2012 is going to be an year of transformation for contact centers across the world. The focus right now is building customer relationships through effective customer engagement and at the same time aligning activities and resources in a way that cost is optimized.
When the customer landscape itself is changing, the way customers are serviced also has to change. How is the customer interacting today? What are they interacting about? These questions can offer interesting insights for service providers and enterprises. Customers are interacting in multiple ways, hence arises the need for multiple channel strategies. Also, today customers are doing a lot of talking. These interactions can again lead to useful insights with the use of analytics. Its thus a change leading to another change. Technology investments in new areas, multiple channel strategies, social media platforms and analytics is clearly going to play a major role.
It will be interesting to look at some of the Contact Center Outsourcing trends that will rule 2012:
Focus Shifting to Increased Self Service
Enabling more customer service not just through IVRs but through different platforms like Web, social media and multiple channels will be the key. The Y generation prefers to self serve rather than being directed what to do by human agents. So self service as a way of serving customers is only going to expand massively. Subramanya C, Chief Technology Officer, HGS, is of the opinion that the idea is to enable self service more to be able to offer more services and move towards non linearity. Technology investments are being done in this area so that self service is easy and interactive platforms are user friendly.
Social Media as a platform
Social media is going to be one of the most prominent modes of multiple channel communication. Krishna Baidya, Industry Manager, Frost & Sullivan, says, Enterprises will be using social media as a powerful self-service mechanism and a platform for powerful proactive real time engagement with customers.
Customer Service Goes Mobile
Mobile is the new platform for serving customers. As broadband penetration picks up massively on mobile devices, enterprises will be focusing a lot on this area and according to Baidya large enterprises will take mobile applications to another level, empowering customers with the options of escalating to web chats and voice to interact with customer service agents.
Cloud Contact Centers
Cloud is making its way into contact centers and experts see increased adoption happening this year. Service providers will be offering applications in the cloud and offering solutions according to the specific flexibility and scalability requirements of clients.
Increasing Role of Analytics
Analytics has a big role to play as contact centers are witnessing an explosion of data coming from different platforms. How to make sense of this data will be an important question to consider. Organizations and service providers will be focusing on putting together useful data through analytics to arrive at right decisions.