It is a bit difficult to believe, but we seem to have made it through the worst of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Folks are returning to the office, while work-from-home and flexible work options remain a central focus of employees looking to have their cake and eat it too.
Now that another year in the contact center sphere has passed, several fresh trends continue to emerge, ones like contact center automation, which some experts speculate could impact various aspects of business, including revenue.
All these elements tie into customer experience, otherwise known as CX, which quickly emerged as one of the biggest trends of the contact center. If customers don’t get the service they’re looking for – they are willing to go to another, more fit competitor, as are employees – according to Slack-funded research.
Furthermore, according to a 2022 customer contact week digital market study, there are several other considerations, including the mere 52% of companies that say their technology can support remote/hybrid work. Being that: this figure is from 2022, that doesn’t offer up much hope for the remaining 48 percent of firms who don’t feel their employees don’t have the proper tools to pull off successful remote work.
There is even the consideration of how artificial intelligence will impact the contact center space in 2023, which will principally be (by way of) automation. Real-time agent coaching and training: according to the same report, are to remain top of mind in the coming years.
That does not mean that this will not be without its fair share of obstacles: ones that businesses can overcome. Let’s look at other factors impacting the state of the contact center in 2023.
The Cloud Continues to Prove Resilient
The cloud has not only proven resilient over the past few years as workers have shifted where and how they work to fit their lifestyles. People have grown accustomed to having the tools they need at their fingertips and from the comfort of their homes.
And the same holds for customers, at least according to Qualtrics XM Institute CX Study, the expectations of those who identify as Gen Z require a robust set of tools, namely kind the cloud extend. According to that same study, 70% of Generation Z customers say they went to another brand due to lackluster customer experiences – so ensuring solid experiences via the cloud remains top consideration moving into 2023.
This train of thought is on par with one study which looked at customer experience and company responsibility. In that report, 8×8 found that 46% of company leaders believe that customer experience will be “the leading brand differentiator by 2030, trumping price, product quality, corporate responsibility, and employee experience (EX).”
President and Principal Analyst Irwin Lazar of Metrigy further found that the concept of an integrated single-vendor UCaaS/ CCaaS solution and its adoption will grow. According to the firm’s figures, 22% of companies that overhaul communications providers – say they are doing so to realize an “integrated UCC platform.”
Only the cloud might help a firm pull off such a complex set of requirements: as it continues to prove resilient, expressly – as the limits of the technology get stretched daily with online event hosting, more advanced IVR, etc.
New Players Enter Market, Shaking Things Up
In February 2022, in a long-anticipated move, Zoom said it would enter the CCaaS market. It officially launched its CCaaS offering, which many assumed it would eventually launch. Initially, its capabilities were minimal, voice and video. Following the acquisition of Solvvy in May 2022, it is set to do much more with its CCaaS offering.
Self-service and conversational AI enhancements are on the way to Zoom’s contact center platform, making it an attractive offering for those who already leverage the Zoom platform to move their contact center over to Zoom in 2023.
And looking to improve on its already popular contact center AI, in March 2022, Google said it would work with Ujet – in hopes of making its offering a more attractive one: and presumably in hopes of competing with the big dogs.
Ujet technology would enable Google to pull off blending voice and SMS: along with the ability to embed UJET technology into mobile apps, more data insights, and further automation functionality.
The last CCaaS market shake-up happened in July 2022, when Microsoft said it would expand its digital contact center platform with various elements that stem from its Nuance acquisition. The offering extends self-service options such as biometric authentication.
It can even understand the reason customers are calling – leveraging AI intent prediction, giving agents an advantage when it comes to CX.
AI In Video Messages, Just Getting Started
For many years, the pre and post-meeting experience have benefitted greatly from artificial intelligence enhancement. Lead Analyst at ZK Research, Zeus Kerravala, notes that:
“AI in video meetings is just getting started and for it to show the real value it has to be used to solve harder problems. Transcription is nice, but meeting notes are better. So I’m pretty excited about AI being used not just during the meeting experience but also in the pre-and post-meeting experiences as well.”
For instance, if an action item is stated in a meeting, some systems, namely Cisco’s advanced meeting tools – can extend reminders and automatically create action items to ensure the proverbial ball doesn’t get drooped. Deemed the Webex Assistant, it uses AI to take notes, extend closed captions, and even has voice-activated commands.
As for the use of video in CCaaS, more firms like Zoom and Five9 are enabling agents to escalate support calls to video calls, making AI in video meetings all the more relevant in 2023.
2023 will Be one For the Books
For the contact center arena, it is sure to be an interesting one, thanks to the countless advancements made last year and the ones we can likely anticipate this year as well.
And there are countless trends that could shift how we view CCaaS, like new offerings and the use of more artificial intelligence during the agent experience: ones designed to make their jobs easier to execute.
And contrary to a somewhat popular belief, AI is not set to eliminate agent jobs – only enhance them.