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My Top Five Contact Centre Predictions for 2016


As the second quarter of 2016 begins we find ourselves very busy planning for the rest of 2016. In 2015, the contact centre industry experienced a number of shifts and changes, and this quarter has proved to be no different. Dimension Data’s Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Summary Report published in 2015 shows that the demand for digital interactions greatly increased in 2015 making up about 35% of interactions. A study by Gartner published in 2015 suggested that 89% of businesses would be competing primarily on customer experience by the end of 2016, which of course means an increasing emphasis on the role of the contact centre and the level of service expected by clients. In my 20+ years of experience, I have to admit that being able to create a unique customer experience has always been a competitive advantage in the contact centre industry. Numerous Contact Centre predictions stand out for me this year, and there are specific predictions that have definitely come to life within Mindpearl’s Contact Centres in the first quarter of 2016.

So let us have a look at my top five contact centre predications for 2016:

Increased Focus on Customer Experience

Creating an extraordinary customer experience has always been a great priority within Mindpearl so much that it forms part of our vision ‘Pushing the boundaries of convention to deliver the ultimate brand experience’. Customer experience is about creating emotional connections or as we call it ‘human connections’ between our clients and their customers. Our dynamic employees have the significant responsibility of creating these human connections.  These unique connections have become more and more essential within the contact centre industry, as most decisions are emotionally driven. To create an extraordinary customer experience one must have a genuine inclination to help our clients and their customers at every opportunity. This trait is a priority when Mindpearl recruits their highly skilled agents. It is through amazing people that we are able to create the ultimate brand experience and act as custodians of our clients brands.

A Continued Need for Voice Support

It is evident that the use of self-service tools are constantly increasing which, in some cases, can result in a reduction of call volume and in other cases could cause an increase in call volumes. I can therefore safely say that Voice Support will be here for more than just the foreseeable future. The increase in call volumes exist when customers experience faults and challenges with the self-service tools available. These issues often bring about more calls that are complex and require highly skilled customer service agents who are able to deal with irate, well-informed customers who have been searching the net for a solution and have not found it. At this point, the human interaction becomes very important, as the customer will be subconsciously seeking an emotional connection, somebody that can understand their frustration and provide them with a solution. While implementing online services is a good thing it is definitely not a replacement for voice support. Online Services and Voice Support can be a true advantage if implemented together correctly and can accommodate a wider audience and enhance the service offering. Recent, very public, major on-line security breaches within various high profile consumer organisations, combined with the ‘human’ factor tells me that certain consumers will limit or restrict their use of on-line tools when it comes to their financial transactions.

Demand for Detailed Data

Data becomes extremely essential when identifying customer needs and areas for improvement. Contact Centres that actively measure and analyse their statistics on an ongoing basis are able to recognise trends and identify areas of concern while it is still fresh and can be acted upon. In addition, this access to data allows the vendor to approach challenges in a proactive rather than reactive manner. There are always changes in the markets and with these changes client needs too will alter. The ability to make quick changes to your contact centre’s approach to meeting client needs is imperative in the Omni-channel world; however, this is only possible when there is an in-depth comprehension of your data and customer behaviours. Call Centre.co.uk predicts that contact centres must stay ahead of the game and become completely customer-centric in 2016.

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Disaster Recovery (DR) is key

In 2016, the ability to operate during emergencies and unplanned events is becoming more and more significant to clients and this has been emphasised recently by  natural disasters and major security breaches. The ability to re-route work to centres and systems in other locations has become a necessity for Contact Centres and clients alike. Clients desire zero interruptions to their business regardless of the situation and are more likely to go with vendors who are able to offer BCP and DR.

Quality Driven Approach

Gone are the days where all that clients wanted from a contact centre was cost reduction. The way to obtain new business and competitive advantage in 2016 is to be able to offer a high quality service as well as build and grow loyalty within the customer base. Clients are becoming more open to employing higher skilled resources, as they know this can help achieve and maintain better quality results to their markets.  At Mindpearl, we pride ourselves in the quality service we provide and are cognisant of the fact that long-standing partnerships are not only built on cost saving but quality and consistency, which play an integral role in the development of long-standing relationships with clients.

In conclusion, amongst the many predictions and initiatives that are out there today these ones stood out for me. The Contact Centre Industry is a dynamic, fast-paced industry that experiences numerous shifts and changes and whilst some of the trends I have highlighted are by no means brand new – they are as relevant to our success as we progress through 2016. So, let us see what the rest of 2016 has in store for the Contact Centre World.

Author: Alan Graham | 05 April 2016
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