Customer demand shapes the technologies in which businesses invest. In the contact center, businesses are bringing in technologies that bridge various service channels, provide on-the-job support to agents and bring customers to a faster resolution. But what about the contact center of tomorrow? What will shape the contact centers of the future? Easy access to information and expedient service will be the norm. Consumers will grow more reliant on technology but will still insist that human agents be available when a more sophisticated problem arises. It will behoove companies to invest even more in their agents whose work will become more specialized i.e., consultative and advocational in nature.

A Center With No Center

Cubicles and stationary desks will become obsolete as cloud-based phone systems cut the cords that keep agents tied to the same chair for hours at a time. Expanded wireless capabilities will allow both agents and supervisors to work entirely from home, able to access real-time data and tools on their own mobile devices. Businesses will see a drastic reduction in operating costs while agent satisfaction and retention increases. Centers that continue their on-premise operations will have an appearance more akin to a Silicon Valley tech giant, offering employees special perks and amenities like fitness spaces, standing desks, cafes and pet-friendly policies.

All Day, Every Day Capabilities

Advanced Cloud solutions and remote workspaces will allow agents to maintain a more flexible work schedule, meeting the demands of modern consumers who want support at any and all hours of the day. Consequently, 24/7 service and monitoring are more feasible; Contact centers will be able to support more customers during peak periods, and respond quickly to the dissatisfied customers who turn to social channels to voice complaints about a product or experience.

From security fabrics to resource monitoring in the home, the Internet of Things continues to explode. More Things means more smart products that are able to diagnose issues in real-time and send data directly to an agent. With these smarter streams of information, agents could proactively troubleshoot and contact a customer before an issue is even realized.

Biometric Verification

ContactBabel reports that contact centers in the United States spend an estimated $12.4 billion on identity verification every year. Biometrics is one identity verifier that is controversial but increasingly prevalent in our day-to-day lives. Voice-based recognition technology is one form of biometric identification that has implications for the contact center. Intelligence-based verification will lead to more sophisticated voice fraud detection, auto-escalating fraudulent calls to the appropriate handler to prevent any breaches in security or information. These future enhancements will ultimately reduce customer irritation, minimize call times, improve data protection and allow agents greater freedom to resolve more cases. All of this while saving on the contact centers bottom line.

Agent Transparency

The concept of agent selectivity and transparency is one that, based on the proliferation and popularity of sharing economy platforms like Uber and Lyft, is only inevitable for contact centers. In the not-so-distant future, customers will be given access to real-time information, ratings, and availability of specific agents. The information will include the particular skills and expertise of that agent as it relates to the common issues for that centers customers. Users will then be able to select an available agent who has a history with the problem that the customer is facing, even seeing other users evaluation of that agent. Consumers will of course still be able to opt out of this selection process and just choose to speak to the next available agent, but those looking to have more and more control over their service experience will feel empowered by this new transparency.

Interactive Voice and Video Response Systems (IVVR)

As speech to text software becomes more powerful, both the customer and the agent will experience less punching-in of details manually and more voice-based automated solutions. This results in greater freedom of movement for representatives while on a call as well as a more fluid customer experience. Furthermore, already popular interactive experiences such as web chat will no longer be limited to a text exchange but will also incorporate voice as well as video into the platform. This video component will not only add a more personal dimension to voice calls and web chat but will also enable users with handheld devices to visually show the issue they are having with a product and make a screen sharing scenario more seamless for both the customer and the agent.

Agent Wellness Monitoring

There are already powerful contact center solutions available that can monitor an agents performance in real-time, including how a call is going and even the general workflow for an entire contact center. The contact center of tomorrow will expand on this technology to monitor how agents are feeling, their stress levels and even morale. With heightened technology that analyzes speech patterns and tone, supervisors will know when their agents are overwhelmed using special prompts that detect stress changes in agents voices. Supervisors can then decide when its appropriate to bring in relief for an agent or even plan stress-relieving activities for their teams. Happier agents mean happier customers, and the contact center of the future will strive to satisfy both.

For businesses who dont want to wait for the future to improve their contact center performance, Aceyus utilizes the latest in technology to produce innovative solutions that can optimize contact center performance and drive customer satisfaction.

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