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The contact center is undergoing an evolution, as customer expectations change and emerging technology creates opportunities for new services. Organizations need to re-evaluate how they approach customer communication and how to incorporate new technology to improve the contact center experience.
Three trends are influencing the evolution of the modern contact center to provide more tightly integrated communications, improve agent productivity and offer new avenues to reach customers. Learn why AI, consumer messaging and unified communications (UC) are opening new doors for contact centers.
What emerging technology is influencing contact center services?
AI provides contact centers new ways to improve agent productivity and the customer experience. Contact centers can use AI for behavioral analytics that can detect social cues from the agent and customer, such as tone of voice and speech patterns.
For example, if the behavioral analytics indicate the customer may be agitated, the agent can take suggested paths to calm the customer or escalate the call to a supervisor. But behavioral analytics need to be deployed in a transparent way to avoid overstepping any privacy boundaries.
AI can also address pain points that plague the contact center experience for agents and customers. Interactive voice response (IVR), for example, is a common pain point for customers who expect a more conversational experience than dialing numbers when prompted.
Contact centers can use AI to improve self-service, with intelligent chatbots that provide the conversational experience customers want. While chatbot self-service capabilities are still relatively basic, they are an improvement over current IVR systems.
How can messaging improve the contact center experience?
Contact centers that want to improve the customer experience must find new ways to reach their customers. Some contact centers are integrating consumer messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, through services provided by messaging vendors.
In this video, see how contact center vendors are reimagining customer engagements.
Facebook, Apple and Google have all launched business messaging platforms for their consumer messaging apps that connect organizations directly to customers within the messaging app. However, the growth of consumer chat in the contact center means businesses must support multiple chat channels. They can't expect customers to use only one messaging app for their customer service needs.
How is UC converging with the contact center?
Unified communications and contact centers are starting to intersect, as UC vendors add support for contact centers within their platforms, allowing organizations to buy bundled UC and contact center services. While bundled services might not work for organizations that keep their contact center and UC separate, they may help organizations that want to improve the contact center experience with more tightly integrated communications.
Organizations that want to bundle their UC and contact centers need to evaluate how their UC vendor supports contact center services. Some vendors partner with third parties to offer contact centers tools, while others offer native contact center services. In these cases, organizations need to consider the type of third-party support or the UC vendor's contact center roadmap.