8 interesting call center trends from 2022 to watch in 2023

by Time Doctor

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the world has seen paradigm shifts in consumer behavior and customer expectations. 

As social distancing prompted virtual connectivity, call centers worldwide have utilized new technologies to their advantage to stay ahead of their competitors.

In order to continue delivering seamless customer experiences and generating higher revenue, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the trends leading the call center industry. 

In this article, we’ll cover the top eight call center trends in 2022 that will continue to play a crucial role in determining business outcomes in 2023. We’ll also highlight the key takeaways from these call center trends. 

Let’s jump in.

8 call center trends in 2022 that will matter in 2023

Several advancements have streamlined call center operations in recent times, from using cloud computing to automating agent workflows. 

Let’s go over the most critical call center trends of 2022 that can have a significant impact on call center service:

1. Redefining customer experience through digital transformation

Gone are the days of basic customer interactions. Now, customer service teams are expected to provide an enriching consumer experience that develops into brand loyalty. 

How can you make customer experiences more rewarding?

Simple: by implementing digital transformation. This strategy should center on redefining the customer experience through digital advancements. 

This includes call and contact center technology like omnichannel communications, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), etc. 

That’s not all! 

It’s not enough just to employ the correct communication channels to interact with customers. Call centers can also use blended technologies to equip agents with total customer context for each interaction. 

For example, companies can use Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) tools to leverage the collective intelligence of the entire organization when dealing with a customer. This means all employees can access important data at the same time. 

What’s the key takeaway? 

To sum up the importance of digital transformation: 

  • Customer success is built on rewarding experiences. 
  • Digital transformation welcomes developments such as Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Voice Response that enrich communications.
  • UCC tools leverage the collective intelligence of the organization to improve customer engagement. 

2. Revamping agent productivity with AI

Artificial Intelligence is a trend that has allowed organizations to take customer satisfaction to the next level. AI tools can help call center agents detect customer sentiment and decode ambiguous feedback. 

This way, your call center operation can deliver quality customer service, reduce the service wait time, and make the customer journey smooth and hassle-free. 

Call center technology like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help call centers automate repetitive, routine tasks. The RPA bots can answer common customer queries, pull out relevant customer data when the agent is on a phone call, route customer issues to the right agent (i.e., call routing), and so on. 

As a result, artificial intelligence plays a significant role in resolving customer issues promptly.  

A 2022 Replicant report predicts that by 2040, AI will increase call and contact center productivity by 35%.

Call centers can also implement recall technology with the help of AI to avoid agent embarrassment from sending incorrect emails to the customer. 

This enables your customer service team to instantly delete or modify the sent messages in real time if there are any spelling mistakes or inaccurate information.

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why call centers should adopt artificial intelligence:

  • Call center supervisors can use AI technology and machine learning to boost agent productivity. 
  • Artificial intelligence can help you improve customer retention and customer loyalty through proactive call center service.
  • AI is instrumental in helping call and contact center agents understand the patterns in customer behavior.

3. Optimizing communications with omnichannel support

When a call center operation provides omnichannel support to its customers, it allows them to choose from different communication channels like: 

  • Live chat
  • Email
  • Social media
  • SMS
  • Phone calls
  • Text messages 

Consequently, most customers prefer the omnichannel contact center over the traditional call center.

For example, U.S. retailer Target saw an overall sales increase of 24.3% and an increase of 195% in digital sales because of the introduction of omnichannel support.  

During the COVID pandemic, many companies with remote agents resorted to digital contact center applications like instant messaging or video chat. It helped them resume operations and maintain business continuity. 

Further, omnichannel communication allows the call center industry to fulfill any customer need 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.

It ensures that customers won’t have to repeat an issue if they shift from social media to email. As a result, omnichannel support paves the way for unified communication and delivers a better customer experience

What’s the key takeaway?

Here’s why call centers should implement an omnichannel communication strategy:

  • It helps you reduce hiring costs for multiple agents by relying on automated chatbots. 
  • Omnichannel communication improves the customer’s access to the customer service agent and call center services.
  • It frees up your agents’ time from attending phone calls when they can address the customers’ needs via instant messaging.

4. Improving work flexibility with cloud communication

As the world moves towards remote and hybrid work models, cloud technology is the only way to ensure this transition is smooth and risk-free. 

According to a 2021 Gartner Press Release, investments in public cloud services could reach nearly $600B in 2023. 

Cloud communication technology can be an effective workforce management tool for call centers, enabling remote agents to work from anywhere. Cloud contact centers and call centers can help you deliver 24/7 customer service by creating rotational shifts for each remote agent. 

Cloud computing is an important call center and contact center trend that can help you and your support team establish an agile workflow and deal with high call volume. 

For example, a call center supported by cloud communication can utilize the virtual hold feature. This feature means a caller doesn’t have to be put on hold. Instead, they can leave their number and get a call from the next available call center agent. 

This can help your customers feel more valued, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance business continuity. 

Investment in cloud technology can help companies create a flexible work environment and increase customer data security. 

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why a call center should partner with cloud service providers:

  • This contact center trend can help call centers manage remote work agents efficiently. 
  • Call centers with cloud technology can streamline workflows by creating rotational shifts for remote teams. 
  • Cloud technology provides solutions like the virtual hold feature that improve customer satisfaction. 

5. Driving conversations with chatbots 

Chatbots, a form of conversational AI and a major call center technology trend, are virtual agents offering real-time customer support. Customer service centers are increasingly turning to chatbots to create a better customer experience. 

This is evident in Drift’s 2021 State of Conversational Marketing report. The report reveals that chatbots are growing in popularity, with 35% of buyers opting to use them when available. This is up from 25% in 2020.

While automated chatbots answer common FAQs and share helpful articles with customers, agents can focus on more complex tasks. This results in a reduced call volume.

Additionally, you can speed up customer service workflows using chatbots. According to a 2021 study by Statista, it generally takes about 88 seconds for customers to receive a response via live chat. On the other hand, chatbots respond almost instantaneously. 

Conversational artificial intelligence and machine learning have also allowed chatbots to become more empathetic than robotic.  

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why call centers should continue using chatbots: 

  • With chatbots, call centers and contact centers can offer 24/7 customer support without causing agent burnout. 
  • Chatbots provide customers with feedback almost immediately, which can improve workflows for your customer service team. 
  • Implementing chatbots will help you improve customer engagement and enhance your call center’s reputation. 

6. Offering personalized customer experience

Using cloud technologies, call center agents can analyze customer behavior from previous queries or service requests. This data can help you accurately cater to your customers’ needs and personalize customer experiences. 

A personalized customer experience can go a long way in building customer loyalty. It also boosts customer experience metrics like customer satisfaction scores, customer retention rates, etc. 

According to McKinsey’s 2021 Next in Personalization report, 71% of consumers expect a personalized experience. 

How can you effectively personalize the customer experience?

With the help of Experience Communications as a Service (XCaaS), interactions are consistent across the board. 

Agents can find customer data under one cloud solution, empowering them to personalize customer interactions.  

For example, with the help of XCaaS, a call center agent has all the customer details at their fingertips. They can use it to resolve any customer query quickly and offer a personalized customer experience.

The results? Faster response times and, ultimately, higher customer satisfaction.   

Additionally, automation can also help you create a personalized customer experience. Automating routine tasks can free up time to focus on one-on-one customer interaction and elevate agent performance. 

What’s the key takeaway?

Here’s why call centers should seriously consider personalizing their customers’ experience:

  • It helps fulfill your customers’ requirements and creates long-lasting customer relationships.
  • Personalizing customer experience can lead to positive reviews for your call center services via social media. 
  • Offering a personal customer experience can give you a competitive edge over other call centers that aren’t prioritizing customers’ needs. 

7. Assessing business efficiency with analytics

Analytics can help you gain insight into agent performance and customer behavior. 

The data helps you focus on key call center metrics like first call resolution rate, average handle time, and agent idle time. 

Initially, predictive analytics lets you analyze customer sentiment and predict future decisions.

After the phone call, speech analytics helps analyze conversations between agents and customers by searching for keywords and phrases as well as performing emotional detection. 

This provides organizations with insights that provide a data-driven way of tackling issues. All of which can boost efficiency and improve customer experience.  

In short, data analytics and reports are crucial in determining any business’s growth and success rate.

That’s why call centers need real-time performance management tools to generate reports on employee productivity.  

Time Doctor is one tool that can help you monitor the performance of your call and contact center agents.

What’s Time Doctor?

Time Doctor is a powerful time-tracking tool used by large enterprises like Ericsson, as well as small business companies like Thrive Market, to boost productivity across the organization.

Here’s a real-world example:

A leading outsourcing organization in Asia had to switch from traditional in-office work to fully remote within 24 hours at the beginning of the pandemic. 

After tracking time with Time Doctor, they examined the impact working from home had on agent productivity. They found that working from home welcomed a 56% decrease in unproductive time compared to in-office work. 

How does Time Doctor help?

Time Doctor offers workforce management features to optimize workflows by keeping agents accountable for their tasks. 

These features include: 

A call or contact center leader can also use Time Doctor’s detailed reports to assess how their agents spend their time throughout the workday. These customer service agent metrics and reports can help you identify those needing proper training to improve their efficiency.  

These call center analytics let you spot issues before they escalate into more severe, time-consuming problems. 

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why a call center should use analytics and reports:

  • Analytics can help you spot performance issues before they worsen. 
  • It allows you to develop the right customer service strategy to maximize satisfaction.
  • Speech analytics provides intelligence to boost service quality. 
  • Reports in your contact center software can help you recognize top-performing agents.

Read this related article about customer experience analytics to make better business decisions. 

8. Growth of self-service tools

With the adoption of modern technology, self-service is a prevalent and growing customer expectation.

Examples of self-service customer support tools include things like:

  • Knowledge bases.
  • Community forums.
  • Webchats.
  • FAQ pages, etc.

This tendency grew in prominence during the COVID pandemic. People became more accustomed to contactless, self-service options to minimize the scope of human interaction. 

Moreover, not every customer query requires human assistance. Customers can look up the solution using an advanced self-service functionality. 

According to CXNetwork’s Global State of Customer Experience 2022 report, 52% of customers want self-service channels. 

It empowers customers to find their answers via tutorials and comprehensive FAQs instead of spending time explaining their problems to a customer service team member. This, in turn, decreases friction in the customer journey. 

What’s the key takeaway?

To sum up, here’s why call centers should integrate their call center software with self-service tools:

  • You can effectively reduce the agent workload while creating positive customer experiences.
  • It’s a cost-effective technology that can help you cut down on staffing costs.
  • Your customers won’t have to spend hours on call with an agent(which can sometimes be an unsatisfying experience). 

Wrapping up

Adapting to the latest call and contact center technology trends will help you live up to customer expectations and establish your market authority. 

These call center trends can also help you enhance agent productivity to address all customer concerns proactively.

Once you align your business with the call center trends of 2022 we’ve mentioned above, you’ll be able to provide and satisfy your customers with top-notch service. This way, you can grow your customer base and streamline call center operations effortlessly.

 
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