Predictions for 2019
Contact centers are continuing to invest in technology to meet changing customer demands and expectations, as recent research reports confirm.
According to Grand View Research, Inc. the global contact center software market is forecast to reach USD 47.77 billion by 2025, growing at a rate of 15.6 percent. However, MarketsandMarkets Inc. reports that the cloud-based contact center market is expected to grow at an even faster rate — from USD 6.80 billion in 2017 to USD 20.93 billion by 2022, at a rate of 25.2 percent.
Rise of the Chatbots
Analysts suggest that increasing adoption of cloud-based services, social media, and mobile analytics are among the key factors driving overall market growth. But, there’s an even bigger surge in the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), particularly in the deployment of chatbots or virtual assistants.
An article in ‘Forbes’ suggested that chatbots benefit both callers and contact centers. The author believes that the cost of developing chatbots is lower than the costs of training and hiring agents, while consumers increasingly prefer a short mobile interaction to talking with a contact center.
At the recent Gartner Customer Experience Symposium, the firm suggested that twenty-five percent of customer service and support operations will incorporate chatbot technology by 2020, up from less than two percent in 2017. Other research by Gartner found that businesses reported a reduction of up to 70 percent in call, chat and/or email inquiries after implementing chatbots, with a 33 percent saving per voice engagement.
More Collaboration to Solve Complex Queries
One consequence of consumer acceptance of chatbots as a self-service channel is that the remaining inquiries tend to be more complex. That, in turn, is likely to drive an increasing uptake of collaboration technologies in the contact center.
With the right collaboration tools in place, agents can seamlessly bring colleagues or subject experts into a call, giving the customer a better answer quickly, with no need for call-backs or awkward transfers. That can increase customer satisfaction, as well as improving agent productivity. As a result, analysts forecast that the customer collaboration market is set to grow at a rate of 23.7 percent.
Personalization Gets More Personal With AI
AI technologies will also help to increase the level and quality of personalization in the contact center — taking it way beyond the capabilities of traditional CRM systems. Companies such as Avaya are developing AI and analytics platforms that can understand, route and address an immediate customer need using predictive routing.
The firm claims success in merging historical and real-time customer-related data from any channel of communication to deliver real-time understanding of sentiment as a basis for personalization.
Voice Biometrics Enhance Authorization
Another advanced technology helping to improve the security, speed and quality of customer service in the contact center is voice biometrics. Customer frustration at poor IVR authentication systems is driving demand. It can take around two minutes to navigate a traditional contact center authentication system or almost 25 percent of average call handling time — frustrating for both customers and agents.
Authentication using voice biometrics can verify a caller’s identity in seconds, with no need for customers to provide passwords, account numbers or other forms of identification. Voice authentication delivers many important benefits for the contact, improving customer experience, cutting call handling time and costs, reducing fraud risks and supporting self-service applications.
Opus Research found a dramatic growth of more than 80 percent in enrolments for voice biometric platforms between 2014 and the firm predicts that enrolments will exceeds 600 million by 2020. Confidence in the solution is helped by the number of consumers using biometric systems on their smartphones — Apple, for example reported that 89 percent of the people who own iPhones equipped with TouchID use the feature up to 80 times per day.
Don’t Forget Good Old Voice
While cloud and AI technologies look set to be the dominant factors driving contact center developments in 2019, voice will remain an essential channel. In 2018, ContactBabel reported that inbound telephone calls to live agents accounted for 65.3 percent of all contacts. As one commentator explained, callers need a channel to handle the exceptions, gaps and mistakes that they need to speak to someone about.
The challenge for contact center operators in 2019 and beyond is how to blend the familiarity and personal touch of voice with the technologies that are capable of taking customer experience to new levels.
Looking for an enterprise-grade contact center that unifies all your communication, speak to a solutions specialist at BroadConnect Telecom today!
Senior Sales Account Manager
Greg Reid is a Sr. Account Manager for BroadConnect Telecom, currently working within the Business Mid-Market and Large Enterprise cloud communication Segment. Greg works closely with Presales Managers, Product and market development as well as the Sales Executive Team to help provide the most up to date solutions available in the market; striving to deliver market-leading solutions to meet the ever changing needs of the Business Market’s Unified Communication needs.
Greg has over 20 years of delivering Business Automation and Communications Solutions to the Market place. Prior to joining BroadConnect Telecom, Greg was a National Sales Manager for Lanier Canada, Regional and District Manager for TELUS and ROGERS.