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2021 was a pivotal year for contact centers. The changes which occurred in the last twelve months will set customer experience trends for years to come. Here are the customer experience stats from 2021 mattered the most.
To understand the present, you have to know the past. Numerous predictions have already been made for 2022, but it’s worth taking a step back to understand the consequential changes that occurred in the last twelve months. In a year when face-to-face interactions meant the most, contact center agents rose to the occasion. The key customer experience stats of 2021 highlight three areas where customer experience is going.
Let’s boldly start off with one we were wrong on. Last year, we discussed and backed Forrester’s valuation of the global public cloud infrastructure at $120 billion. Perhaps we were too quick to champion that number — because the value was undersold. Multiple recent reports state that this figure stands at $445.3 billion, with the potential to grow to $947.3 billion by 2026. Let that sink in for a moment: the global cloud market could be worth nearly $1 trillion within five years. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 16.3%.
That staggering number indicates that, all the world over, confidence in the stability and security of the cloud is mushrooming. This is a good thing, as cloud technologies are making possible the new reality of work brought about by recent global health events. The most obvious pain point in making the switch to the cloud is the initial inconvenience. With that said, when Belgian telecom firm VOO needed to quickly find a cloud solution at the beginning of the pandemic, they were able to make the transition in a few weeks. The versatility, security, and ROI that cloud storage provides validates Odigo’s work with cloud technologies since day one.
Global health events of recent vintage did more than just change the reality of the working world, they changed the way that customers sought out support. In a recent survey by Lightico on retail banking, 63% of respondents said that they are more inclined now to try a new digital app or website than before the coronavirus. That opinion is being acted upon as well, as 67% of consumers worldwide interacted with a chatbot to get customer support over the past 12 months. These chatbots are becoming more adept at handling more complex customer queries as well, which increases the chances of raising customer service metrics like customer effort score (CES) and net promoter score (NPS). It’s the reason that 9 out of 10 European executives are looking to leverage AI-led customer experience (CX) technologies for their brands.
In spite of all of these exciting future-proof technologies, let’s not lose sight of contact center agents. AI-led solutions should not replace agents, but rather supplement them. They can benefit from AI in two ways. One, though chatbots may become capable of handling more complex language, they lack the human touch. A key skill of contact center agents is the ability to imbue empathy and emotion into interactions. Customers obviously value these interactions because they feel understood, but they are crucial for agents as well. Using their interpersonal skills to engage customers by speaking freely can be a key to combating attrition and burnout.
Two, AI helps agents in the course of customer interactions in the form of learning to use real-time agent assist tools, which cannot be underestimated as a skill in itself. These not only help with note-taking and data entry, but they actively use information from in-progress conversations to activate knowledge retrieval and behavior guidance. Both of these things mean an improved agent experience (AX), which translates to improved CX. Since the start, Odigo has kept both customer and agent in mind in becoming a leader in AI-led CX.
Many brands are beginning to truly realize the value of improving their contact centers’ performance through data visualization. These tools, when used to drill down and measure KPIs against each other, can provide valuable insights that can’t be extracted by simply analyzing single KPIs, such as average handling time, by themselves. They should be thought of as more than mere technical tools, however. Dashboard tools should be essential in formulating goals and objectives, as well as the KPIs needed to track progress such as CES and churn rate. Making dashboards the center of contact center strategies could lead to results like an 800 percent rise in customer satisfaction and a 60 percent reduction in churn for priority customers.
This testimonial by McKinsey is proof of said results: “One leading airline built a machine-learning system based on 1,500 customer, operations, and financial variables to measure both satisfaction and predicted revenue for its more than 100 million customers every day. The system allowed the airline to identify and prioritize those customers whose relationships were most at risk because of a delay or cancellation and offer them personalized compensation to save the relationship and reduce customer defection on high-priority routes.” The more that contact center supervisors are willing to play with the numbers, the better the prospects for delivering top-tier CX will be. Odigo’s CCaaS solutions make use of dashboards that allow supervisors and managers to make the most informed decisions possible.
The trends which endure beyond 2021 will not be about COVID-19, lockdowns and isolation; they will be about innovative solutions and aspiring to the best CX possible. Is your contact center ready for the challenges of 2022? To learn more about personalized, seamless cloud-based Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions, contact Odigo.
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