Posts

Contact Centers 101… Understanding the Basics So Your Business Won’t Miss Out

The contact center world of 2022 is filled with business opportunities and the chance to better meet your diversifying customer needs. Worried you might be missing out? Don’t be. Below, we formally open the doors to the contact center world and invite you to confidently step inside.

Why Does Your Organization Need Contact Center Technology?

If your organization handles and manages daily phone calls, then you can benefit from new contact center technology that can quickly and efficiently route calls, spot calling trends, and build an effective overall team.

Call center technology can accelerate reaching customer experience goals set by the managers and decision-makers of your organization – from increasing first call resolution to honing your tracking and reporting intelligence.

What Kind of Call Center Technology is Out There?

There’s a wide spectrum of call center solutions available to help maximize your business operations. The first step in determining which technology is ideally suited for your business is determining the size and classification of your contact center.

For example, are you a small business and just getting started exploring your options, or do you already run a small but “full-fledged” contact center? Are you an enterprise-class contact center? Establishing your requirements leads to the end goal – investing in the right technology to take you there.

Today’s call center solutions can cover all of the bases – from driving productivity to streamlining operations, to simplifying tool management, to call bursting for handling sporadic high call volumes. A sampling of customized contact center solutions available include…

  • Contact Center Enterprise provides a powerful toolbox of applications to transform dated, voice-only call centers into an omnichannel customer experience.
  • Cloud-based Contact Center services offer a multi-channel interaction center for the way customers communicate today. 4 Minute Video Demo: MiContact Center Business – Customer & Agent Experience
  • Boosting your team’s performance with Workforce Optimization applications and tools. Learn more
  • Proactively reach your customers and prospects with Outbound contacts to improve loyalty and uncover new revenue opportunities.

The contact center world isn’t so scary once you take that first step inside. Take the next step with TCI. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

The 9 Most Important Call Center Trends of 2022

We’ve seen a lot of changes to the call center and customer experience landscape over the years, from cloud communications and virtual agents to more strategic thinking around analytics, more flexible social media interactions, and innovative ways to involve artificial intelligence. And when the pandemic pushed businesses to modernize their business communications overnight, we’ve seen even more shifts in how businesses meet the evolving needs of both customers and their employees.

Here are nine technology trends that are helping companies deliver the best quality customer experience. See how far your business has come in building customer relationships that last — or which of these trends may need to be on this year’s to-do list.

1. Artificial Intelligence

As early adopters continue honing AI applications for call routing, we expect to see more connections forged between various media channels and streamlined call center response.

2. Digital Transformation

A forward-looking digital transformation strategy is going to be essential for business competitiveness. And it’s not just about using the right channels to interact with customers where they are; the smartest businesses are integrating technologies to provide full customer context with each interaction and leveraging system data to provide proactive service.

3. Better Contact Center Analytics

Gone are the days of relying on supervisor skills and know-how to get the most out of contact center agents. Now, even smaller businesses are taking advantage of sophisticated analytics to turn data – like call and screen recordings, chats, SMS messages, and more – into useful feedback for their agents. We expect more advancements in analytics as companies continue to implement more unified communications platforms and strategies.

4. Omnichannel Communications

More businesses are recognizing that while a customer journey may begin on one channel, valuable insight and feedback from the customer can be gained on a completely different channel. Responsive businesses are using this trend to create a superb customer experience by unifying communications across channels into one stream. This helps their customers by connecting them with an agent who knows their purchase and service history and provides valuable context. Most importantly, the two-way conversation is public on a social media platform, so other customers can see how the business solved the problem.

5. Cloud Communications

Many businesses have already adopted cloud communications as part of their communications strategies, but cloud communications have become particularly important for contact centers. The steady increase in remote call agents has made cloud communications a necessity for businesses who want to take advantage of seamless team communications and collaboration. With cloud communications, traditional office-based contact centers can take on new locations, and grow and contract workforces as market needs demand.

6. Employee Engagement

Just as customer expectations have evolved in the last few years, so have the expectations of the employees that make quality customer experience possible. And dissatisfaction in the work environment and culture has led to high agent attrition in the contact center space and beyond. Businesses that want to remain competitive will provide their employees with the culture and technology that empowers an efficient, productive, and flexible workforce.

7. Flexible Working Options

Lower overhead, time zone flexibility, and variable working hours have made remote contact center workers a stable trend in 2022. With constantly improving unified communications, remote workers have become a permanent and beneficial part of the contact center environment. By using collaboration tools, contact center agents can be mobile, with access to real-time analytics and customer context.

8. AI-Powered Self-Service Tools

The high priority on process improvement and self-service since the pandemic has addressed the issue of increasing workload for contact center agents, as well as the difficulties around achieving the desired service levels or Average Speed of Answer (ASA). Giving customers information quickly helps reduce call volumes, and easy-to-navigate FAQs help narrow down calls to those with sufficiently complex issues. Quick access to self-serve solutions also provides an emotional benefit to customers (that DIY-fix high!) and reduces overall call times.

9. SMB’s Leveraging All Employees to Support Customers

SMBs are extending traditional contact center agent desktop features to employees that work outside of the contact center to supplement customer-facing employees. Blended UC/CC solutions that bring customer and employee experiences together into a single user experience tear down the silos between traditional contact center agents and the rest of the organization.

If you need more help determining how to apply these trends to your call center, TCI’s local experts are here to help. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Improving Customer Service… 8 Call Center Trends You Need to Watch

When it comes to improving the Customer Experience with better technology, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of strategic thinking with focus areas like better analytics, more social media conversations and innovative ways to involve artificial intelligence.

To keep you informed and help you stay on target with your plans, we’ve identified the most influential strategic trends affecting call centers this year.

  • Artificial intelligence integrated into customer interactions – Businesses are getting deeper into predictive analytics, using artificial intelligence (AI) applications to help streamline call center experiences for customers and agents. Early adopters continue to hone AI applications for call routing, and more connections are being forged between various media channels to improve the customer experience.
  • Better contact center analytics – Gone are the days of relying on supervisor skill and know-how to get the most out of contact center agents. Now, even smaller businesses are taking advantage of sophisticated analytics to turn data – like call and screen recordings, chats, SMS messages and more – into truly useful feedback for their agents. More businesses are displaying statistical dashboards on user interfaces, so call agents and managers can get real-time updates on customer experiences.
  • Omni-channel communications for all – Omni-channel communications continues to separate proactive businesses from their more reactive counterparts. This holistic view of the customer experience is helping businesses give customers a more personal feel to resolutions. Unifying customer communications across channels enables businesses to resolve issues faster and helps sales agents identify better opportunities for future sales.
  • Widespread adoption of cloud communications in call centers – Cloud communications has become particularly important for contact centers. With the steady increase in remote call agents, cloud communications are a necessity for businesses that want to take advantage of seamless team communications and collaboration. With the cloud, traditional office-based contact centers can take on new locations, grow and contract workforces as market needs demand.
  • More robust customer satisfaction measurements – Businesses approach customer satisfaction measurement in different ways, but slick all-in-one measuring tools seem to be holding steady. No matter which measurements businesses are using, special care needs to be taken when addressing the customer experience across digital channels. Using effective reporting and analytics tools that are integrated with your communications systems makes this process automatic and valuable.
  • More remote call center agents – Lower overhead, time zone flexibility, and flexible working hours have made remote contact center workers a stable trend for 2019. With constantly improving and unified cloud communications, remote workers have become a permanent and beneficial part of the contact center environment. With collaboration tools, contact center agents can take their work mobile, with access to real-time analytics and customer context.
  • Continued emphasis on self-serve documentation – There is greater emphasis on self-service, problem-solving information on business websites. Giving customers information quickly helps reduce call volumes, and easy-to-navigate FAQs help narrow down calls to those with sufficiently complex issues. Quick access to self-serve solutions to problems also contributes to customer satisfaction and reduces overall call times.
  • Two-way social media conversations – The way businesses approach their social media conversations is changing. It’s not enough to make witty posts or share images. Customers are looking for a two-way social media conversation, and when they interact with businesses online, they expect a personalized and immediate response.

Ready to explore how these Contact Center trends can be applied in your business? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

The 5 Most Important Contact & Call Center Trends

We’ve seen a lot of changes to the call center and Customer Experience landscape in recent years. Cloud communications and a distributed workforce have been on the minds of many our clients. The need to integrate social media channels is becoming more important than ever.

Here are 5 of the strategic trends shaping up to influence businesses and their call center operations…

1. Digital transformation

Businesses are turning to truly digital contact centers that redefine the Customer Experience from start to finish. Seamless integration of technologies across the business provides full customer context with each interaction and leverages system data to provide proactive service.

2. Two-way social media conversations

When customers interact with a business online via social media, they expect a personalized and immediate response. More importantly, the two-way conversation is public, so other customers will be watching to see how the business addressed the problem.

3. Omni-channel communications

While a customer journey may begin on one channel, valuable insight and feedback may be taking place on a completely different channel. Unifying customer communications across channels gives businesses better context for their customers, helps resolve issues faster, and assists agents in identifying better opportunities for future sales.

4. Better contact center analytics

Sophisticated analytics turn data – like call and screen recordings, chats, SMS messages and more – into useful feedback for agents. Analytics programs are being used to build statistical dashboards so agents and managers can get real-time updates on customer experiences.

5. More remote call center agents

With constantly improving unified cloud communications, remote workers have become a permanent and beneficial part of the contact center environment. With collaboration tools, contact center agents can take their work mobile, with access to real-time analytics and customer context.

Need help figuring out how to apply these trends to your business? Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.