The last few years have seen unprecedented changes in how contact centers are staffed and managed.
Many of the challenges faced in 2022 revolved around many agent’s desire to work from home. While a great benefit to offer employees, it comes with slew of challenges including agent engagement. How do we keep agents actively engaged in what they’re doing and up to date on policy changes, etc.? All of this is necessary so the CSR can be the best rep for the end customer.
On the other hand, a remote workforce gives contact center operations significantly greater flexibility. Companies are not limited by space requirements and can easily have agents located in specific time zones to support their customers.
The great debate on remote work is not going anywhere as we head into 2023, but there are a few other contact center trends to look out for as well. Learn more from the experts at Salem below.
Trends and Predictions for 2023
Increased Utilization of AI
Many customer service professionals fear that AI will take over the role of CSR’s. At Salem, we believe the opposite. If used correctly, AI can help enhance the CSR’s role and make them more efficient. For example, AI can be used to detect the tone of a caller’s voice and route it to the appropriate CSR who will best handle the specific case.
AI allows organizations to take customer satisfaction to the next level. This helps your reps deliver quality customer service, reduce the service wait time, and make the customer journey smooth and hassle-free.
We believe we’ll see a lot more companies adopting AI in 2023 to help boost agent productivity.
Although we’ve seen omnichannel support increase quite a bit over the past few years, its importance cannot be overstated.
Nearly all consumers own and use more than one device and have a multitude of communication channels. They want to be able to interact with a brand on social media, live chat, calls and SMS messages.
Omnichannel communication allows contact centers to help customers on multiple platforms. Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system enables your customer service teams to consolidate interactions in a centralized interface.
This way, they can easily access information on customer communications, regardless of the touchpoint they use, to connect with the customer.
We hope to see even more contact centers offering this in 2023!
Increased Skillsets for CSR’s
Agents need a comprehensive skill set and quick thinking to fully navigate contact center demands and deliver exceptional service. Beyond having good phone communication skills, agents must be able to navigate a lot of different computer applications and be resourceful.
With omnichannel support becoming more prevalent, agents also need to have good written communication for texting, email and live chat.
Aside from excellent communication skills, they’ll need analytical problem-solving skills, strong project management — and in some cases, technical training to understand the finer details of the product or service.
Agents Working from Home
In 2023, we’re predicting contact centers will still have a mostly remote workforce. In fact, about 90% of the contact center placements we’re doing at Salem are remote.
But if you are looking to have your CSR’s return to the office, it’s important to incentivize them and encourage the sense of camaraderie that only comes from an in-person role. It’s tough being a CSR, and that sense of shared community with colleagues can be extremely beneficial.
These call center trends can help you enhance agent productivity to address all customer concerns proactively. Adapting to the latest contact center trends will help your agents provide your customers with top-notch service and streamline your operations.