Automated Self-Service and Cloud-Based Platforms Help Drive Down Contact Center Costs
As a new technological landscape proves its value to organizations with call/contact center operations, the market for such services is expected to grow steadily over the next four years, according to a new forecast from Technavio.
The research and advisory company sees a nearly 11 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the global contact center market from 2016-2020. It sees three major factors driving growth:
- The automation of contact center operations
- An exponential increase in data, requiring advanced analytical tools to derive value from data.
- The continuing “digital transformation” of contact centers—the tapestry of technology (from mobile apps to social media) that is creating better services for customers and new revenue streams for companies.
Automation in contact centers continues to evolve
Contact center technology is no longer bound by the power of in-house computers. Contact center platforms can tap the cloud to power software robots that use artificial intelligence and behavioral analytics to resolve problems for customers. These automation ‘bots, contacted through mobile apps, through web sites or over the phone, can handle routine requests such as password resets, product returns, and FAQs. But they continue to get smarter, handling tasks that would normally have required a human touch in the past.
“Replacing human assisted call center by robot-assisted call centers is helping enterprises to reduce costs and enhance the overall performance of contact centers,” said Amit Sharma, a lead IT spending by region and industry at Technavio. “Fully automated contact centers save employee expenses and encourage self-service through automated agent interaction.”
What to do with all that data?
Modern contact center platforms can collect vast amounts of data involving every customer transaction, answering questions such as: How long did the transaction take? Was it conducted through voice, email, mobile app, SMS text or over the web? Was the customer satisfied?
Powerful customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are being used to collect and present this information for analysis and interpretation. The knowledge gained can be invaluable for everyone involved in the customer interaction, from marketers and salespeople to customer service agents and back-office support staff.
Digital customer service, from start to finish
With nearly every consumer connected 24/7 to a mobile computing device such as a smartphone or tablet, organizations are tailoring service and support to meet customers’ expectations. Self-service mobile and web apps are the front line, handling less complex issues through automation. When a human touch is required, many companies are providing 24-hour service by contracting with outsourced vendors with contact center facilities across the globe. As mentioned above, powerful contact center platforms that are cloud-based allow providers to deliver customer service seamlessly. With this next-generation technology, agents located anywhere in the world can follow a customer’s journey through multiple communication channels, following them from automated app to other channels, such as phone, email and text as they work to resolve the customer’s issue.