2024’s top contact centre tech trend predictions – and the drivers behind them
This time last year, it’s fair to say no one quite anticipated how big of an impact technological innovation would have in the contact centre landscape.
Fuelled mainly by the boom in Gen AI and machine learning, AI’s integration into various facets of business operations has reshaped how companies running contact centres approach everything from customer service to data management and predictive analytics.
Also dominating the communication tech conversations of 2023 was hybrid working. Rather than fade in popularity post-Covid, instead we saw organisations embrace and adapt to flexible working models – and with that, prioritise secure and efficient communication tools.
Last year, businesses also pushed for increased cost efficiency, talent optimisation and service reliability; all of which we expect to see continue into 2024. With these trend-drivers in mind, let’s take a look at what we expect to see in the realm of technology this year:
– The automation of routine tasks:
Admittedly, this is no new emerging trend for 2024; businesses operating contact centres have been leveraging AI to automate simple tasks and provide 24/7 support for routine, uncomplicated inquiries for some time now. However, we expect to see a lot more of it this year as the tech evolves and more companies gain an understanding of its benefits:
– Reduces the need for extensive human resources
– Frees up employees’ time to handle more complex issues requiring a human touch
– Addresses talent acquisition and retention challenges in contact centres
– Paves the way to a more streamlined and efficient customer service model
– Allows customers to interact with businesses independently for information and minor requests
– Enables companies in regulated industries to automate tasks related to licensing, paperwork, and communication with regulatory bodies in different countries
Growth of self-service capabilities in AI:
As organisations continue to drive operational efficiency and aim for more reliable and resilient services, we also expect to see self-service capabilities in AI grow. Here, we could start to see AI:
– Take on tasks such as contract extensions or service renewals
– Play a part in more complex, proactive areas
– Identify and understand trends related to faults
– Learn from patterns in repeated customer reports
– Predict potential issues in the network before they escalate
Enhanced social media monitoring:
This year, enhanced social media monitoring is set to leverage AI advancements for more accurate sentiment analysis and content flagging. We expect businesses, particularly those focused on customer service and brand protection, to benefit significantly from these capabilities as they become more sophisticated and powerful.
The globalisation of businesses:
The trend of businesses expanding globally has been on the rise in recent years. Many factors are contributing to this trend as businesses look to diversify their customer base and tap into emerging markets, but it’s advancements in technology that facilitate international operations and increase connectivity that have allowed this to happen. For example, AI looks set to be somewhat of a saviour when it comes to addressing language barriers. Its potential as a game-changer lies in facilitating live translation services within the contact centre domain. Acting as a dynamic translator during conversations, it can seamlessly enable speech-to-text and text-to-speech functionalities, effectively bridging language gaps and fostering enhanced communication for contact centres operating on a global scale.
Virtualised office spaces and advanced collaboration tools: Given the persistent popularity of the hybrid working model, we expect to see the emergence of virtualised office spaces and advanced collaboration tools become more prevalent in 2024. Moreover, recognising the need for improved interoperability among communication platforms, major players like Microsoft Teams and Zoom may focus on delivering comprehensive tools for seamless integration.
Focus on employee well-being and productivity: One notable trend we’re confident will materialise this year is an increased focus on employee well-being and productivity, especially as organisations commit to supporting remote and hybrid workforces.
Here, communication tools are expected to incorporate features that promote mental health, such as reminders for breaks, ergonomic tips, and access to mental health resources. AI may play a role in monitoring employee wellbeing and adherence to recommended breaks.
Fueled by the surge in AI innovations in 2023, we expect to see regulatory shifts addressing persistent challenges in the industry. For example, issues such as spam calls are undergoing ongoing efforts to combat their impact on both contact centre networks and end-users, facilitated by various regulatory interventions. Recognising the imperative to mitigate the adverse effects of spam calls, governments and regulatory bodies in the contact centre sphere are poised to introduce new rules, standards, and technologies this year. These initiatives are designed to identify, block, or alleviate the impact of unwanted and potentially harmful calls, ushering in a more secure and efficient era for contact centre operations.
Robust security measures will be prioritised:
As contact centres increasingly depend on AI for customer interactions and data processing, prioritising stringent security measures will become crucial this year. This may involve the adoption of AI-powered threat detection and prevention systems, real-time analysis of communication data to identify potential vulnerabilities, or the implementation of AI-enhanced authentication methods to enhance the overall security stance of contact centres. The focus will also extend to utilising AI for the proactive identification and response to emerging cyber threats, ensuring the protection of sensitive customer information and maintaining the integrity of communication channels.
Whichever of these trends materialise, one thing is certain – the landscape of communication technologies in 2024 is poised for remarkable transformations.
As we navigate this evolving landscape, these trends collectively point towards a future where AI plays a pivotal role in shaping more efficient, secure, and responsive communication ecosystems.
With this in mind, the message to contact centres is clear – embrace AI or risk falling behind in efficiency, customer service quality, and adaptability to evolving communication trends, potentially hindering competitiveness in the modern business landscape.
Cian Maher is Head of Voice Technology and Infrastructure for global communications business DigitalWell
DigitalWell is a leading IT and communications provider of innovative full-service solutions that power productivity and success.
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