As 2019 draws to a close, it’s safe to say the cloud contact center has arrived. Seventy percent of businesses already have their contact center in the cloud or at least have plans to start the migration next year. And there are no signs of them slowing down: The cloud contact center market’s expected to grow from $8.9 billion in 2018 to more than $33 billion by 2024.
As cloud contact centers continue to proliferate, key trends are emerging that paint a promising picture for 2020. From omnichannel to “homeshoring,” what follows are the most important trends you need to know to ensure your cloud contact center stays on the cutting edge. The technologies supporting these trends will help you create the most engaging experience possible for your customers.
The top 6 cloud contact center trends for 2020
1. A real omnichannel experience provides even more ways to communicate.
The omnichannel experience is nothing new to the contact center, though in the past implementation has been siloed. A true omnichannel experience allows customers to move seamlessly from one channel of communications to another without skipping a beat. A fully integrated omnichannel offering is the future of cloud contact centers, and with it, organizations can meet evolving customer expectations.
That means cloud contact centers must expand to incorporate more channels, which means it’s essential to work with a provider offering true omnichannel support. MiCloud Connect Contact Center, for example, allows your customers to communicate effortlessly with your agents, regardless of channel. They can navigate between voice, web, text and other options without losing any of their information or having to repeat themselves.
2. Artificial Intelligence delivers training and assistance.
Fifty-nine percent of organizations have already deployed AI, according to a recent Gartner survey, and many plan to double the number of AI projects within the next year. Gartner also predicts that by 2021, 15 percent of all customer interactions will be resolved through AI technology. The main driver behind enterprise AI adoption is the ability to deliver a stellar customer experience. Although AI already has begun to transform cloud contact centers, planned investments mean the technology will have an even bigger impact next year.
Even more exciting are the many ways AI is improving the overall performance of the cloud contact center. The technology brings real-time training and coaching through virtual agent assist. Virtual agents are AI-powered chatbots that monitor interactions between agents and customers – even if the conversation moves between channels – and provides guidance and training for the agent in real time.
MiCloud Connect CX is one of the solutions implementing this type of training. Speech analytics transcribes recorded conversations and uses AI to analyze key moments for coaching so your team can deliver better interactions. AI virtual agents also monitor conversations and present agents with relevant information that help them resolve customer questions more quickly and effectively.
The result? A more pleasant customer experience and a more effective interaction that’s on-brand and on-message. New agents handle calls like seasoned veterans in no time, and supervisors spend less time on training.
3. Analytics play a more powerful role.
Another cloud contact center trend that involves AI technology is the use of data analytics. Contact centers have long been collecting data on customers, but the information’s useless if it isn’t properly analyzed and applied. This is where AI makes all the difference.
Technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) interpret data and provide analysis around why customers contact you, ways you can improve your products and services and how you make information available to customers. This data enables you to move beyond contact center efficiency and focus on improving the overall customer experience. Since these insights are created in real-time, you can respond and adapt to customers’ preferences quickly, increasing loyalty while staying ahead of the competition.
4. Self-service expands.
Customers often prefer to help themselves. They don’t want to get stuck in a queue or wait for a human agent – especially when they have a simple question about a product or service. Chatbots are the primary means of self-service, so it should be no surprise that the global chatbot market is expected to hit $5.63 billion by 2023, demonstrating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 34 percent over the 2018-2023 period.
Chatbots allow customers to get answers to basic questions and FAQs. They also free up human agents to focus on more complex queries and keep wait times down for those who really do need to speak to a live agent.
A key differentiator in 2020 will be the provision of chatbots that create a smooth transition when a customer needs live support. Smartbots route customers to an agent with the appropriate level of expertise and provide agents with a full history of the customer engagement. This saves customers from having to repeat themselves and enables agents to pick up exactly where the chatbot left off.
Expanded FAQs and video tutorials are other ways in which cloud contact centers will offer self-service in 2020, so businesses need to be sure they’re prepared to meet those demands, as well.
5. Contact center agents move from reactive to proactive.
Integration with CRM systems provides cloud contact center agents with detailed customer data in real time. When customers call with an issue, agents have instant access to purchase histories and other relevant details. That allows them to take a more proactive role in addressing the customer’s issue.
MiCloud Connect CX is an example of a cloud contact center solution that integrates with your CRM so you can immediately assess customer information and create a more personalized interaction. Agents can even note the customer’s mood, which can trigger automated actions and help your business better prepare for future interactions. Personalization and customer sentiment help your business improve customer satisfaction levels and monitor them over time.
6. The rise of the remote contact center workforce.
The days of large rooms full of agents answering calls are disappearing. Cloud contact centers have ushered in the ability to maintain a remote contact center workforce, without the need to offshore calls to a third-party vendor. With a cloud contact center, agents can be dispersed throughout the country, putting them closer to your customers. The money saved on office space and other overhead can be applied toward hiring local talent that can provide localized service. “Homeshoring” improves customer satisfaction, and we expect this trend to continue in 2020.
There’s no doubt that 2020 will be an exciting time. Innovations in cloud contact center solutions will give your business the advantage it needs to remain competitive in a customer-driven world. And by putting these cloud trends at the center of your contact center plans, you’ll be sure to meet your customers’ expectations for a stellar experience.