Technology has been the driving force behind innovation across the working world. While recent workplace culture changes have indeed been due to circumstance rather than technology, it is, in fact, technology that has allowed many organizations not only to survive but also to thrive. Certainly, ThinScale has seen technology massively impact across industries, with our Secure Remote Worker solution allowing work at home to be scaled up massively at a rapid rate for contact centers such as Sutherland.
In this blog, I wanted to bring us through four of the most exciting technologies that will, without a doubt, impact contact centers specifically, and that should be on the radar for anyone working in that type of organization.
Omnichannel communication is a framework that many contact centers are adopting due to it's effectiveness. Essentially where multiple channels (telephone, social media, e-mail, etc.) are logged and visible across all channels. An important distinction is in this visibility & integration between channels, as some contact centers will simply add channels with dedicated agents to each channel and call it omnichannel, not so. With true omnichannel communication, a single employee can speak with a customer in whatever channel the customer chooses and have full visibility of all previous interactions across all channels.
Tools like softphones and CRMs that have become increasingly cooperative with social media and e-mail providers have allowed Omnichannel to really take off, allowing tracking of correspondence, consistency when dealing with repeat customers, and creating much more room for future integrations. For example, the addition of AI assistance to existing channels of customer communication.
AI assistance/Knowledge Bots
Considered “Chat Bots for Enterprise” are “codeless” AI/machine learning-based assistants that can decipher customer issues, ask qualifying questions, make suggestions, and relay contact to live agents in real-time. Knowledge bots receive much of their information from pre-existing company knowledge bases – allowing them to provide much more detailed information to customers on specific topics than typical Chat Bots.
For contact centers, these bots can handle more straight-forward issues in real time, allowing employees to handle more important/impactful customer requests instead.
5G networks and Satellite broadband
For contact centers, utilizing remote employees is a no-brainer, allowing the company to cut admin costs (rent, equipment), as well as ensuring consistent availability during any disaster scenario. It also allows contact centers to access a larger hiring pool, not restricted by proximity - meaning more suitable employees and easier meeting of headcount requirements.
Traditionally bandwidth has always been the issue when talking about going fully remote - how can employers ensure their employees have consistent network speeds for top-notch CX delivery? With the advent of 5g providing faster speeds and more secure network connectivity, we can already see how broadband dependence for enterprise operation in different communities will reduce. With a new focus on mobility, 5g provides an answer for areas where inconsistent broadband speeds may be an issue. Further, innovations such as satellite broadband offer another alternative to the more typical copper & fiber-optic network lines, which can be inconsistent in terms of performance and availability – especially in rural areas.
These innovations will help provide fast and stable connectivity in rural areas and expand the overall hiring pool for remote employees of contact centers. 5g is becoming a more viable solution for network connectivity than typical line-based broadband in many locations, such as, South Africa. Satellite broadband itself is posed to provide broadband to areas without any pre-existing access.
Productivity & time management solutions
Software allowing employers to monitor better and control their employee’s productivity has surged in popularity, the more advanced of which can tell, exactly, what activity is performed inside browsers and URLs and filter them into pre-defined categories – so employers and managers can tell what time is being spent where at a glance.
These solutions promote increases in employee productivity and often encourages proper time management and allocation of breaks and an overall reduction in overworking on the employee side, resulting in reduced employee burnout.
Technologies mentioned in this blog stand to have a significant impact on the contact center industry – whether drastically improving the employer/employee experience with time management solutions, increasing hiring capability with 5g networks and satellite broadband, or vastly improving CX and speed of customer resolution using Knowledge Bots and Omnichannel communications.
Industry expert and founder of TrendzOwl, Stephen Loynd, provided valuable insight into technologies that will be looked at in the future:
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