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Changing Face of Call Center Industry

Call center is one of those industries which have always evolved with the changing needs of end customers and demands of the market. Evolutions of industries like e-commerce, healthcare and real estate have also indirectly resulted in modification of call center processes.

Earlier the call centers used to focus only on improving the communication skills for improving the customer satisfaction levels. But with changing times, these firms have started focusing on improving processes through new technologies and modified form of management.

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Even some small sized call centers are looking forward to adopt these new technological and management trends for giving competitive edge to others.

Here are some important drivers of change in call center industry which have brought revolution in this sector.

Interlinking of Marketing Team and Contact Center Department

The contact center in present scenario is not limited to resolving customer service by answering phone calls. With the advent of other digital channels, it has become an integral part of marketing process. The importance of contact centers as a marketing tool is being realized by companies due to which there are efforts to offer consistent and personalized across different channels.

Also, companies are now making complete use of technology to offer cross-channel service in a personalized manner.

Rise of Self Service

Marketing research firm Gartner already predicted that 85 percent of the relationships will be managed by customers themselves without need of human agent by the year 2020. Even in present day scenario, the customers prefer to use IVR system and ‘Help’ section of website for resolving their queries themselves. Also, there is rise of self-service mobile applications along with visual IVR which is expected to decrease the dependency on live agents in upcoming years.

Proactive Support

Traditional form of customer support consisted of reactive support in which customers used to come with queries after facing issue. But present scenario has modified this form of support. Call centers are increasingly depending on multiple techniques to satisfy customers by addressing the queries proactively.

Sending an email consisting of screenshots related to instructions of solving a query is one such form of proactive support. Admitting the mistake before a customer finds out is another important strategy which is followed by call center service providers as a part of proactive support.

Use of Data Analytics

Every manager or industry expert realizes the importance of using customer data for improving the customer services. And what can be the better place to find chunks of data related to customer than a call center. Using customer relationship manager (CRM) software and call recordings, the call centers generate huge amount of raw data. This data is being effectively converted into meaningful patterns and insights by call center companies for predicting customer behavior. These patterns tell the companies how to give best response to customer so that maximum satisfaction can be generated.

Use of Surveys

The surveys are now becoming an integral part of services offered to the end customers. Companies generally use the surveys to check the satisfaction level of customers which helps in maintaining the quality of process. Several firms have also started using surveys to check how the customers respond to the IVR systems.

Optimization of IVR System

The call centers are also realizing the importance of IVR optimization to give better experience to callers. The menus of IVRs in most of the processes are limited with less number of options. Also, various companies include option to talk the agent on every level of IVR menu.

Use of Metrics

Metrics have always remained an integral part of call center firms as they are medium to improve the efficiency. In present scenario, these call center metrics are utilized to track the overall quality of the process so that better strategies can be implemented. These metrics are also used to screen the best performers and those performing below average. Some major metrics which are currently popular include:

Average handle time (AHT)
Average speed to answer (ASA)
First call resolution (FCR)
Abandonment Rates
Schedule Adherence
Agent Turnover Rate
Average Abandonment Rate

All these trends which have changed the scenario of Call Center Industry are interlinked with each other in one way or another. These trends are expected to be part of almost every type of call center across the world in upcoming years.


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