Some people have declared the call center dated. That’s technically untrue—the call center is alive and kicking. There have been so many changes and innovations that today’s call center is hardly recognizable from those of the past.
Most people have an outdated view of what the call center is and does, which is why so many believe it to have major limits. In fact, call centers have merely been evolving and will continue to do so. These call center technologies are changing the game for good.
5. Cloud Computing
“The cloud” has become a bit of a buzzword for businesses and consumers alike, but the shift toward cloud computing is hardly a fad. Utilizing cloud technology allows documents and data to be stored in a central location, accessible from almost anywhere. Apple, Amazon, Google, and other key players will continue to push for people to use the cloud so that they can keep files synced among different devices.
What does that have to do with call centers? Well, call center technology has also shifted toward the cloud. Call centers now store customer data centrally, making it easily accessible to customer service reps all around the world. It also makes data mining easier than ever. Better analytics lead to a more thorough understanding of your customers, allowing you to offer better customer experiences.
4. Multiple Center Strategies
Call center technology has also made it possible for more companies to utilize “follow the sun” or multiple center strategies. In the past, most firms had a single call center location, which meant all of their reps were in the same time zone and geographic area. Now, customer service reps can be anywhere in the world.
With reps in different time zones, you can be sure you’re staffing your call center around the clock, delivering 24/7 care to your customers. While that may not sound like “technology” to some, cloud computing and other telecommunications innovations make this strategy a reality.
3. Chat, Text, Email
One of the reasons people are quick to discredit the value of call centers comes from the fact that today’s call centers don’t look much like traditional call centers. Reps are communicating with customers in so many different ways: Webchat, email, text, and even social media interactions are now part of what a “call center” delivers. A rep may not even field a single call during a shift!
Improving call center technology allows more firms to access these diverse methods of communication, and it makes methods like chat and social media truly viable ways of delivering top-notch customer service.
2. Virtual Queuing
While virtual queuing has been around for the better part of 15 years, there are still some firms that don’t employ it. They most definitely should; virtual queuing erases one of the most common problems customers have with call centers: wait times.
When customers call, their names, numbers, and places in line are logged. They can then hang up and the next available rep can call them back. Gone are the days of playing phone tag or waiting on hold forever!
1. Digital Voice Services
Apple’s Siri and other voice assistants are becoming more familiar—and more useful—to smartphone users. But the use of these smart assistants also extends to call centers. In the past, customer service reps would have to answer every call and provide a solution, no matter how repetitive. While customer self-service options like FAQs and knowledge bases have cut down on the need for reps to focus on run-of-the-mill issues, a voice assistant can pare it back even further.
This call center technology isn’t perfect, but will continue to improve. Right now, the assistant can listen and repeat back what it “hears.” It can also make suggestions based on the information it’s given—an excellent option for answering those frequent questions!