When it comes to 2021 contact center predictions, it’s all about boosting performance and profit. Demands are increasing, and budgets are tight, but organizations getting in on the latest forecasts are doing it all without missing a beat. Here’s a look at what’s on the horizon.
1. Redistribution of the Workforce
Particularly with large enterprises that can’t afford to have downtime due to inclement weather or natural disasters, having backups and sister sites has always been a part of continuity planning for savvy businesses. Going into 2021, more businesses are dividing their workforces to bulletproof their contact center operations.
2. Movement to Remote Work & the Cloud
Estimates from Willis Towers Watson suggest there will be three times more employees working remotely compared to pre-pandemic levels. To support this and redistribution of the workforce, organizations will be leveraging more cloud technology than ever before. This means major upgrades are on the horizon for companies using outdated legacy software.
3. Shift Toward Digital and Self-Service Options
The pandemic all but forced people to develop comfort with technology, as reduced staff and long waits for agents pushed them to alternative channels. While most people still prefer a reassuring human voice on the other end of the line, they’re willing to try alternatives and will often seek them out before trying to phone a business. Organizations are expanding their digital support and self-service options to round out their call center offerings.
4. Blending AI and Automation with Talent
While technology benefits cannot be overstated, AI and automation won’t be replacing contact center agents anytime soon. Instead, agents will be leveraging tech to deliver faster and better service, working together in a hybrid model.
5. Focus on Security
As new tech has been integrated, organizations have moved to the cloud, and workforces have been redistributed, new data security threats are emerging. Everything from cyberattacks through simple human error is being examined. However, security professionals fear budget cuts despite having more to contend with, according to McKinsey.
6. Enhanced Employee Training
The world of contact center agents has radically changed in the past 12 months. The service they provide in each interaction can make or break a customer relationship, while morale is often at an all-time low due to conditions caused by the pandemic; emotional customers increased volume and reduced staffing among them. Moving forward, companies will be focusing more on ongoing training to equip their teams to provide better service and boost morale. Upskilling to maximize the use of tech is also a priority.
7. Commitment to Continuity Planning
As we covered in a recent webinar, about 20 percent of large companies were spending more than ten days per month on business continuity planning. This strategy paid off by helping them weather the pandemic better than their counterparts. While most organizations now have at least a barebones continuity plan in place, the focus going forward will be on building them out and testing to ensure they perform as required.
8. Simplification and Results Through Outsourced Contact Centers
Due to increased demand and shrinking budgets, organizations are turning to outsourced contact centers even more. This not only allows companies to provide the level of service their customers deserve but in a cost-effective way with integrated data security and continuity planning.
Find Out if Outsourcing is Right for Your Organization
While there are many contact center predictions in 2021, there is no singular solution that works well for every organization. Moreover, each solution must be adapted to fit the organization’s needs to improve performance and business profit. That’s where DATAMARK comes in. As a leading BPO company with more than three decades in the industry, we rework processes from the ground up, but only after getting to know how the business, its people, and its current processes work. If your organization is considering contact center outsourcing this year, contact us for a consultation.