In 2019, consumers expect their customer service interactions to be personalized, seamless and quick. To meet these demands, companies are looking for the right people and technology to satisfy consumers. A recent report from Dimension Data shows 88 percent of professionals see customer experience (CX) as a competitive differentiator and 87 percent believe it is vital to driving brand loyalty. To ensure that your organization is on the right path to success, here are three CX and contact center predictions for the year ahead:
Personalization Will Become the Epicenter of Customer Service
Data is truly the currency of the modern enterprise and it’s driving business like never before. Gathering and analyzing customer information will be central to the alignment of innovative customer service practices in 2019. As valued information increases through text, video, voice, etc., there is a need to apply advanced data analytics to understand the true meaning of these interactions. Being able to monitor this data from a single dashboard view provides powerful leverage, which is why more contact centers will look to centralize their data and create a 360-degree view of their customers. These types of data-driven processes will change the face of customer service this year and make it more analytical, predictive and personalized.
Hiring for Contact Centers Must Change
Gone are the days of a steely-eyed hiring manager poring over a resume, drilling the hapless job seeker on her past accomplishments. That’s old school. Hiring in the age of social media must become a more-intuitive and collaborative process—more of an audition than a one-on-one interview. To effectively recruit and retain top talent from this tech-savvy millennial hiring pool, companies need to progress by immersing the candidate in the culture. New approaches can—and will—involve making multiple hires at once, bringing several new hires on-board and providing more engaging training and orientation. With a new approach to integrating the new hire into the culture, companies will have lower attrition and reduced expenses. Expect companies to embrace fully immersive recruiting to achieve more positive, long-lasting outcomes in 2019.
Consumers Will Want a Blend of Bot and Human Interactions
While more customer interactions are being managed through bots and other AI-driven technology, agents will still play a crucial role in the contact center. According to a global survey our team conducted of consumer preferences for customer service engagements, approximately half of all respondents stated that they will turn to a chatbot for a quick customer service inquiry, while another 25 percent will reach out via email or social. However, when the request becomes more complicated, nearly half of consumers still prefer human agents to chatbots (nearly 50 percent of U.K. respondents and around 40 percent of U.S. respondents). With AI-powered solutions managing quick service requests, human agents can take a more strategic role in the contact center, focusing on detailed, complex customer inquiries.
With customer expectations changing constantly, brands must have the technology and people in place to meet the constant shifts. And, the return on investment of improved customer experience is clear: Enhanced brand loyalty, more employee satisfaction and a positive impact on the bottom line.