Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Call Center Trends for 2013

January 16, 2013

Business changes fast, but some departments change faster (and slower) than others. While operations may change from month to month in accounting and legal departments, and from day to day in research and development departments, the call center usually had a solid reputation as the part of the business that remained unchanged: some might say “boring.”

That was then and this is now. The call center, once a reliable, stodgy old operation where phone calls were made and taken, has become a customer care dynamo, adding new media and new technologies regularly. In some organizations, it may have disappeared entirely and turned into a virtual, distributed entity that spans multiple locations and even people’s homes.

So as we begin 2013, what are some trends and changes we might see in the customer support industry in the coming year? This year, it might depend on who you ask, most analysts are in agreement on the challenges ahead for the contact center, and it goes something like this: social media, mobile apps and video, though not necessarily in that order. Here they are, as follows:

The Internet of Things. This is the idea that increasingly, our lives are connected to the Internet not just through computers, but in many other places as well. In the near future, our cars, our homes, our televisions (this is already happening) and even our appliances will be Web-enabled.

“Today, more than 99 percent of things in the physical world are still not connected to the Internet,” writes Cisco’s John Hernandez in a recent blog post. “In seven years though, that will drastically change as 37 billion intelligent things will be connected to the Web. So what does that mean for consumers? It means a home where devices tell you when they need service.”

Social media in the call center. When customers began communicating with companies via social media (and expecting a response), most companies put the responsibility on the marketing department. Increasingly, this doesn’t make sense. Social media is becoming simply another customer support channel, and it’s critical that it be merged with the complete customer experience. This means it belongs in the call center, though marketing still needs to retain an interest and responsibility.

“This is akin to the shift that happened when email took off in the mid-90s as a way to talk between customers and companies,” writes Hernandez. “Marketing departments owned e-mail communications at the time and started getting flooded with service requests, which forced contact centers to take on new channels and responsibilities.in the call center.”

Mobile and video will combine for top-tier customer service. While many companies are still struggling to support customer service via mobile apps properly, many others are taking it further and including video.

Cisco (News - Alert) is currently trialing technology to connect consumers with video experts via mobile devices both in-store or on the road,” Hernandez writes in his blog post. “By pulling intuitive information based on location and what detail the customer has recently looked at on the Web or mobile device, this technology will route customers to the right expert to help them get the additional detail they need in a simpler and more efficient manner.”

Those call centers not quite ready for mobile video (or those who sell a product that really doesn’t merit it) aren’t off the hook completely when it comes to mobile apps. More and more customers are carrying smartphones, and these customers are expecting robust mobile apps that grab a rapid response from the companies that provide them. These apps are simply one more channel that must be included as part of the customer support media mix.

Sounds daunting? It certainly is. But if you can’t meet customer expectations, chances are…your competitors can.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Contact Center Solutions Articles

Plantronics' DA80 Makes Customer Service Centers Smarter

The moniker smart is now attached to phones, TVs, homes and even cars. As the size of computer processors get even smaller, more products will be embedded with the technology to make them smarter to deliver improved efficiency and productivity for many different industries. For contact centers, the goal is to always improve customer service, and then new Plantronics next-generation USB audio processor not only increases the effectiveness of service center operations, but it makes customer intera… [ Read More ]
02/25/2015

Contact Solutions Launches Adaptive IVR that Learns from Caller Behavior

We are all familiar with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems as the first thing we typically encounter when calling a contact center. The fact of the matter is that today's IVR capabilities can do a lot more than just give us options for directing calls to the appropriate resources. They are in fact valuable tools for contact center administrators in terms of improving the customer experience. In fact, as illustrated by the recent announcement by Reston, VA-based cloud-based customer care s… [ Read More ]
02/25/2015

Interactive Intelligence Highlights Five Customer Interaction Trends to Watch in 2015

A few weeks ago collaboration, communications and customer engagement solutions provider Interactive Intelligence hosted a jam-packed webinar called What's New for Contact Centers in 2015 and Why it Matters. If you missed this event, you can still watch and listen to the archived version, and it is highly recommended to say the least. [ Read More ]
02/19/2015

Teleperformance Wins Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Leadership in Chile

Work with BBVA cited as Teleperformance Wins Frost & Sullivan Product Leadership in Chile award. [ Read More ]
02/18/2015

Events

Weekly Live Demo
Contact Center Solutions

Register Today!


Weekly Live Demo
CaaS Small Center

Register Today!