"Always give people more than they expect to get"
Contact centers drive the post-sale journey by keeping customers happy and coming back for more. In 2023, contact centers will continue to be the main driver of the customer experience across industries, making selling not just about closing a deal but about keeping customers for life. In this article, you’ll learn why contact centers are changing, how they operate today, and what they’ll look like in 2023. We also explore what that means for agents as well as companies who use contact centers.
What’s Changing in Contact Centers in 2023?
In 2023, contact centers will be the central hub for interactions with customers. This means that more than just support or care, sales and support calls will be routed through contact centers — everything from online chats to voice-activated devices like Google Home will be routed there as well. As a result, contact centers will be increasingly digital. They’ll need to be equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies that can handle a massive volume of interactions coming into them 24/7. This will help contact centers scale up to handle larger volumes of customer interactions, as well as provide consistent experiences across channels. It’ll also put more pressure on contact center technology providers to innovate and keep up with the changing landscape.
How Contact Centers Operate Today That Needs to Change?
Contact centers have been designed to provide consistent experiences and support scalable operations but haven’t kept up with the changing demands of customers — in particular, the rise of digital channels. For example, in the past, contact centers have focused on resolving issues, such as helping a customer fix a broken appliance. In 2023, contact centers will need to offer both consistent experiences and be able to handle more types of interactions. This means a more personalized experience based on customers’ preferences and past interactions. Today, digital channels, especially AI-enabled voice, are being adopted to help scale contact centers further. For example, AI-enabled voice systems are used to help customers navigate through a variety of self-service options, and then route them to the right agent when needed.
2023 Vision for Contact Centers
In 2023, the contact center has evolved into a business hub that not only provides consistent experiences but also helps support more personalized and engaging interactions. Agents use a variety of tools and technologies, including AI and automation tools, to handle different types of interactions in a consistent way. This is true across channels. That means when a customer reaches out on one channel, such as through a chatbot, the experience and outcome are like what customers would get in an agent-on-hold scenario.
Contact Center Management will also need to better understand the origins and impetus for each interaction better. They will need to employ real-time analytics that is parsing through mountains of calls to determine call reasons, level of satisfaction for outcomes, and more insights into why customers are contacting more than ever if they plan on building better journeys that can keep customers happy for life.
Additionally, the C-Suite needs to face the fact that the contact center should not be looked at as a cost center, but as a customer success center that reduces churn, increases CLTV and generates upsell revenue itself.
Agents in 2023-2025
In 2023, contact center agents are highly skilled professionals who work on a variety of tasks that customers might reach out through a variety of channels. Agents need to be equipped to handle customer interactions through voice, chat, and other digital channels. This means that customer care and sales agents will be using more AI-enabled tools to scale up their operations. For example, a sales rep could be assisted by AI-enabled tools to pre-qualify a lead, understand the customer’s needs, create personalised offers, and even schedule follow-up calls. There will be more expectations on agents to use a variety of tools and technologies to handle customer interactions across channels. Agents will need to be trained to use the right tools for the right tasks and be comfortable working with a variety of technologies.
Company and Industries Outlook
In 2023, a range of industries will be investing in new contact center technologies and capabilities. This includes industries such as retail and eCommerce, financial services, health care, and manufacturing. Industries such as manufacturing, government, and transportation and logistics, which have been investing in contact center technologies and capabilities for a while, will see continued growth and adoption in 2023.
Bottom line: What Should be Next
In 2023, the customer experience is increasingly digital and consistent across channels. But there are also more personalized interactions that help customers get what they need. Contact centers play an important role in this. They continue to evolve and become more digital, enabling companies to scale up their operations and provide consistent experiences across channels. This puts more pressure on contact center technology providers to ensure their offerings can handle a more digital world. Contact centers are the central hub for customer interactions. They operate in a more digital environment and are equipped to handle more personalized interactions. Agents are trained to use a variety of tools and technologies to handle different types of customer interactions across channels.