The customer service climate is constantly evolving, and staying on top of the essential technology for the virtual contact center will play an enormous role in the success of your enterprise.
Contact center technology is a key component of the way your business functions. From good old headsets to online chat functionality, social media posts, and cloud-based management systems, the contact center technology your company employs makes a big difference to customer satisfaction (CSat) scores and agent retention.
The Shift to Remote Work
Over the past couple of years, there has been a huge shift in the way contact centers do business. Because of the uncertainty that came with periodic lockdowns, many contact centers have moved partially or fully to remote work.
We’ve also seen a diversification of communication channels used by contact centers (often called omnichannel solutions), providing more ways for customers to interact with businesses.
And let’s not forget the boom in cloud-based technology adoption. Any technology that utilizes the cloud for functionality comes with added security, peace of mind, and scaling flexibility—generally with a cheaper price tag to boot.
With these trends in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our top contact center technology picks for 2022, to ensure your virtual contact center is staying ahead of the curve. Let’s dive in!
Top 6 Essential Technology Picks for the Virtual Contact Center
1. Web Call-Backs
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) has been a staple of contact center technology for decades and is better known to customers as a phone menu. A well-organized IVR system will help to improve your First Call Resolution rate, decrease queue time, and increase CSat scores as well.
Web Call-Backs (formerly Visual IVR) is a more modern take on this classic tool. It’s designed to engage your digital users through your website or mobile app, and lets you set up menu options and questions so you can direct customers to the right channel. It’s feature-rich and allows you to customize your service to best fit your customer’s needs.
Best of all, it allows customers to schedule a call-back from a live agent during a time window of their choice. In other words, you can optimize the user experience and easily escalate online users to the voice channel with minimal risk of abandonment.
2. Call-Back Technology
Picture this: it’s a Monday morning after a weekend of your call center being closed. The queue is full to the brim with customers who were unable to call in over the last couple of days. Your agents are rushing through each call, letting their customer service level slip to meet the demands. This backlog causes agents to fall behind on their post-call paperwork, resulting in longer hours worked and burnout.
If the above sounds familiar, call-back technology may be a step in the right direction. This valuable tool improves and streamlines the customer journey while also giving contact center agents time back in their days to feel less rushed on calls and deliver the best customer support possible.
How does it work? It’s as simple as recording a call-back 0ffer on your phone menu for customers who prefer not to wait on hold. If they select this option, their line will be held in the queue, and when an agent picks up, it will automatically call the customer’s phone.
This freedom empowers the customer and helps ensure they’re in a better mood than they would’ve been had they been waiting in the queue for a long time. As a result, your CSat scores will improve, and you’ll experience better agent retention—a true win/win.
DID YOU KNOW?
On average, Fonolo Voice Call-Backs save customers over 77 years of hold time annually.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Take the manual out of manual labor and start automating everyday tasks with help from AI.
Whether you want to streamline your hiring process and candidate selection or take online chatting off your agents’ shoulders, AI has something to offer every department. Plus, it can be utilized to monitor customer interactions and determine whether the experience was positive or negative for them based on the tone of their voice—the future is now!
This technology can be pricey, so it stands to reason medium- to large-sized businesses have the most to gain. However, if the budget is there, it can also streamline tasks for smaller call centers, too.
4. Workforce Management Systems (WFM)
With WFM technology, management can easily track agent performance. All the stats you need will be collected for you and delivered in a way that’s easy to analyze—you can keep a pulse on agent engagement and help agents set and reach performance goals.
WFM systems can also optimize your scheduling to ensure the right agents are working at the right times, a tool that’s especially helpful for remote call centers.
5. Video Chat Functionality
The last couple of years of lockdowns has revolutionized the world of video chatting. Adding in video chat interactions ups the connection between your agents and customers, potentially improving customer experience and satisfaction.
Video chats can also simplify tech support by providing agents the opportunity to see the products that need repairing. In short, this is a great option for any type of customer support, repair, or issue resolution department.
6. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM systems are designed to help you get to know your customer on a deeper level so you can provide a tailored service experience. Contact centers can use a CRM system to gather and store customer data in a way that’s helpful to their bottom line.
Salesforce is one of the most well-known CRM systems on the market, but there are plenty of others that could be a great fit for you, too. Make sure to look for mobile access, simple team adoption, customizable reports, and automatic contact syncing.
Don’t Just Follow Trends–Find the Tech that Suits Your Virtual Contact Center Best
What’s our number one tip about contact center technology? Do your research and find the tech that suits your specific needs. Before you dip into your budget, be sure you understand your needs and do comparative research about the different products on the market.
There’s so much to choose from, but no one knows your contact center as well as you do. You’ve got this!