Contact Centre Predictions for 2023

2023 year prediction concept - text in vintage letterpress wood type printing blocks with a cup of coffee

With 2023 just around the corner, we asked our panel of experts for their top predictions for the year ahead.

The Contact Centre Will Elevate to Brand Guardian Status

Customers are quick to vote with their feet: an astonishing 3 in 5 consumers have switched brands due to negative contact centre experiences (60%).

Improving the customer experience (CX) will continue to top the business agenda and 2023 will be the year to elevate the contact centre to brand guardians with the power to influence consumer perceptions, enhance customer loyalty, and boost profits.

Organizations should start from within – and start now to fast-track their way to effective brand guardianship.

Voice-of-the-customer analytics will have the dual function of helping make ongoing improvements to brand experiences across the enterprise and elevating agent performance.

A headshot of Magnus Geverts
Magnus Geverts

Agent coaching and training should be data-driven and built with the idea of setting them up for success as brand guardians.

Encourage agents to create the perfect storyboard that makes their brand stand out from the crowd and offer rewards to those who share their brand story successes and learning with others.

Contributed by: Magnus Geverts at Calabrio

Successful Contact Centres Will Align EX With CX

Customer experience has been a hot topic in call centres for a while now. But, if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that elevating CX requires lifting the employee experience (EX) with it.

As difficult calls and requests flooded into call centres over the past few years, employee morale took a significant hit. Agent attrition was up by 60 percent year over year in 2021, and this only makes it harder for contact centres to deal with high call volumes.

Fighting this attrition requires that contact centre leaders make a concerted effort to improve EX. Gartner forecasts that organizations that focus on the total experience – the combined customer and employee experience – will surpass competitors by 25 percent in satisfaction metrics for both areas.

In all your operational decisions and technology choices, prioritizing employee satisfaction will pay CX dividends in 2023.

Contributed by: Cyara

Employee Experience Will Increase in Priority

Frank Sherlock at CallMiner
Frank Sherlock

With an increased focus on enhancing customer experience, organizations are starting to understand and focus on how employee experience is directly connected to the success or failure of delivering positive customer outcomes.

If your employees are unhappy, demotivated or burnt out, how can they deliver the best experience to your customers?

In 2023, employee experience – particularly that of frontline employees – will increase in priority.

Organizations will start looking at ways to understand and remove common agent pain points and challenges and focus on delivering the personalized coaching opportunities and real-time feedback that improves job satisfaction and retention.

Happy employees = happy customers!

Contributed by: Frank Sherlock at CallMiner

EX Will Overtake CX as an Area of Business Focus

David Rowlands at 8x8
David Rowlands

In 2023, employee experience will overtake customer experience as a leading area for focus and investment.

While some companies will debate how much hybrid working they can allow, it’s now accepted that if remote working isn’t an option, companies will lose out on the widest talent pool possible.

For those who embrace hybrid/remote, the patchwork, band-aid approach to communications and collaboration has to be obsolete.

Employee experience needs to be fully optimized, backed by resilient and secure communications and intuitive, fully integrated, easy-to-use applications – with as few applications as possible so people are focused on their tasks and not switching between apps, with all the potential problems that brings.

From there, it’s up to managers to leverage advanced quality and analytics tools to monitor performance and provide positive and personalized engagement that makes agents feel empowered, valued, and connected.

Contributed by: David Rowlands at 8×8

EX Will Be as Important as CX

Drew Naylor at MaxContact.
Drew Naylor

Many businesses are struggling to strike the balance between what is right for both their customers and their employees.

Some are trying to entice their staff back to the office, though it needs to work for the employee and provide an environment that caters to their needs.

Mandating people to come in to the office with no visible benefit is going to result in a demotivated and unhappy workforce, impacting staff retention and the customer experience they provide.

Flexibility for employees is key to improving customer experience. As hybrid working is here to stay, we may see more contact centres bringing in the option for “gig-economy” style shifts where people work shorter shifts throughout the day.

This not only helps contact centres manage peaks and troughs of demand more cost-effectively, but also provides flexibility for workers and gives them the ability to handle interactions better during peak times, again improving both CX and EX.

Contributed by: Drew Naylor at MaxContact

Remote Working Is Here to Stay

Thumbnail image of Caroline Leonard
Caroline Leonard

The shift to remote working is showing no signs of reversing in the long term. While many businesses, especially contact centres, made a rapid shift during the pandemic, the cracks are now showing.

Companies across the board recognize that the acceleration in digitization over the last few years was, perhaps, overstated.

Systems, processes and infrastructure are not yet where they need to be to support and assure both agent and customer experience.

Contact centres need to address this – consisting of better tools for monitoring interactions and more joined-up systems and processes that recognize the current needs of the contact centre’s dispersed workforce.

Contributed by: Caroline Leonard at Spearline

Hybrid Working Will Continue to Shape the Workforce

A headshot of Nigel Dunn
Nigel Dunn

Hybrid working will continue to shape the future workforce. Jabra’s research shows that 87% of all meetings are either fully virtual or hybrid, with only 13% happening in person.

Employers who don’t offer flexibility and the option of hybrid working will struggle to retain and attract staff.

Workers should be able to collaborate equally and inclusively from anywhere. Inclusion is also about making sure that everybody in the organization is engaged and fully involved, and the only way to do this is by providing the best tools and facilities for collaboration.

Attrition in contact centres is an ongoing challenge and we expect more focus on employees’ needs and wellbeing, with more mental health awareness and training for managers in these softer skills to support and engage staff.

This also means creating a company culture that motivates staff and gives employees clear career paths and better chances for progression.

Contributed by: Nigel Dunn at Jabra

Work Will Be Redefined

A thumbnail picture of Laura Bassett
Laura Bassett

As we’ve shifted to hybrid and remote work environments, employees have the unprecedented ability to seek jobs wherever they want.

As a result, the Great Resignation, a workforce market movement, began. To combat this, businesses will treat agents as “talent” and learn how to deliver the kind of exceptional employee experience that attracts and keeps the best employees.

Additionally, an enterprise’s culture and values will become as important as what they sell – as the highest-performing employees will choose and stay with organizations that align with their values as customers follow suit.

The top organizations will equip employees with the necessary insight, knowledge, and training to pursue attractive advancement opportunities.

Not only will this make customer experience positions more appealing in the job market, it will also retain the top talent – as employees become more engaged with their job.

Contributed by: Laura Bassett at NICE CXone

Agent Retention Will Involve Career Pathing

While the Great Resignation waned in 2022, the year also brought us quiet quitting – the conscious decision by talent to stop going above and beyond on the basis that they just aren’t paid to do so.

In 2023, employee development and career pathing will serve as a powerful retention tool. By encouraging managers to become actively involved in employee development and career growth, they’ll help employees fulfil their sense of purpose – and they’ll see a future in your organization.

Contributed by: KellyConnect

How Teams Are Trained and Managed Will Evolve

Elliott Crosby at Alvaria
Elliott Crosby

The skills and strategies associated with technology management differ widely from those required to effectively manage people and teams.

It has become very clear that the highly specialized nature of the call centre means that prioritizing agents’ continuing education can help improve your contact centre by fostering trust and building the foundations for a long-term commitment from your people.

Trust and buy-in is exactly what leads to improvements in processes and develops and binds teams together, ratcheting up further refinement of those same processes and teams.

In this coming year, the teams that improve processes and work well together will likely adapt quickly to any situation thrown their way.

Providing the appropriate training and having a safe environment to try, fail and problem-solve can make your entire team more willing to learn techniques and tools, facilitating the adoption, improvements and implementation of better processes and technology, while also setting agents up for success and longevity.

Contributed by: Elliott Crosby at Alvaria

Agent Training Will Get a Redesign

The past standard of all-day, classroom-based training is no longer feasible, or effective.

And while many are realizing that in-person delivery through a screen is not effective, contact centres will reconsider and enhance their training methodologies in 2023 to improve retention and engagement through:

  • Shorter bursts of learning modules
  • AI-driven training practice scenarios
  • Personalized feedback
  • Gamification

Contributed by: KellyConnect

Employee Inclusion, Empathy, and Options Will Become More Important

Gone are the days of the sterile and unforgiving organization.

Those employees that feel valued, respected and invested in will remain your biggest allies

While the trends of the Great Resignation and quiet quitting may be little more than hype, it’s not a stretch to say that customer outreach and marketing must be thoughtful, inclusive, balanced and within legal regulations.

The same goes for internal communications and policies as well. With an emphasis on family and medical leave, mental health, privacy and work–life balance, 2023 will continue to demonstrate that when our offices and workspaces take steps to prioritize the wellbeing, safety, and outside lives of their employees, they see tremendous returns on loyalty, reputation, and productivity.

As the socio-economic environment continues to change quarterly, those employees that feel valued, respected and invested in, will remain your biggest allies in the sales and marketing to your customers as well as the retention and acquisition of new talent at your organization.

Contributed by: Elliott Crosby at Alvaria

Contact Centres Will Undergo a Cultural Shift

Larry Ekiert at Enghouse Interactive
Larry Ekiert

In 2023 we will start to see a cultural shift in contact centres, as businesses increasingly understand that investing in the employee experience will help them to improve customer service.

This needs to be driven from the top down and also needs the buy-in from employees for it to be a success.

Every interaction should be a learning point or teaching moment. Tools are now available that can measure agents’ stress and emotion levels, allowing supervisors to intervene when required.

Organizations will start to invest in AI and smart technology enabling them to analyse 100% of calls, versus the less than the 5% that is typically now the norm.

This allows them to deliver specific feedback on every aspect of an agent’s performance and, where necessary, send them video clips to illustrate areas that need to be addressed to drive improvements.

This more comprehensive approach will bring positive results for employees and customers alike but must always be delivered in a way that is positive and constructive for all concerned.

Contributed by: Larry Ekiert at Enghouse Interactive

Technology Will Dominate the Hybrid Debate

Simon Hunter Sensee
Simon Hunter

If 2020 was the year organizations discovered homeworking, 2021 the year of Employee Engagement, and 2022 the year we built our hybrid strategies…. then I predict 2023 will be the year of hybrid working technology.

Take the communication, care and support of live contact centre operations as an example.

This was always a challenge in the bricks and mortar (B&M) world, but with teams now working at home (and also outsourced) providing a consistent, clear and instant flow of information to all work citizens has become near impossible.

The addition of platforms such as Teams, Slack and Zoom in recent years may have helped but they still don’t effectively deal with critical issues such as live team management, namely: remote floorwalking, live comms, briefs, real-time monitoring, and the wellbeing management of homeworkers.

Once organizations, and in particular HR departments, settle on their mid- to long-term hybrid work strategies then I believe IT departments will be tasked with making them work.

And they will quickly come to realize that services optimized for the B&M environment aren’t always ideal in the hybrid world.

What’ll be required is collaboration platforms that can resolve all the fractured and incomplete processes and workflows of the modern hybrid workplace and ensure that everyone, regardless of where they work, has access to the same workflows and resources… so that the whole operation works as one team.

And comms/collaboration is just one example. The same can be said of ‘traditional’ office IT tools used today for workday scheduling, recruitment, onboarding, IT security, and more. In the hybrid world, all key contact centre technologies and workflows will need rethinking.

Contributed by: Simon Hunter at Sensée

Information Security Protocols Will Be Reviewed

Elliott Crosby at Alvaria
Elliott Crosby

Security has always been a concern when dealing with money and personally identifiable information (PII), but organizations need to be even more mindful and proceed with caution as data is now a major commodity that rogue actors and criminals look to siphon and pirate with no regard.

With a market and a network to steal and sell hostage organizational databases and customer information, there is no return to the contact centre of the past.

As security becomes more important than ever before, administration tools and emerging platform integrations must allow for constant and flexible monitoring with instant lockdown capabilities as well as emergency protocols.

Call centre executives and administrative leaders must work with their technology experts by rethinking and reimagining the future and continue to push for security and policies.

Remote and hybrid call centre flexibility gives brands the ability to serve more customers – but also invites lapses in protocol.

Customized infrastructure and technology to make auditing and identification of vulnerabilities a regular occurrence will benefit the customer, the agent, the administration and the organization.

Contributed by: Elliott Crosby at Alvaria

More Focus Will Be Put on Customer Data

In light of more restrictive rules around data privacy, businesses will come to understand that the contact centre is their best source of first-party data.

A growing number of organizations have realized that it is the conduit to what their customers are thinking.

At every touchpoint along the customer journey, the customer is telling the business exactly what works and what doesn’t; what they like and what they don’t like.

At every touchpoint along the customer journey, the customer is telling the business exactly what works and what doesn’t; what they like and what they don’t like.

Organizations therefore need to harness the information they can extract from these customer interactions, understanding the context of the statement in which it was given – and then act on that input.

Ultimately, all that information will help the business deliver a more personalized and better-quality service to its customers over the next year and beyond.

Contact Centres Will Become Personalized Experiential Hubs

With customers increasingly unwilling to tolerate delays either in delivery of their products or responding to their queries, businesses need to differentiate around the quality of the customer experience they offer.

Over the next 12 months, we will see companies integrating increasingly more advanced capabilities into their contact centre and building deeper integration with their CRM as they look to transform it into a personalized experiential hub.

In line with this drive to personalization, organizations will also start to make more extensive use of technologies like AI and tools such as virtual assistants and chatbots.

The result will be more intuitive, human-like capabilities from the contact centre, enabling the business to engage with customers and prospects more quickly and more comprehensively when solving customers’ issues.

Contributed by: Larry Ekiert at Enghouse Interactive

Hyper-Personalization Will Become More Popular

Agam Kohli at Odigo
Agam Kohli

It’s all about the details! With appropriate consent, the internet of things (IoT) is expanding access to personal insights into customers: smart watches, smart fridges, virtual assistants… the list goes on.

Such information refines service beyond the standard knowledge of who is calling and what their current product/service is, to anticipate future wants, needs, suitability and predictive or proactive service triggers.

The driver for this type of service is clearly loyalty, due to the huge potential for upselling, cross-selling and repeat sales that comes with such data. Not bombarding customers with as many offers as possible but those uniquely tailored to meet real customer needs.

The knock-on effect? Ultimate convenience with swift entirely automated journeys and a shortened buying cycle.

Enhancing this will be sentiment analysis, to ensure that the experience is tailored not only to the customer’s needs but to the emotions and context in that moment.

Contributed by: Agam Kohli at Odigo

The IoT and Video Will Be Used to Enhance Customer Service

Larry Ekiert at Enghouse Interactive
Larry Ekiert

Over the next year, we will see more organizations using a combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) and video technology to enhance the service that they offer customers.

For instance, in areas such as assisted living and healthcare, utilizing IoT and video-linked to an alarm or notification system that feeds directly into the contact centre could be invaluable in helping a hospital or care home keep track of the movements of a patient or resident and ensure they remain safe.

There are opportunities too in transportation and logistics to use IoT to inform the contact centre about the location of a vehicle or of a shipment or delivery, enabling the business to keep its customers up to date on progress at all times.

Contributed by: Larry Ekiert at Enghouse Interactive

CTA Will Become Increasing Popular

A headshot of Magnus Geverts
Magnus Geverts

Contact centres will transform their data to truly understand what consumers are thinking and how agents are measuring up to new standards in customer service.

Next year will see the importance of contact centres to influence corporate perception, boost loyalty and maximize profits.

Data integration. Data integrity. Data enrichment. These are imposing terms and the lack of understanding around each one often makes data transformation seem a daunting process.

Many organizations do not mine conversational data, connect insights, or enhance decision-making, let alone all three. Instead, they stick to compliance recording practices, therefore delaying transformation.

A simplified approach is necessary to avoid and eliminate data silos and build a more intelligent operation.

For this reason, more contact centres will turn to approaches such as capture, transform and apply (CTA).

To kick off CTA, contact centres must go beyond assessing call recordings, pair them with metadata and provide a single source of truth which every department can use to deliver better customer experiences.

Contributed by: Magnus Geverts at Calabrio

Automation, Workflows and AI Will Be Increasing Used

Ben Booth at MaxContact
Ben Booth

Most people have used a chatbot or voice assistant over the years. However, throughout 2022 these have become much more advanced.

Businesses are realizing the power these provide and as they become able to handle more complex queries, the use of these will increase dramatically as we move into 2023 and beyond.

Customer experience should be automated and less reactive, which can be done when combining three technologies together – automation, workflows and AI.

As technologies converge, deeper insights through natural language processing (NLP) and AI will allow workflow automation.

This can be as simple as reading emails and triggering a more efficient resolution workflow or better routing to a user who can solve that problem more efficiently.

Contributed by: Ben Booth at MaxContact

Trends Towards AI-Enhanced Automation Will Continue

Agam Kohli at Odigo
Agam Kohli

We are rapidly moving away from there being a clear practical distinction between automated and AI-driven processes.

What was once a time-intensive contact centre occupation of inputting responses and configuring automated systems can now be a shared AI initiative between contact centres, technology providers and machine learning.

Many automated processes are becoming AI-enhanced utilizing natural language processing (NLP), text to speech (TTS) and sentiment analysis to drive next best actions (NBAs).

Does this mean the technology has achieved peak performance that matches all the hype?

No, but it is already established, accepted and operational, providing customer convenience and self-service that can make a massive difference to busy and increasingly finance-conscious customers.

This trend towards AI-enhanced automation can only continue.

Contributed by: Agam Kohli at Odigo

AI Software Will Be Used to Improve Service and CX

A headshot of Nigel Dunn
Nigel Dunn

Contact centres have undergone significant transformation with the move to digital platforms and hybrid ways of working.

We are seeing a shift in mindset and it is no longer about working through customer calls as fast as possible to move on to the next one. Now the focus and measure of success is on improving the experience and overall customer service.

We’re seeing huge strides in the adoption of AI software in contact centres and the development of data and analytics to better understand human sentiment and improve the quality of conversation and performance.

AI software uses artificial intelligence to assess both the caller’s and the agent’s conversation and their levels of engagement.

This monitors tone of voice, analyses sentiment and provides an instant measurement of the customer experience and live coaching on how to manage the given situation. This improves the experience for the agent and the customer.

Contributed by: Nigel Dunn at Jabra

AI Investment Will Come to Fruition

Frank Sherlock at CallMiner
Frank Sherlock

Organizations have started investing more in technology, such as AI, to more effectively gain the insights and intelligence needed to understand customer trends, patterns and behaviours – and ultimately take action to improve customer experience.

However, implementation of AI is only the first step and can come with challenges, especially when there is a lack of knowledge on how to reap the full benefits of the technology.

In 2023, the value of investing in AI will start to come to fruition as more organizations learn how to fully leverage and draw value from their data and use it to deliver better experiences both to employees and to customers.

Contributed by: Frank Sherlock at CallMiner

Technology Will Advance Further

David Rowlands at 8x8
David Rowlands

2023 will be a considerable year of tech advances. You’ll see an ongoing blurring of boundaries between UCaaS and CCaaS platforms that will eventually make way for a common, pre-packaged set of applications unified into a single underlying base layer.

That combination will handle high-volume voice and data alongside internal collaboration, video, and digital communications.

It will be a boon for IT teams and support too. When a single communication platform is used across an organization, administrators manage just a single directory and can mix and match functions based on any given user’s role, which can change.

Additionally, some of the most important technology advances of the year will come at the platform level of the tech stack, where artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) and workflow automation will be spread across multiple applications and use cases like intelligent self-service and agent assistance.

Contributed by: David Rowlands at 8×8

Speed of Innovation Will Come Under the Spotlight

Kurt Dahlstrand at Hammer
Kurt Dahlstrand

It has been a challenging few years for contact centres. In 2023 we predict that the pressure will increase as contact centres will be asked to do more with less; innovate faster than ever before with less resourcing and budget.

As such, there is a huge opportunity for Dev Ops teams to deploy automated orchestration and testing to assure user journeys and eliminate errors before contact centre upgrades and updates go live.

Those Dev Ops team who can deliver speed and accuracy will have an edge over the competition. It is one thing to design joined-up customer journeys, but ensuring that your technology delivers, at scale, day in and day out is much harder.

Those who take advantage of the ability to speed up development cycles – and ensure they deliver against planned return on investment (ROI) – will have a greater chance of winning in 2023.

Contributed by: Kurt Dahlstrand at Hammer

Contact Centres Will Start to Prepare for the Metaverse

The world of augmented reality and avatars isn’t going to overtake contact centres in 2023, but it’s coming fast.

In the years ahead, customers will expect to be able to don an avatar and interact with your brand in person – virtually.

The metaverse, a loosely defined 3D world that allows people to immerse themselves in the virtual realm of the internet, is already beginning to reshape customer experiences. Gartner predicts that 25 percent of people will spend at least an hour per day in the metaverse by 2026.

Considering that contact centres are the hub of customer experience, they would do well to start preparing for the inevitable.

In the years ahead, customers will expect to be able to don an avatar and interact with your brand in person – virtually.

Building for the metaverse means turning to increasingly advanced forms of conversational AI, blockchain technology and CX design.

It means thinking past the omnichannel experience of today to something even more immersive and engaging tomorrow.

Contributed by: Cyara

Methods of Customer Connection Will Evolve

Agam Kohli at Odigo
Agam Kohli

The ability to connect digitally is constantly progressing, from simply using social media platforms to immersive customer experiences and on to the metaverse.

Of course, there are all sorts of applications, but for customer service, this will be the realm of luxury brands and big-ticket items where decision-making is protracted due to a mixture of cost and personal suitability factors.

Immersive experiences help create a connection with the product, potentially even reducing buyer’s remorse or helping with product development by highlighting features that strongly influence customers.

Already experiences exist to try on make-up, arrange new furniture and tour hotels or properties digitally.

Next? Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality experiences in the metaverse, for example with a VR headset and built-in customer service, so help can be accessed without leaving the experience itself.

Contributed by: Agam Kohli at Odigo

Operations Will Double Down on Customer Support

Contact centres are now a hybrid of chatbots and human assistants, and in 2023, the role of customer service agents will start to shift away from operations and double down on the support element of the role.

In practice, this will mean that customers requiring ‘quick-fix’ solutions, such as refunds or dispatch updates, will be triaged to automated chatbots that action simple resolutions quickly and efficiently. As such, 2023 will see further integration between chatbot AI and operational infrastructure.

Meanwhile, there will also be a rise in ‘face-to-face’ online communications for those customers requiring greater human interaction.

The role of customer service agents will start to shift away from operations and double down on the support element of the role.

In 2023, we expect to see video interactions becoming more prevalent, particularly in the healthcare sector, as agent roles shift towards advanced support.

As such, we’ll see more integrated CCaaS solutions, where chat sessions can escalate to video conferences with document-sharing capabilities, which will enable operators to provide more streamlined and efficient support.

Contributed by: Chris Mina at Vonage

Investments Will Be Made in Security and Enablement Tools

60% of contact centres increased IT budgets in 2022. Expect continued investments in security features that further enable remote work while strengthening security and agent monitoring – like VPN multi-factor authentication or video monitoring for remote employees.

Investment in CCaaS platforms which streamline the agent experience is also expected to increase as CCaaS hits mainstream adoption in 2023.

CCaaS Will Go Mainstream

This cloud-based solution allows a contact centre to build a customized digital environment of platforms and tools that best fits their use case.

Early adopters found it streamlined operations and improved the agent experience, and contributed to a reduction in agent turnover.

After a two-year adoption ramp, some early adopters of CCaaS have overcome the initial hurdles and are beginning to see the benefits of the service.

Contributed by: KellyConnect

Good Telephone Conversations Will Be a Priority

A headshot of Magnus Geverts
Magnus Geverts

Despite a rise in digital interactions, the phone call still holds a special place in consumer hearts.

An astonishing 78% say the phone remains their preferred channel and yet contact centre managers rank social media and apps ahead of the phone in influencing brand perception.

Our prediction for 2023 echoes the words of BT’s vintage ad: ‘It’s good to talk’. The focus for contact centre managers will be on helping their agents to master the art of good telephone conversations.

We anticipate agent training programmes will place greater emphasis on soft skills such as empathy, helpfulness, adaptability, active listening, and patience. We also expect organizations to master the art of the meaningful apology.

Sincerity is all in telephone conversations and yet too many agents repeatedly use the word ‘sorry’ as a way to pause a conversation, rather than sincerely apologize to customers.

Speech analytics solutions can offer insights into the strength and sincerity of contact centre apologies.

Contributed by: Magnus Geverts at Calabrio

Interaction Strategy Will Replace Contact Centre Strategy

A thumbnail picture of Laura Bassett
Laura Bassett

2023 will be the year that boundaries are pushed for the world of customer service. It will be the year when interaction strategy will replace contact centre strategy, becoming a fully integrated approach across all touchpoints to facilitate holistic, digital-first customer journeys.

Digital will continue to be the primary driving force and will continue to a point where all main CX conversations will start and finish on digital.

Businesses must rapidly adopt digital CX to respond to the new digital era. Businesses that do this will thrive, meeting their customers where they are, anytime and anywhere.

Organizations will prioritize data-driven strategies, finally recognizing that the voice of the customer comes from all touchpoints, not just calls, harnessing the power of AI and automation to optimize every customer experience in real time and learn from every interaction.

Contributed by: Laura Bassett at NICE CXone

Proactive Engagement Will Rise

2023 will see an ongoing march towards proactive customer engagement interactions outnumbering reactive customer engagement interactions.

We believe proactive engagement will overtake reactive engagement in 2025 but it’s already a growing trend.

With this being the case, organizations need to consider having a dynamic, highly personalized approach when building a strategy around this kind of outreach.

Plan a continuous loop where you ensure your business has absolute visibility of why a customer contacts you and automate a proactive approach to that interaction.

Without taking an intelligent, unique approach to this kind of outreach, it will be difficult to move the needle on decreasing any kind of inbound or reactive enquiries.

AI and automation are making it possible for organizations to craft stronger outreach initiatives that can scale to a level of service that’s not currently possible due to prioritization of inbound enquiries or staffing and cost constraints.

Just as organizations will increase their digital footprint, the use of AI, machine learning, and automation will influence, and make possible, the creation of rich proactive engagement.

Although voice will still be very important, by design contact centre organizations must free up valuable knowledge base colleagues to speak to frustrated customers.

The key: survey, act, survey, act; plan a continuous loop where you ensure your business has absolute visibility of why a customer contacts you and automate a proactive approach to that interaction. Proactive deflections will be the very foundation of success.

Contributed by: David Rowlands at 8×8

Proactive Customer Support Will Increase

Through increased use of analytics, contact centres will predict future customer issues and proactively opens the lines of communication, allowing them an open forum and 1:1 attention to create brand loyalty and advocacy.

80% of contact centre leaders would like to move from a reactive approach to a proactive one.

80% of contact centre leaders would like to move from a reactive approach to a proactive one, to get ahead of known customer questions and issues before they arise. Expect to see increased adoption in 2023.

Digital Channel Quality Standards Will Be A Focus

During the pandemic, digital service channels were quickly adopted in the name of efficiency in the face of staff shortages. Now that the dust has nearly settled, teams are getting serious about quality standards.

In a recent CCW poll of contact centre leaders, more than half (51%) of teams said they’d focus on elevating quality standards for digital channels; nearly 45% indicated they would add resources to improve availability and speed to digital channels.

Contributed by: KellyConnect

Self-Service Will Continue to Evolve

David Rowlands at 8x8
David Rowlands

The continued advancement of self-service capabilities that can handle a higher percentage of digital interactions means that human effort will only be needed for escalation when bots fail to handle a customer’s needs.

Voice interaction bots will continue to capture a significant portion of triage or tier-one level interactions and administer post-interaction surveys, but when someone needs answers to a more complex question or issue, human-to-human voice interactions will remain a common and preferred communication channel.

These advancements will ultimately reduce effort and increase the speed at which customers reach resolutions.

But this has workforce implications. It may see a demand for a larger number of workers, but in many cases they will actually be working fewer hours per week, on average.

Recruiting, training, coaching, scheduling, and quality management will continue to go through a transformation, including a greater degree of automation and verifiable worker performance data.

Contributed by: David Rowlands at 8×8

Customer Self-Service Will Continue to Skyrocket

Mo Hassan at Business Systems
Mo Hassan

The phrase at the forefront of every contact centre transformation will be “self-service”. With known benefits such as reduced workload for agents, and speedier query resolution, organizations would be wrong to put investment into self-service on hold.

The availability of better self-serve options will mean customer service reps will require less involvement in the brief, more transactional, encounters, leaving time to invest and focus on more on sensitive and complex customer queries.

A broader skill spectrum will develop, in turn facilitating a higher level of agent empowerment and engagement – just think of the opportunities this provides for improvements to customer experience. Smaller call queues, shorter waiting times and more empowerment.

Though self-service will be popular with a large demographic, it is, however, important that contact centres continue to cater for the less digitally savvy customers who may still rely on traditional communication methods such as the telephone.

Contributed by: Mo Hassan at Business Systems

Customers Will Be Empowered Through Self-Service

A thumbnail picture of Laura Bassett
Laura Bassett

Digital self-service that actually works – and also accurately predicts an intent or need before a customer might even be aware of it – will become the new baseline.

In the new digital-first era, customers increasingly expect “instant gratification”. They prefer brands that can provide 24/7 support and an effortless relationship where trust is the primary differentiator.

To provide this effectively, brands must empower customers to effectively self-help – on every touchpoint, every time, everywhere.

Our research shows that 81% of consumers want more self-service options, and 95% of companies reported a growth in customer self-service requests in 2021.

Yet only 15% of consumers expressed a high level of satisfaction with the tools provided to them today.

In 2023, automated, AI-driven self-service will become the standard across every touchpoint – synchronous and asynchronous. And the brands that master the power of their own data to satisfy and delight customers in real time will thrive.

Contributed by: Laura Bassett at NICE CXone

For more great insights and advice from our panel of experts, read these articles next:

Author: Robyn Coppell
Reviewed by: Rachael Trickey

Published On: 21st Nov 2022 - Last modified: 15th Nov 2023
Read more about - Customer Service Strategy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Follow Us on LinkedIn

Recommended Articles

2024 Contact Centre Predictions
Expert Predictions: What Will 2024 Bring for Contact Centres?
Prediction concept
The Future of Contact Centres: Trends and Predictions
A picture of a person looking at a forecast through a telescope
Forecasting Contact Volumes Based on Sales Predictions
jargon definition
Contact Centre Jargon and Terminologies