Contact Centre Trends in 2019
The most significant trends within the contact centre and customer service space today are the rise of omnichannel and the need to manage and analyse customer interactions across the whole business, which are both critical in delivering a high level of customer experience.
Whilst a contact centre may be the best way to handle and ‘process’ high volumes of customer interactions, this often means that data and insight relating to traffic and performance is limited to one small area of the business. A significant amount of customer interaction happens outside of the contact centre – for example in stores, in accounts departments and so on. Achieving targeted service levels and SLAs in the contact centre is important but focusing on this area alone carries the risk of missing hundreds of important and valuable yet unmonitored customer interactions elsewhere in the business. In the SME and mid-market space it is particularly important to take into consideration customer interactions within every customer-facing team. Since over 60% of the workforce in the UK works within SMEs, funnelling every customer interaction via a formal call or contact centre may not indeed event be an option.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it and unanswered calls, unreturned emails, unmonitored web-chat and unread social media and could paint a very different picture of the overall customer experience. Where such communications tools are used, they need to be monitored as part of the overall customer engagement strategy, to truly understand the overall customer experience.
Tollring advocates a strategy that encompasses all customer interactions, both inside the contact centre and across the wider business as being critical when assessing how to improve customer experience. This means customer expectations must be understood and serve as the foundations for KPIs, SLAs and other metrics that allow the business as a whole and its contact centre to be managed effectively. 2019 will see the rise of omnichannel analytics, where all relevant customer interaction data is evaluated to assist businesses in understanding and improving their customer service strategy.
The rise of cloud-based contact centres
Market demand for cloud-based solutions is continuing to increase. The cloud provides a unique opportunity for a contact centre to de-risk the process of adopting new solutions by paying only for services they use, with the ability to scale up and down. Cloud contact centres work particularly well in business sectors where communications traffic peaks and troughs throughout the year, such as universities, travel agents and retailers, since capacity can be increased much more easily than with on-premise.
Furthermore, the cloud is enabling contact centre solutions to become accessible to the mid-market – the more ‘informal’ contact centre space – that have until now had little access to the powerful analytics tools used within contact centre environments. This is an area of growth for Tollring’s channel partners.
Accessibility and the mid-market contact centre
Tollring’s priority is to ensure analytics services become ever more accessible to businesses of all types and sizes, with the focus on achieving customer engagement via the media channels that are most relevant to them. By using analytics to understand customer interactions across the entire enterprise, businesses will be able to truly understand the overall customer experience.
In 2019 Tollring will be releasing new contact centre features aimed at the mid-market. Whereas traditional contact centre solutions might have 100+ features, Tollring is proven to be successful in identifying the 10-15 key features that would be most relevant and useful to mid-market businesses, thus widening the potential accessible market to the channel and enhancing the business productivity suite in a relevant and affordable way. 2019 will see the launch of workforce management tools, staff modelling, drag and drop agent call control, supervisor management features, custom wallboards for live data display, business performance KPI reporting, speech intelligence and sentiment analysis. Although many of these features might not be in demand from businesses at the smaller end of SME, the mid-market opportunity for affordable, accessible analytics tools which can monitor their entire business is significant.
Tollring’s value-added proposition is stronger than ever in the under-served and lucrative mid-market space, thanks to exciting new features and our strategy of developing solutions that not only consider the contact centre but also enable analysis of the entire business to truly understand customer experience. Tollring is making customer engagement tools accessible to all.
Providing value throughout the supply chain
Tollring focuses on both partner propositions and the end customer proposition. We add value to our partner’s propositions as well as adding value to customers – all the way down the supply chain.
Our products are modularised in order to provide different levels of service according to need. This allows partners the flexibility in the proposition to match modules to customer need. A smaller business may require a low feature set, for example some basic call analytics and call recording. A larger mid-market business is likely to require a higher-end feature set with some live call reporting/wallboards and contact centre functionality. They may have customer-facing teams across multiple areas of the business (but not necessarily in a contact centre) that need managing, monitoring and analysing.
Our partners need to be able to manage on-boarding, billing and provisioning themselves, they often white-label the proposition to make it their own and they need to be able to offer the ability for companies to scale-up in line with business growth. A rich framework of APIs has also become critical in integrating with a business’ wide ecosystem.
As we continue to add modules and functionality, we look to expand the market opportunity for our service provider partners. Tollring is committed to evolving our products in line with customer and partner need. We are dedicated to widening the potential addressable market for partners, helping them to gain market penetration through relevant state-of-the-art analytics products.
Insights across all areas of a business
Customer interaction solutions are becoming increasingly feature-rich as we embrace omnichannel customer journeys. A business that gives customers the ability to contact them using their preferred medium must provide agents with the interaction data in a timely and cohesive way in order to facilitate a successful interaction. These omnichannel customer interactions need to be monitored across the business and not just in the contact centre, to ensure that not only the methods offered are relevant but that they are all contributing positively to the overall customer experience. This is the future of omnichannel analytics and an area which we will see evolve in the coming 12 months.
Analytics that unlock hidden data that exists within all channels, both verbal and written, and across the whole of the business will provide a holistic insight, enabled by speech intelligence and omnichannel integration, and will change the rules for customer experience. Businesses will be much better equipped to manage their customer-facing teams and use intelligent analytics to assist in more-informed decision-making.
The consolidation of business systems
APIs are becoming increasingly important. Businesses are keen to consolidate systems across departments, view data in a ‘single pane of glass’ and access this data via a single sign-on. API frameworks are becoming critical in the evolution of omnichannel analytics, enabling relevant data to be pushed/pulled to/from relevant locations, integrated with the wider business ecosystem and presented in a holistic way.
Cloud technology is the facilitator, opening up a significant opportunity for the channel – both in terms of accessibility to new markets and ease of deployment and management.
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