5 Emerging Internal Contact Center Technologies

Although the contact center has changed over the years, the quest remains the same: satisfying customer needs as expeditiously as possible while keeping costs down. Here are some developments in the area that can help reduce call center imperatives such as reducing average handle times and boosting first call resolution.

One emerging trend is presence management, which is determining how to reach a person and tracking them down by identifying their network connections. Contact can be made through various channels, such as the phone, Web, e-mail, or messaging, and provide faster response times.

Another contact center development that is gaining traction is speech analytics, which is also known as audio mining. The technology processes unstructured data captured from conversations and gleans information about customer interactions, such as dissatisfaction, agent performance, risk management, sales conversion, and upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

Unstructured data, otherwise known as big data, is not limited to the phone. This data can come from email, Web chat, social media, and mobile interactions as well. As customers increasingly communicate with companies over multiple channels, customer service departments must continue to evolve their big data strategies. Technologies such as text, speech, Web, and social media analytics and customer surveys are mainly used to glean information from disparate sources, but much of that data can be lost in the fray. Newer analytic platforms have emerged to take data from such silos and aggregate them into one centralized location.

Unified Communication (UC) services wraps together disparate services such as instant messaging, video conferencing, speech, fax and e-mail into one bundle. Combining multiple communications can drive down interoperability costs and provide a more seamless customer experience. For example, an agent may receive a customer query that they can’t answer. Instead of being placed on hold, the agent can instant message a colleague or supervisor and receive real time answers. UC can also come into play as more and more agents are working offsite. By having remote agents, cost savings can be gained by reducing infrastructure costs, having motivated employees leading to greater retention rates, and being able to work in various time zones.

Cloud-based contact center solutions are often used by offsite agents. The technology is being rapidly embraced by big enterprises as well as SMBs who may not be able to afford on premise deployment. Companies are realizing cloud center based technology, such as rapid deployment, flexibility, lower total cost of ownership, faster software upgrades, and less hardware investment. In addition to reducing costs, the technology lends itself to uniting multichannel avenues, blending voice, Internet and messaging into a single platform.

These offerings translate into the premise of working smarter not harder, and the contact center is beginning to realize big payoffs. Scalable solutions combined with critical customer insights and better agents means less churn, greater retention rates, equaling increased revenue and most importantly, satisfied customers.