As the pandemic wanes, multiple organizations are pushing digital initiatives at an unprecedented speed. This rapid acceleration towards digital business has created a challenging outlook and forced firms to answer the burning question – which initiatives to take forward and what to leave behind in 2022?
Fret not; we got your back. This blog post will assist your forward-looking plans and go-to-market strategy to double-down on CX.
Just as 2021 comes to an end, let’s dive right into customer service trends that will help you sail through 2022 and beyond.
9 Trends that will Future-Proof Your Business
1. Go All-Out With Digitalization
Digitization skyrocketed during the last year. This sudden and rampant change made the need to adopt a digital-first approach even more apparent. And, to expedite the digitization process, it necessitated organizations to invest in and adopt the latest technology. For instance, incorporating cloud based systems makes collaboration easier and solutions built on AI or ML ensure more intuitive, personalized, and convenient digital customer experiences. Not just this, firms are embracing cognitive technology due to their cost reduction benefits while also augmenting agent productivity and CSAT.
2. Strengthen Security Policies
Organizations are working with a geographically distributed workforce. And now that more employees are working remotely than ever before, companies are resorting to advanced preventative measures against data breaches and cyberattacks. For starters, using a virtual private network (VPN) makes it difficult for interceptors to snoop on your traffic. VPN masks your location and encrypts communications from the remote employees’ devices. Firms are already implementing two-factor authentication but can add an extra layer of protection to their business processes by leveraging machine learning and AI models to create robust cyber security protocols. Doing so, enables firms to anticipate attacks, lower detection times and respond to them proactively.
3. Prioritize Cross-Department Collaboration
Cross-department collaboration is the holy grail to deliver stellar CX and must be made a part of workflows. Due to remote working, practices like ad-hoc desk visits are no longer an option, thereby leaving agents high and dry, wondering who to turn to for help. This not only hampers contact center productivity but also mars CX. However, intelligent apps like Agent Helper reveal a lot of information like top related articles, top SMEs, real-time insights into customer journeys, and so on.
Another advantage of optimizing cross-department collaboration is that it opens the doors to intelligent swarming. As the norm, swarming promotes the idea of one support agent working an incoming ticket from start to finish, without escalations. The agent can seek help from SMEs and works towards providing a resolution instead of escalating it to a higher level. Additionally, contact center managers are trying to eliminate the word ‘escalation’ from their dictionary and adopting intelligent swarming as a norm to help speed collaboration.
4. Be Mobile-First
Mobile is the future of everything and it seems to have arrived. As a matter of fact, by 2024, the number of mobile shoppers in the US is expected to exceed 187 million. This is why many organizations are focusing on building a user-friendly abridged version for websites and customer support operations to ensure that they cater to new prospects with untapped potential. Besides, mobile optimization is a non-negotiable for establishing omni-channel customer support. Hence, a mobile-first approach as a trend in 2022 sounds like an indispensable business strategy.
5. Facilitate Proactive and Real-time Support
When customers encounter an issue, they want a quick resolution. In fact, 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within an hour, whereas 32% expect it within 30 minutes. Top brands are turning to proactive support on self-service channels to gain an edge over their competitors by anticipating customer challenges or struggles and providing prompt and proactive solutions. Going forward, this practice will gain more momentum. Hence it’s imperative for companies to invest in new technologies like intelligent chatbots that are not only available round the clock but also leverage ML, MLU, and auto-intent training to iron out any kinks.
6. Promote Cloud Migration
Up until now the legacy solutions implemented on premise tools for communication, collaboration, and storage purposes. But when remote working changed the face of workplace models, companies switched to cloud migration.
Cloud collaboration tools facilitate collaboration amongst decentralized employees as they promote on-the-go productivity by allowing multiple individuals to access, review and edit a document in real time. Hence, attenuating the geographical barrier.
It’s a strategic move to reduce costs, mitigate risks and simplify database scalability. As a result, cloud-computing adoption is picking up pace rapidly. By 2023, public cloud spending might reach $500 billion. It is not only ideal for remote employees but also for organizations looking to keep security threats at bay.
7. Take Self-Service Up a Notch
According to Gep.com, contact centers witnessed an increase of 300% more calls than usual during the early stages of the pandemic. Inarguably, the pandemic brought the need to adopt AI-powered self-service channels to the forefront. And, with AI at the heart of the self-help bandwagon, delivering personalized and relevant results has become easier than ever. Organisations are investing in virtual assistants, smart IVRs and intelligent KM solutions that automate the creation and optimization of KBs to deflect cases and save agents from the burgeoning caseload, thereby allowing them to focus on high-priority tasks.
8. Invest in Self-Service and Asynchronous Learning for Agents
The hybrid working models have led organizations to digitize their operations from hiring and training to upskilling and reskilling. However, the ongoing business and technological advancements are resulting in dilated workforce skill gaps. So now, organizations are trying to train and upskill their agents with techniques like gamified learning and microlearning. These employee training methods provide personalized recommendations and dynamic interfaces to deliver a learning experience that truly engages employees while overcoming modern training challenges.
9. Provide Robust Analytics
With the help of real-time analytics, anyone can tap into a never-ending stream of actionable data and make informed decisions. For starters, organizations can quantify their agents’ productivity by measuring critical KPIs like first call resolution (FCR), turnaround time (TAT), and average handle time (AHT).
Now, for your agents to perform better, it’s imperative that you provide them with all the knowledge they’ll ever need. By using real-time analytics, you can equip them with a unified view of the customer journey across touchpoints, including detailed information on pages viewed, searches performed, clicks, etc., thereby empowering them to respond quickly and boost CSAT.
Looking for Ways to Deliver Stellar Customer Service for Life?
Tune into our on-demand webinar titled, “Cognitive Search and Applications: The Winning Formula for Your Support & Self-Service Teams.” In this session, Brian Corcoran, Certified KCS Practitioner and Regional Sales Manager, SearchUnify, and Lynette Ledoux, Customer Success & Search Specialist, SearchUnify, dive deep into the role that cognitive technology plays to meet future requirements and how it transforms your CX and EX.