Future of Call Centers|The call center sector has been the backbone of the business sector for many decades. Started in the mid-70s, outsourcing enveloped the businesses of all sizes and sectors pretty convincingly. If customers had to raise a query, show the dissatisfaction or simply gather information with a brand, call centers were the point of contact for the same.
And if you think that call centers only existed after the 90s, take a good look at the Continental Airlines that successfully started the ACD or automatic call distribution way back in the year 1973. This was the very first utilization of technology to handle colossal call volumes and disseminate the same to agents.
In the present times, IVR or interactive voice response is the dominant technology in outsourced call centers. Talking about IVR, it is not always the most productive, yet effective methods to resolve customer queries.
A lot of call centers are however now equipping themselves with ultra-modern tactics like chatbots, live chat, social media engagement, etc, calls still hold the position for the most preferred mode of communication.
The real question is, what will happen to the call center sector in the coming years, let’s say in the next decade? If you ask customers, the image of call centers is quite lousy.
But the necessity of interaction with brands is so high that the existence of call center seems quite inevitable. However, with the emergence of new technology, there is a constant threat to the call center sector. Let’s take a walk through the possibilities that could become reality in the coming decade with respect to the call centers.
Call Center Future Trends
The journey of call centers will go on!
Call me an optimist but I think this should be first on the list. As long as people need to reach out to the brands for whatsoever reason, the need for call centers would persist. This is so because one thing that phone calls to agents offer to the customers is the advantage of dealing with humans.
Although many hi-tech channels and methods have come up to satiate the customers, there is simply no replacement for human interaction.
What is that one factor that puts phone calls above the state-of-art technology like AI?
The ability to understand, empathize, and feel the emotions of customers is what makes agents more preferred in the context of customer support. Yes, AI can interpret human response and present assistance accordingly but it cannot reach the apex level of emotional intelligence yet. This makes outsourced call centers a favorite choice for the customers. You can say that call centers are the emotional face of a business.
Since customer journey is not just about the buying process, the role of call centers become more vital. The call center agents are known to provide real-time voice communication to the customers and solve the latter’s issues effectively. The most successful brands in the market today are able to hold their position because they are making unforgettable interactions with the customers in a continuum.
Call centers will perish
The other possibility is that in the next 10 years call centers will altogether end the call answering business. This may happen because of the rapid rise of the digitalization and technologies that are focused on easing the communication between brands and customers.
One of the biggest selling points of AI is its ability to resolve customer queries in less time and without any human intervention, which makes this superlative technology super-efficient. When it comes to managing and solving extraneous customer queries regarding product tracking, providing refunds, and replying to the primary details, automated responses are much efficient and cost-effective than agents.
10 years is a long time and it might happen that people who now prefer voice channel more than any other dais will start using the technology-backed mediums because of the convenience they offer.
We shouldn’t forget that more than 4 billion people in the world today are on the internet and around 2+ billion people use smartphones, making it highly likable the preferred mode of communication may change in the coming times.
Call centers will mature
We talked about the two extreme possibilities that could happen to the outsourced call centers in the coming decade. Let’s see if there is a middle way. The third possibility is that call centers will become advanced contact centers (that is already happening).
This means that call centers will remain to be the point-of-contact between brands and customers but somehow with the inclusion of innovative methods and modern technologies that way of communication may change.
For instance, AI could be used to assess customer conversations so that it could direct the call to the correct agent, saving a lot of time and effort altogether.
Customers won’t be required to repeat the same problem to multiple agents before reaching to the concerned person. Instead, AI can pick up the customers’ history with a business, examine the situation, and then reroute the call to the professional who can offer assistance regarding the same.
Apart from this, there could be some futuristic way of customer interaction that doesn’t exist today. I mean, chatbots didn’t exist 20 years back, so it could happen.
So, the next couple of decade could be highly transformational for the outsourced call centers altogether. The process of making business and customers interact is never-ending, the way might change, but the requirement will always be there. Let’s see whether call centers will be there or not? What’s your prediction? Share your thoughts below. Thanks!
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