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Contact Center SaaS: The Best Emerging Tech To Make Your Customers First

Inbound call centers are rapidly changing with omnichannel and cloud advances, but the real transformation is just unfolding. With cutting-edge technologies emerging, customer service hubs are on the brink of an exciting evolution. Modern Software as a Service (SaaS) features are redefining contact centers’ customer interactions promising to end hold times, arm agents with superior expertise, and slash the need for service calls. In this article, I’ll showcase 11 of the latest technological breakthroughs poised to greatly improve contact center performance and the customer experience. Let’s start with what a cloud-based SaaS can offer both small and large businesses.

1. Cloud-Based Contact Center: Flexible and Scalable.

contact center SaaS

Cloud-based contact center SaaS is quickly becoming the norm. Additionally, a cloud-based solution is about the only way a business can leverage many other emerging technologies. Indeed, the shift to cloud-based contact centers has already marked a significant transformation in customer service operations. Positively, a cloud-based model provides unmatched flexibility, allowing businesses to effortlessly scale operations up or down in response to customer demand. With the cloud, contact centers can easily enable remote work and ensure continuity of service regardless of external circumstances.

For instance, a retail company experiencing seasonal spikes in customer inquiries can leverage a cloud-based contact center to temporarily scale up its workforce during the holiday rush. With the cloud, they can add new agents or adjust resources in real-time. Consequently, this ensures that customer wait times remain low. Further, the company does not have to incur the long-term costs associated with a physical customer contact center expansions.

For a more detailed discussion on how inbound contact centers are evolving to cloud-based solutions, see CISCO’s What Is a Contact Center? article.

2. Advanced Workforce Engagement Tools for Contact Center Managers.

Now, it is possible for contact center managers to have access to a suite of advanced workforce engagement management (WEM) tools. These types of tools are designed to enhance productivity and employee satisfaction. Further, these tools facilitate real-time monitoring and feedback and empower managers with data-driven insights for workforce optimization. Also, these tools support the development of a collaborative environment that motivates agents to perform at their best.

For example, consider a scenario where a contact center manager uses advanced workforce engagement tools to identify a pattern of extended call durations. By analyzing this data, the manager implements targeted coaching sessions that help agents address customer issues more effectively. As a result, this leads to a 20% reduction in average call time and a subsequent increase in the number of calls an agent can handle per day.

For a more detailed discussion on Workforce Engagement Management (WEM), see NICE’s Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) article.

3. Live AI Agent Assist, Note Taking, and Training.

Incorporating live AI agent assistance into contact centers is a game-changer for real-time decision-making and support. Further, AI-driven note-taking streamlines the documentation process for contact center agents. Thus, this ensures accuracy and freeing up agents to focus on the customer. Additionally, AI can play a pivotal role in training, offering personalized learning experiences and identifying knowledge gaps to increase agent expertise.

For example, a tech support contact center employs live AI assistance that provides agents with step-by-step troubleshooting guidance during calls. As a result, this reduces the need for transfers to senior staff and decreases resolution times. Further, this leads to a marked improvement in first-contact resolution rates and customer satisfaction scores.

4. AI-Powered Self-Service Knowledge-Base and Automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Chatbots.

Indeed, self-service options, powered by AI, can provide customers with instant access to information using a knowledge-base and automated IVR systems. Further, these intelligent tools can handle routine inquiries with ease. As a result, these capabilities can direct customers to the most appropriate solutions without human intervention. Further, this enhances efficiency and allows contact center agents to concentrate on more complex tasks.

For example, an utility company implements an AI-powered knowledge base and IVR system. This system enables customers to self-report meter readings and check bill balances without human intervention. This not only results in a 30% decrease in call volume but also allows the company to relocate staff to handle more complex customer issues, thus improving operational efficiency.

Now, most, if not all of us, have had a frustrating experience with traditional rules-based chatbots. However, the technology is getting a lot better. The question you need to ask yourself with any customer-facing chatbot is, “Can the chatbot do it better?” The bottomline is that you need to test and pilot any new chatbot feature or capability. If it is helping your business to provide a better customer experience in a cost-effective manner, then it may be time for you to implement it. For more discussion on this topic, see my article,  AI Chatbot Technology – Its Staggering Benefits And How To Best Use.

5. Intelligent Customer Routing and Callback Systems for Contact Center Operation.

Intelligent routing systems ensure that customers are directed to the most appropriate agent or department based on their specific needs. And, callback systems can offer an added layer of convenience where the customer can get a callback versus having to wait on hold for an agent. As a result, this minimizes wait times and improves the overall customer experience.

To illustrate, an airline’s contact center uses intelligent routing to direct customers calling about flight cancellations directly to a specialized support team. Additionally, during peak times, customers are offered a callback option, reducing on-hold times and evenly distributing call loads. As a result, these features improve the customer experience and improve agent utilization rates.

6. Contact Center Advanced Analytics: Diagnose and Optimize Customer Experience and Efficiency.

Advanced analytics in contact centers are pivotal for diagnosing and refining both customer experience and operational efficiency. By analyzing interactions and trends, businesses can identify areas for improvement and tailor services to customer preferences. Overall, businesses can make informed decisions that enhance the quality of service. Click here for a more detailed discussion on data analytics.

For a contact center analytics example, take an ecommerce company that uses advanced analytics to track customer satisfaction across different touchpoints. In this case, analysis reveals that email support has the lowest satisfaction scores. This prompts the company to revamp its email communication templates and training. As a result, this leads to a 15% uplift in customer satisfaction ratings for email interactions.

7. Omnichannel Communications: Unified Customer Experience Across Media Channels.

The integration of omnichannel communications ensures a seamless and unified customer experience across all platforms. Whether engaging via phone, email, chat, or social media, customers benefit from consistent service and the ability to switch between channels without losing context or information. This is a real customer pleaser!

To illustrate, a bank integrates with omnichannel communications, allowing customers to start a loan inquiry via chat and seamlessly transition to a phone call with a loan officer. Indeed, this type of continuity eliminates the need for customers to repeat information. As a result, this shortens the loan application process, and increases the likelihood of successful loan origination.

For a more detailed discussion on omnichannel contact centers, see my article, The Delighted, Connected Customer: Sure Ways To Make Call Centers Omnichannel And Data Rich.

8. Higher Reliability and Call Quality for Contact Center Operations.

Most customer contact centers use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications due to its low cost and to enable omnichannel communications with their customers. Now, just installing VoiP does not solve call reliability and quality. This is because contact centers need to both have a robust internet infrastructure and network optimization software to assure crystal-clear communication and minimal downtime.

For example, a contact center can adjust its Quality of Service (QoS) settings to prioritize VoIP traffic. Also, they can utilize wired connections where possible, select appropriate codecs to minimize latency, jitter, and packet loss. Further, they need to regularly test call quality and employ business-grade hardware with robust connectivity features. As a result, this can further improve call clarity and reliability, ensuring a professional and seamless communication experience. For more information on improving VoIP communications, see Nextiva’s article, VoIP Call Quality: Best Practices To Monitor & Improve It.

9. Integrations and API Ecosystems: Seamless Software Synergies.

The ability to integrate with a wide range of software and application programming interfaces (API) creates a robust ecosystem that enhances contact center capabilities. These integrations enable the seamless flow of information, streamline processes, and provide a more comprehensive view of the customer journey.

For example, a logistics company’s contact center integrates its transportation management software with its SaaS platform using an API. As a result, this allows agents to provide real-time shipping updates and reroute deliveries while on the call. Consequently, this integration reduces the average call handling time by 40% and improves the accuracy of information provided to customers. For more details on ways to integrate systems and data transfer, see my article,  The Best Ways To Access Data – Tech Solutions To Unlock Your Data Silos.

10. Security: Balancing Customer Usability Vs Authentication and Compliance.

In the digital age, security remains a paramount concern for contact centers. Balancing the need for easy customer usability with stringent authentication and compliance protocols is essential. Indeed, SaaS solutions need to continually evolve to address security challenges, ensuring the protection of sensitive data while maintaining a frictionless customer experience.

For example, a financial services contact center enhances security by introducing biometric authentication such as a voice recognition solution. As a result, this technology speeds up the verification process and reduces the average customer verification time by 50%. Further, this solution ensures compliance with financial regulations and safeguards customer data. For more information on verifying individual identities, see this reference, Verification Methods for Individuals: What Countries Do Today For Identity Verification.

11. Personalized Attention and Responses: CRM Integration and Tailoring the Customer Experience.

The integration of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems with contact center platforms enables the delivery of personalized attention and responses. By leveraging customer data and interaction history, agents can provide tailored service that resonates with the individual needs and preferences of each customer. As a result, this fosters loyalty and long-term relationships.

For example, a telecommunications company integrates its CRM with their contact center SaaS to deliver personalized service. When a customer calls in, the agent is immediately presented with the customer’s service history. As a result, the agent can proactively offer a discounted upgrade plan tailored to the customer’s usage patterns. Hence, this increases customer retention and a higher average revenue per user.

More References.

For more information on emerging tech for contact center SaaS, see Dialpad’s Elevate support with Dialpad Ai Contact Center article, TalkDesk’s Customer service automation tools to improve the customer and agent experience, and Medallia’s 9 Contact Center Solutions Every Company Needs. Also, to get started with evaluating different contact center SaaS capabilities, see Nextiva’s The Best Contact Center Software for 2024 and Gartner’ Contact Center as a Service Reviews and Ratings.

For more from SC Tech Insights, see the latest on the following topics: Customer Experience, Information Technology, AI, Interoperability, eCommerce.

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