With repeated studies showing that customer service is more important than price when it comes to purchases, many organizations are ramping up their call centre technology to better connect with customers. Here’s a quick look at the top trends:
AI and Analytics
Corporate contact centres are going all-in with big data in pursuit of better customer service experience, said Holger Reisinger, Senior Vice President Large Enterprise Solutions at Jabra. Most contact centres are now embracing digital technology such as voice-based analytics and artificial intelligence (AI):
- AI is expected to handle 20 per cent of all customer service requests by 2022. (Source)
- Call analytics provide real-time quality metrics that can be used to reduce average call handle time by roughly 40 per cent. (Source)
Recent advancements in digitization, fuelled by machine learning and AI, have made it possible for an increasing number of companies to use speech analytics in a significant way to turn collected data into smart insights. According to one recent report, the global speech analytics market will reach a value of USD $3.8B by 2025 from its current $1.5B, a compound annual growth rate of over 20 per cent.
“Call centres are performance-based, with goals being quick resolution and reduced call times” said Vern Fernandez, Senior Manager, Contact Center Excellence, Jabra. “AI technology makes this possible at scale. With benefits such as real-time feedback on customer response, predictive analytics indicating when intervention is required, and deep analysis of call data, AI means a total transformation of the call centre.”
Smart Cloud Migration
The flexibility and efficiencies of the cloud that have helped fuel the general digital stampede generally have equally pushed organizations with contact centres to embrace the cloud en masse.
Recent global research projected that the global cloud-based contact centre market will triple in value over the next five years. Companies with cloud-based contact centres enjoy faster deployment and implementation, better flexibility, easier agent management regardless of location, and the ability to easily scale and upgrade.
To fully benefit from their investments in emerging tech like cloud and AI, organizations must also devote time and energy to selecting headsets that help their call agents offer top-quality customer experiences.
When choosing the right headsets for call centre staff, decision-makers can ask questions like:
- Are they well designed? Quality headsets have the latest technology and innovative features that make them easy to set up, use and upgrade.
- Are they comfortable? As call agents will wear these devices on their head for hours at a time, they must be made of lightweight materials and offer ergonomic features.
- Do they cancel out noise? Headsets with active noise cancelling technology block both high- and low-frequency noise, which allows agents to better focus on customers.
Fernandez says that with the right headset, call agents can also derive invaluable analytics:
- Proper Microphone Positioning – Triangulating the voice in order to create alerts when microphones are not properly positioned: “This maximizes noise cancellation and speech accuracy towards analytics, translation applications, biometrics, and other voice-enabled AI.”
- Noise Monitoring – Measuring decibel levels using the microphone boom can give you an understanding about noise levels in your contact centers and wherever your agents work whether at home or via an outsourced provider: “You can route calls based on this information or understand quality of service better, compare noisy times of the day against agent performance, and even stack-rank your outsourcer sites based on noise to determine which sites ensure the voice of your brand best.”
- Agent Behaviour – Understanding when agents use programmable buttons for specified functions such as: answer/end call, mute, call for help, queue in/queue out, and start/stop recording: “As an example, you can determine if an agent mutes their headset 20 seconds before a dropped call, and whether this affects customer satisfaction scores or customer experience.”
- Conversation Flow – Track whether or not the customer or agent is speaking or if there is crosstalk or silence in real time: “You can gamify around silence using this metric.”
- Gamification and Multicolored Lights – Using multi-colored lights on the headsets and controllers, you can either push information to the headset or pull information from it: “If an agent has reached 100 calls, or is keeping average handle times below a certain time, light the headset up green as a badge of success and align to your preferred gamification application. You can also use the lights to help control room noise by aligning them to decibel levels from the headset. Or you can train family members and colleagues to not interrupt you when certain colors are on.”
As technology becomes an increasingly dominant feature of customer support, hybrid call centers featuring human agents and AI will evolve, and operators will need to be keenly aware of how these changes impact customer experience. While automation and AI-fuelled self-service and chatbots can improve efficiency, a recent UK study by PWC found that 78 per cent of customers want not less but more human interaction, showing that automated services cannot replace the human side of customer service.
“The challenge for companies, then, is to empower their people with the right tech to deliver more and better,” said Fernandez.
Jabra headsets work with more than 10,000 traditional deskphones, and are compatible with all softphone web clients and contact centre platforms. Find out more