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In 2022, when we reach out to customers, we really need to make it count. As we make attempts to move on from a reality where lockdowns are the norm, there is a chance to make interactions between brands, agents and customers more authentic and positive. These are the CX trends we’re watching out for in 2022 to help facilitate those interactions.
A new year is dawning, which brings with it limitless possibilities. Anything could happen in the world of CX in the year 2022. The phrase “anything could happen” isn’t just a piece of fluff anymore, either. We know from our recent experiences with COVID-19 that anything can indeed happen.
One thing we know for sure is that the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns severely curtailed interpersonal interactions and rearranged how we work, which also brought about a reduction in interactions. As such, familiarity and warmth are more important than ever. From here on out, when brands reach out, it really needs to count. Customer interactions need more than just a front of positivity, that positivity needs to be authentic. These are the CX trends in 2022 that will see CCaaS solutions being used to build that authenticity on all sides.
Did you know that customer service call volumes actually increased during the COVID-19 pandemic? This seems to run counter to the fact that digital interactions are seen as CX’s future, and that newer generations are notoriously telephone-averse. The reality is that self-service options, as well as channels such as instant messaging, chat and SMS work in tandem with — not against — phone interactions.
What customer service trends can we glean from this? For one, agents will be needed to receive calls for the foreseeable future. That voice-to-voice interaction matters because it allows an organization to convey a distinct kind of empathy and emotion that’s difficult to duplicate in text alone. Articulating emotions serves a fundamental social function that’s part of how humans are wired, and those emotions are equally essential to building a relationship with your brand.
With that said, all channels should be given equal attention as your customer may choose any of them to engage with you. Customers should not have their hand forced. It cannot be stressed enough that, whether a customer is talking to an agent via voice or using any other channel, the quality of the customer experience cannot waver. Why? Well…
Here’s a no-brainer – customers hate repeating themselves. On the surface, it’s obvious why: it’s annoying. Going behind the why, however, reveals a more critical problem. When customers repeat themselves, they feel as though their issues are not being heard or understood. When a problem takes multiple interactions to resolve, having to start all over again with every interaction is a pain point that creates negative feelings and associations with your brand.
That’s why, in 2022, it’s important to be proactive with customer service. Technology can be used to keep track of every interaction a customer has across channels, as well as record and keep information relevant to their account and needs. The ability to do those things while providing a responsive and reactive customer experience based upon them makes all the difference in the world. That’s because customers find that agents (both virtual and real) always appear ready and attentive, regardless of the channel they use. That’s the meaning of a channel-less customer experience. It will be a customer service trend simply because it’s the key to helping customers build positive brand associations.
But what of the contact center agent? In 2022, the general trend is toward paying more attention to the needs and well-being of the employee, as working from home and flexible schedules will remain a fixture of work culture. We must also consider the recently emerged phenomenon of “The Great Resignation”, which has impacted many areas of business as we emerge from the pandemic. This will certainly affect the contact center and retaining the staff we have, alongside making our operation the most attractive to new employees.For a contact center, the ability to handle interaction volumes should go unhindered. Modern CCaaS solutions are keeping up with trends by functioning as a workforce enablement tool for a geographically distributed team. They ensure access to data and colleagues in real-time, as well as create a frictionless work environment. In so doing, CCaaS helps maintain a connected culture for otherwise disconnected agents.
That’s not the only advantage. In 2022, CX trends toward technological advances in CCaaS are an opportunity to help your agents transform into true customer experience experts. How? Mastering these innovative new tools, which are built on artificial intelligence, frees an agent’s time from mundane and repetitive work. Moreover, they give agents the opportunity to enhance their skillsets, build entirely new ones, and let them use interpersonal skills that are unique to each agent. These are crucial to any CX endeavor for agents and customers alike, especially when freed from the burden of old-fashioned techniques like scripting. Letting your agents be free to interact and understand while having real-time agent assist tools at their fingertips makes space for genuine human interaction with customers, which in turn makes for an overall improved agent experience (AX), and translates to a better overall CX. Improving both AX and CX always delivers positive measurables for an organization, which is why it will remain a customer service trend.
Julia Cames recently wrote an interesting French-language piece that stresses the need for emotions in customer relationships. She says that “the pandemic has reshuffled the cards of our economy, which will no longer function as before. It put the cursor back on a need for more authenticity, positivity and revealed a quest for meaning.” Using CCaaS technology can lead to establishing more meaningful relationships with your customer base, which can only heighten the positive associations they make with it.
Success always follows.
Would you be interested in applying the customer service trends of 2022 to your contact center? Turn to Odigo, a CCaaS industry leader in helping organizations improve their customer satisfaction scores and achieving a more rewarding CX.
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