Contact centers don’t look like they did 10 years ago. Technology has fundamentally changed the way they do business.
Alongside that transformation has come steady growth. In 2022, 80% of contact centers planned to expand their workforces, with half of those expecting to create entirely new roles. Only 1% planned to cut staff. Yet, as they grow, they must find new ways to scale effectively. An expanded contact center brings a more expansive technology stack, and it becomes more important than ever to assure that stack is up to the task.
Most contact center leaders would agree that investing in new technology can help contact centers maximize growth and drive future success. Still, they’re left with an important question: What technology should they invest in? With so many solutions available on the market, the true challenge is choosing the ones that will deliver the greatest return.
Toward the flawless CX of the future
Imagine what the customer experience (CX) could look like in the near future. A customer may start their support journey on a brand’s website, interacting via chat. They then seamlessly send the conversation to their smartphone to continue on the go. After they resolve their most pressing questions with the chatbot, they request a call from support for a more complicated issue.
Ten minutes later, an agent calls them, fully prepared with all the information from the chatbot session. Unbeknownst to the customer, that agent receives live insights during the call, with AI directing them based on the tone and content of the conversation. This allows for a smooth, frustration-free call. Later, the system generates an automatic email follow-up with personalized tips for the customer and the option to reconnect with an agent. There were no award menus and no hold times — just seamless customer service.
Many of the pieces required to deliver this level of CX already exist. Yet, in 2019, Freshworks reported that sales and service agents in the U.S. wasted 516 million hours a year trying to use their contact center’s software. Customers, for their part, have mixed feelings about their experiences with AI — 61% of them still dislike IVR.
The possibility for flawless CX is there, but contact centers haven’t quite cracked the code.
Where should contact centers direct their resources, then? There are five types of technology they can’t afford to ignore.
Omnichannel communication: Given how we communicate today, many people feel less tied to a single way to connect with brands. We move seamlessly between social media, text messages, emails, and voice communication, so we expect the same from businesses.
This is true whether it comes to sales or service. Seventy-three percent of consumers prefer shopping across multiple channels, and 80% want brands to communicate easily across these channels. When brands make these options available, customers are happier and spend more.
One of Cyara’s customers does this exceptionally well and points to what a truly fluid CX can look like in the modern call center. Agero delivers premium roadside assistance through intuitive, omnichannel service. Customers — who may be in life-or-death situations — can create their own tickets via mobile or get on the IVR and receive a link to create a ticket via text. While they create the ticket, the IVR stays online to ensure everything goes smoothly. This type of CX meets customers where they are to ensure they get the service they need.
Conversational AI: According to NICE’s “2022 Digital-First Customer Experience Report,” 81% of consumers want more self-service options from businesses. Today’s customers realize that many issues don’t require a long conversation with an agent, and they want the option to solve their own problems without the hassle.
Conversational AI is the key to creating more self-service options. This technology, which powers IVR systems and chatbots, is what enables bots to have more effective interactions with customers and solve many of their simple requests. Brands that don’t utilize it are severely limited in their ability to meet customer expectations and control the costs of service.
Advanced analytics and sentiment analysis: Today’s contact center managers have an enormous amount of data at their fingertips. Many already have the tools to automatically collect information about every call and every customer interaction. Few actually put that data to use.
With the capabilities added by AI, it’s possible to quickly and deeply analyze troves of customer data. For instance, contact centers can map and analyze keywords from call logs to assess their relationship with customer satisfaction and handle times. Or they can examine trends in how individual agents handle calls, allowing for more productive coaching. At the most advanced level, contact centers can deploy sentiment analysis technology to capture a live view of a customer-agent interaction and provide real-time direction.
Together, these advanced analytics enable a more flexible, nimble form of customer service.
Quality assurance: None of the above technology investments can be fully realized without a simultaneous investment in quality assurance (QA). Just as you wouldn’t add on to your house without increasing your insurance coverage, you shouldn’t grow your contact center without investing in a way to ensure your technology truly allows customers to get the help they need, regardless of which channel they use.
It doesn’t matter how advanced a contact center’s AI and analytics are if it can’t execute a consistently great customer experience. Whether it’s problems with voice quality or downtime, the end result is bad for customer satisfaction and the bottom line. The technology that Cyara offers enables comprehensive call center QA to serve as an expanded insurance policy for an expanding contact center.
QA requires continuous testing and monitoring across every CX channel and throughout the entire software development cycle. On its own, this would be a massive undertaking for any contact center. That’s why Cyara’s suite of products is designed to automate this process and enable contact center managers to catch and correct glitches before they become CX problems.
Agero’s exceptional CX delivery wouldn’t be possible without a robust, automated QA program. Especially since the company deals with customers in life-threatening situations, service must be fast and flawless. With automated continuous testing from Cyara, Agero can regularly monitor its IVR and text and web service portals to ensure they’re performing well. Thanks to IVR monitoring, for instance, Agero deflects 25–30% of its calls and creates a smoother, better CX. In a sense, Cyara has become Agero’s insurance policy for flawless CX.
By automating the QA process like Agero, contact centers can assure high-quality CX without their QA costs running wild.
Invest wisely: Contact centers that succeed in the years ahead while have scaled their business while delivering an increasingly flawless CX. There are countless options for where to invest your resources to make this happen, but no tools are more important than these five. Start here, and you’ll build a strong foundation for delivering flawless CX at scale.
Ready to invest in automated testing and CX assurance for your tech stack? Try a Cyara demo today.