- Most Impactful Trends in The Call Center Industry 2022
- In Conclusion
In the last few years, the call center industry has been upended by a combination of new pandemic-driven ways of working, the growing trend of digitalization, and the continuously rising bar for positive customer service experiences. Going forward, there are many economic, technological, social, and global ways of working trends that will further impact the call center industry.
Most Impactful Trends in The Call Center Industry 2022
Going into 2022, we’ve got our eye on several trends that are expected to help call centers deliver service excellence while still ensuring business continuity in an unstable economy. Let’s look at some of the trends that are expected to impact the call center industry:
Global Ways of Working Trends
Virtual Contact Centers
After scrambling to set up remote working environments at the start of the pandemic, enterprises have largely recognized its advantages and adopted the WFH or virtual contact center model. In 2022, remote working is a standard in customer service and a trend that has already had a significant impact on the call center industry. The distributed workforce is not just a crisis response; the pandemic proved to many leaders that employees don’t need to be physically onsite to be productive. Quite the opposite. According to research, remote workers are an average of 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts. Remote work has other benefits as well. It offers employees the flexibility that has served to reduce turnover, expands hours of operation thanks to the follow-the-sun approach, and ensures business continuity if another crisis occurs.
Safety in security policies
With more WFH agents, carefully and clearly defined security processes are a trend that will impact the call center industry. The upcoming year will find more and more companies implementing advanced cyber technologies and updating their access policies, such as instituting VPN multi-factor authentication or even video monitoring for remote employees. There is a significant need for this as Microsoft estimates that only 11% of enterprise cloud users have implemented MFA. Providing agents with refresher courses on contact center compliance and security can better prepare them to secure their networks and avoid any breaches.
Today, social media has become a valuable business tool, allowing companies to reach the masses. But 2022 will find more companies using the popular platforms to field incoming customer support inquiries as consumers now view social media platforms as viable channels of customer service. Studies have shown that 63% of customers expect businesses to offer support via social media. With 58.4% of the world’s population using social networks, this number is expected to further increase in the not-so-distant future.
Group training possibilities
Getting contact center agent training right is critical to ensuring your customers have the best experience possible. But agent experience must be considered as well. The past standard of all-day classroom-based training is no longer feasible for many call center organizations. And they are also not as effective. Studies have shown that shorter training modules improve information retention by 20%. Companies are turning toward short bursts of AR training manuals, microlearning modules, gamification, and highly personalized feedback to enhance their training methodologies, along with opportunities for ongoing self-paced training. In a field prone to high levels of attrition, enhanced training is a trend that will have a major impact on the call center industry going forward.
High agent attrition
Staff turnover is expensive. The current economic climate has challenged many employers to consider new ways to retain their frontline call center staff. Experts explain that attrition can be avoided when agents feel a sense of purpose. When employees feel they are providing value via their everyday tasks and are trusted for their knowledge, expertise, and integrity, their workday is transformed from a set of mundane tasks into an opportunity for purposeful connections. 2022 trends will see call centers moving away from focusing solely on productivity metrics, and instead empowering agents with decision-making abilities that boost performance and instill a sense of pride in their work.
Helping customers from afar is nothing new. For years, organizations have attempted to resolve more of their customer’s issues remotely to boost overall effectiveness. According to a 2020 report by the World Economic Forum, 84% percent of employers planned to digitize their processes, with the aim of transitioning 44% of their employees to work remotely. It’s no surprise then that remote assistance has hit a peak in 2021, driven mainly by customers’ rising expectations for self-service, the growing complexity of cases, and the emergence of new technologies such as cloud-based technologies, IoT diagnostics, video, AR, and computer vision AI.
Rising reliance on self-service
Today’s on-demand generation will not be kept waiting. Customers want to help themselves through mobile, web, phone, text messages, and more. 86% of customers have come to expect a personalized and relevant experience – with conversations with agents moving seamlessly between channels. Self-service also became a godsend for organizations whose lack of manpower during the pandemic relied on the technology’s call deflection to manage the daily workload. Self-service IVR was a popular choice, with 42% of organizations increasing its use on the heels of COVID. Expect omnichannel self-service – with human backup — to become a trend impacting the call center industry in 2022.
Rollout of 5G
The next generation of wireless technology – 5G – promises to impact our lives by providing the infrastructure necessary to boost the Internet of Things (IoT), a network of physical objects or “things” that are embedded with smart technology, enabling these objects to collect and exchange data, and making our lives smarter, safer and more convenient. Smart device support has become especially complex with the need for call centers to assist customers with installing, configuring, troubleshooting, and maintaining a wide range of devices in a connected home. Call centers will be impacted by this trend; they will need to ensure they have the technology in place – such as visual assistance – to ensure their agents can properly support customers.
A peek at these economic, technological, social, and global ways of working trends in the call center industry can help your organization choose its preferred strategic direction as we move into 2022 and beyond. As the world limps away from the worldwide crisis and enters a new age of uncertainty, call center leadership looks towards the future of call centers – a future where business continuity and customer experience will definitely be intertwined.