The Future of Call Centers
If literature and the Jetsons have proven anything, our imaginations of what 100 years in the future will look like often outshine what reality delivers. While much will be different in the year 2115, it’s a safe bet to assume that much will remain the same. Businesses will still strive to provide exceptional customer service and earn client loyalty, although how they go about achieving that might change.
Here’s an interesting peek into the future of the call center and what it might look like in a century.
Barring a scientific breakthrough in the study of telepathy, expect the future of the call center to revolve around the Internet, with agents sitting in front of holographic screens virtually chatting with customers who demand to know why a drones hasn’t delivered the hydrogen-powered crockpot that they ordered five minutes ago.
While this scenario makes some giant leaps about where technology is heading, modern call center technology, is already offering such innovative tools as agent prompts, predictive dialing, and automatic callback to help address customer service issues. It’s highly probable that web-based chat, digital video, and the use of social media will all be preferred means of communication five, 10, even 25 years into the future, and call center technology is evolving to ensure that these channels can be part of a complete contact center solution.
Even today, the move toward creating “interaction centers” recognizes the need to provide customers with multiple access points to ask questions or resolve problems. Call center management software is able to automatically direct customers to alternative communication methods during times of heavy call volume. By merging existing phone technology with emerging Internet technology, the call center of the future will intelligently determine how each customer contact should be handled.
Say Hello to Working at Home
There will be no office for agents to go to in the future. Call centers will exist as a virtual connection between thousands of agents spread all over the world. Thanks to advances in cloud-based platforms, geography will no longer be a barrier to recruiting and employing talented agents.
Kelly Services, known for providing temporary workers to fill a number of business roles, is already providing home workers to fill call center roles. Their home-based agent program provides workers in 39 states and Canada to handle calls during high-volume traffic periods.
Crystal-clear digital video allows customers to interact with the agents on a face-to-face basis, with managers able to take over conversations seamlessly. Companies that provide call center technology will face an exciting challenge over the next 100 years to expand today’s cloud-based services.
Instantaneous Metrics Provide Real-time Data
Managers who love reports will be all agog in 100 years when they can watch real-time metrics and react to increased call center productivity. If call center agents think they are monitored now, the call center of the future will likely feature graphs and pie charts aplenty showing how they are performing against quotas, peers, and industry standards.
Managers will take advantage of real-time data to utilize blended dialing, or routing inbound communications to outbound agents to keep customer wait times down. Although working from home will reduce much of the stress, call center management providers in the future will be challenged to offer ways to keep productivity up without on-site workforce oversight.
Manager barge in is a service provided through call center management software today. It allows a manager to speak with both the agent and the customer to resolve an issue or close a sale. With people working from home in the future, expect the use of the manager barge in to escalate, both for training purposes and to help out struggling agents before a call needs to be escalated. It is just another tool that helps call center managers achieve the goal of one-call resolution.
Call Center Management Will Live in the Cloud
With the ever-increasing adoption of cloud-based services in the present day, expect call center managers to become even more enamored with cloud-based platforms. Whether they will be surrounded by an array of holograms, wear a virtual headpiece, or have the cloud directly piped into their brain via electronic module is not clear.
What is certain is that the ability to analyze and manipulate data will be too strong an attraction for managers devoted to getting the most out of their operations. The future of the call center will be dependent on companies that can deliver data and innovative solutions to enhance the customer experience.
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