belly up prospective clients, call centers act as conciliators between the organization/agents and the customers. There are various types of call center jobs in Nepal and we have uploaded a blog on this topic as well. Call Centers of today are not limited to the cramped booths, corded phones, and longer calls for the resolution of the customers’ issues, queries, and grievances as call centers or contact centers are changing along with digitization and the introduction of new technology trends in call center management. 


Call centers are adopting the technology trends and digital channels like LIVE chat, video chat, and call center software applications like Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Workforce Optimization Software (WFO), and many more like VoIP and IVR about which we will be discussing in this blog. Call centers are becoming the epicenter of different digital communication channels that provide an omnichannel experience for customers. To meet the increasing customer demand, a single-channel telephone network is not sufficient. Organizations need to invest in upfront software and training for call center reps for longer-term benefits with the adoption of technology. All the technology trains in call center management may not be required for all types of organizations. Based on the size, type, and functionality of the organization, businesses should choose the right technology trends in call center management. As a hybrid of inbound and outbound customer communications channels, call centers are adopting high-tech cloud-based call center solutions with omnichannel capabilities including voice, email, chat, social media, AI-powered chatbots, and many more that intend to provide quicker solutions and jim-dandy customer service. 


The main motive of call centers is improving customer experience and streamlining operational tasks. Some of the major benefits elevated through the technology trends in call center management are enumerated below: 


1. The use of technology trains leads to faster resolution of customers with efficient call routing and instantaneous tracking of customers’ expectations and interactions. 


2. Call center reps can focus on other complex tasks rather than devoting longer time to just one problem enhancing productivity and annihilating customers' wait times. 


3. Gone are the days of recording data manually in papers. Techs can assist in the collection and analysis of chunks of customer data enabling the organizations to understand the performance of the agents and improve the customer service. 


4. Modern call center techs like real-time monitoring and call whisper features can help the staff and supervisors to coordinate in an effective way enhancing the reps’ performance. 


5. With the automation of manual tasks and improved productivity, there is a definite cut in operational costs leading to extra cost savings in the organization. 


With the wealth of benefits, call center technology assists in accelerating the customer experience (CX) enhancing productivity, optimizing agents’ performance, reducing additional costs, and eliminating manual-based tasks making the tech trends a worthy investment and setup for businesses of all sizes, types, and functionalities. Hence, businesses should invest in tech trends that unclog customer experience and ameliorate overall call center performance with the facilitation of real-time communication, prompt responses, multichannel assistance, and quick support to customers. 


Technology Trends in Call Center Management

The emerging technology trends in contact center management are described as follows: 


1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) 


With the updating technology trends, the shape of call centers has been drastically redefined through automation and personalized service as customers seek real-time engagement by connecting with the brands through multiple contact channels. Customers want personalized service with easy interaction and the emergence of AI has contributed a lot to it.


In order to deal with customers, conversational AIs also known as chatbots or virtual events have chipped in. These AIs provide automated customer service via the websites and Apps of the brands. Brands can also connect Chatbots to social media through Talkative. With the use of machine learning and natural language processing, advanced AIs can engage in customer dealings. According to Gartner, Chatbots will become the primary customer service channel for a quarter of organizations by 2027. Call routing, dealing with FAQs and other customer services can be given through the AIs. Another kind of AI is Sentiment Analysis which filters negative conversations of customers and routes them to contact center managers so that they can support the call center agents to eliminate bad CX before it goes south. 


2. VoIP 


VoIP is the abbreviative form of Voice over Internet Protocol that integrates next-generation unified communication channels such as calls, voicemail, SMS, and fax. VoIP telephony allows the brands to make and receive phone calls over secure broadband connections/internet via software phones, mobile devices, and handsets for remote work and continuity. With a reliable internet connection, any kind of inbound and outbound calls can be handled from any part of the world. Integration of VoIP can be done with CRM, productive apps, collaborative tools, and helpdesk software reducing the bulk investment in traditional PPX telephony hardware and traditional phone networks making it more cost-efficient and scalable for all kinds of business. 


There are other advanced cloud-based VoIP features like auto-attendants, intelligent call routing, built-in redundancy, call recording, and other analytics that accelerate customer satisfaction making VoIPs future-proof investment for business growth and productivity. 


3. Omnichannel and CRM Integration 


As customers seek multiple contact channels to connect with brands, brands should also offer multiple engagement channels to meet customers’ expectations. If not email, customers may shift to video calls. When customers shift from one communication channel to another, the institutions must ensure that the channels are connected through a unified integration. Customers can shift the contact channel unblemishedly without any issues. The omnichannel customer experience enables the agents to provide more personal and tailored customer service to the customers. When a customer sends a message on Facebook, then the chat becomes a real-time live chat and again it turns into a video chat within the same interaction. 


CRM integration collects the data of customers including order history, product references, grievance details, and many more. The CRM telephony integration unifies the overall data with calls where intelligent call routing, reporting, and systematized workflows like functions are included in just one tool. This integration helps in the personalized and contextual interactions between the customers and call center agents. 


4. IVR (Interactive Voice Response) 


This system includes the automated attendants which greets the customers very intelligently and routes the calls with pre-recorded voice prompts and other menu options. The multiple options enable the customers to choose the choices for accessing the information the customers need and get connected to the related department. This system helps the call center reps in reducing the time for manually routing or transferring calls. Saving time, and effort, no human error, and streamlining of the inbound call handling process are the benefits provided by IVR. When agents grab the extra information from calls, it helps the agents to increase FCR rates. Scheduling of appointments, updating of the accounts’ information, and processing of the payments can be done within this tech. The issues of customers can be resolved quickly due to faster routing of calls and no hassle of multiple transfers to multiple departments. 


5. Call Queuing 


When the call volumes in the call centers exceed the reps’ capacity, this trend assists the inbound call centers in handling incoming calls by assigning the calls to the respective call queues in case of no availability of immediate agents to handle the call. It's collaborated with call routing and IVR which helps in managing high call volume. There is a system of Queue Callback where calls are returned. Callers waiting on hold can be placed in a queue with some pre-recorded messages, custom music, and information on estimated wait times for the customers. This system adoption lowers the Call Abandonment Rates. 


6. Analytics and Reporting


From the organizational point of view, data means everything hence, analysis and reporting can be termed as the key functions of a call center. The data of website analytics, sentiment of customers, and customer interaction reports can play pivotal roles in improving CX. The analysis of data abets in managing the customer demand and upgrading the performance. For example, the messages on the Facebook Messenger of the brand can be termed as the data and the data analytics can present the facts about the majority of queries, and issues that customers are facing. Hence it helps to manage demand on and per-hour basis and effective strategies can be spawned. With the collaboration of quantitative and qualitative metrics, call center agents can have a deep understanding of CX. Through the real-time and historical reports, the metrics and KPIs like First Call Resolution rates, abandoned calls, call transfer rates and many more can be evaluated. 


7. Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) 


CTI is applicable for call centers for the integration of the call center solutions with CRM systems and all business applications. The integration supports the call center agents by giving immediate access to the overall history and information of customers including the history of previous interactions like chat, and messages through the Screen Pops that showcase overall customer data. Customers may experience personalized service as agents handle them based on previous interactions too. Screen pops occur with the integration of phone and CRM systems to exhibit overall customer information when calls come in automatically. It displays the previous interactions and customer history on the desktop. Customers may feel good about the service of the organization due to personalized interactions. 


8. Real-time call monitoring 


The Call Whisper feature is a major feature in this tech trend. The supervisors of the call centers can secretly join in on live calls and speak to agents without letting the customer know that they are also present in the call. This is used for on-the-fly guidance to agents who are struggling to handle difficult clients or if the agents are new hires who have difficulty answering the calls due to new recruitment. This method can be best for supervisors to assess the performance of new hires and existing agents if they are performing and adhering to call scripts, maintaining the quality of call standards, and giving their best to improve CX. 


There are many other technology trends in call center management such as: 


- Self-service channels: Digital support channels not involving direct interaction with customer service agents like FAQ tools, kiosks,  AI virtual assistants 


- Real-time consumer journey mapping: Real-time analytics allowing agents to see the customers; interaction journey through the website when they speak like the visit to web pages by the customer, ‘time on page’, ‘clicks’ to acknowledge customers’ intent and queries instantly 


- Video chat: Face-to-face and visual engagement with customers with screen-sharing, co-browsing and other features 


- Call Routing: Automatically routing the customers’ agents to the relevant agent and department preventing wait time and misrouted calls


- Automatic Call Distribution (ACD): Call routing or skill-based routing, distribution of incoming calls among available agents of appropriate departments based on predefined call routing rules that help in reducing Average Handle Times and meliorating First Call Resolution (FCR) rates


- Auto-Dialing: Power Dialers, Predictive Dialers that automate and optimize the process of placing outbound calls eliminating the manual efforts of call center agents 


- Voice Bots/Chatbots: 24/7 self-service support where customers can present their queries and issues 


Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), AI speech analytics, and other AI agent assist tools that use Natural language processing and machine learning technologies are also prevalent in call centers. These tech trends are best applicable alongside human agents as these trends improve customer service, eliminate unwanted human and manual efforts, and provide a bottom line for business acceleration. 


There are and will be many other technology trends that will be used in contact center management. As technology is always evolving and upgrading, businesses should also embrace Change and Adoption of new technology trends in Call center management.


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