Contact Centre trends emerge in response to the changing business landscape. There’s no doubt that the last 12 months have been significant for the digital transformation of UK businesses. Faced with rapidly shifting circumstances in 2020, businesses either accelerated their existing plans or applied a swift temporary fix. Either way last year’s solutions may already be out of date. Customers have adapted to doing everything online, from meetings and parties to education and social lives. They are now very comfortable navigating digital engagement with brands. Businesses must adapt too.
For customer service leaders, a reduction in face-to-face contact with customers means a heavy reliance on digital solutions. Investing in the right technology is vital to allow the customer experience to be a positive one. A recent benchmarking report found that “81.6% of organizations acknowledge customer experience offers a competitive edge and 58% consider it a primary differentiator.” NTT Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report.
Given this landscape what are the contact centre trends in 2021?
Talking about “working from home” is out of date. Operate from anywhere is the new model. Agents and customers are working from wherever suits them, at flexible hours of day. Our clients need to support customers and enable employees everywhere: no matter how, when or where they interact and engage. The technology supporting this approach needs to allow agents access to all appropriate information so they can be highly productive.
Collaboration becomes more important with dispersed teams, and allows agents to quickly and successfully resolve customer issues. Clients need access to real time analytics to monitor, measure and optimize performance. And security issues that are important when agents all work in one company building are even more crucial when they are operating from anywhere. System security and disaster recovery plans need to be built in as standard.
The term “Unified Communication” or “UC” describes how we connect different communication systems for the digital workforce. A UC system can include messaging, voice and video calling, team collaboration, video conferencing and file sharing. It ensures that no matter where you work, you can still access the same secure system. Benefits include better productivity, reduced costs, better employee performance and enhanced user experience.
According to Aberdeen, “Unified communication-enabled contact centres see a 50% increase in agent productivity, a 2.9x average handle time improvement year-over-year and an 80% decrease in customer complaints.” The ROI of Uniting Unified Communications and Contact Center, Aberdeen
The same research also notes that a 200-agent contact centre loses $1.5 million annually from agents working across silos to find information. Clients are looking for joined up solutions to ensure maximum productivity and customer service.
It is clear to us, working with clients in a range of sectors, that customers do not have particular preferences about how they contact brands. Their priority is obtaining a resolution to their issue, and they are happy to use a self-service solution as the first option. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, they want to speak to someone who can help. They will reach out on any channel that suits them. Beyond the technology implications, this has ramifications for agent headcount and training.
Our experience in working with clients in great detail to deliver contact centre solutions tells us that this rapid pace of change will only accelerate. These trends are here to stay and the successful brands will be those that adopt and maximise technology to allow agents to build powerful customer relationships.
We are pleased to be partnering with 8×8, a leading integrated cloud communications platform provider, trusted by more than one million business users worldwide. For the sixth year in a row, Gartner has recognised 8×8 as a Challenger in the annual Gartner Magic Quadrant™ for Contact Centre as a Service. Get in touch to talk to us about how 8×8 solutions can improve the performance of your contact centre.
“In the last month we launched a new contact centre and back office communication solution! Really pleased with the results, with NTS Communications and Steve Ward supporting us through the journey.”
“At TTC we were very apprehensive about the big change over in our telephone system. However the level of service provided by NTS Communications has been very impressive and reassuring. Prior to the implementation I was worried about the implications that would arise during the changeover, however apart from the minor ‘niggles’ everything went a lot smoother than first anticipated due to the amount of time and support we received during this process. We understand that there are still many benefits to be discovered with our new ShoreTel system but know that those at Network Telecom Solutions will be on hand to answer any queries we may have”.
“We worked with NTS Communications to implement a Shoretel telephone system. NTS Communications took the time to fully understand our business and our needs before recommending a system to us. They then acted as project manager for the implementation which went very smoothly. Keeping us fully informed of the project progress and were only too happy to help at any time of day when we had questions or issues. NTS Communications is focused on delivering a first class customer service”.
“At Principal Insurance we needed a communications partner who understood the customer contact environment and could provide us with the right technology and advice to enable us to best serve our customers. NTS Communications have experienced and knowledgeable consultants to advise us and a support operation that is quick to react and technically capable to ensure our systems are always available to deal with our customer call volumes. I would recommend NTS Communications to any organisations who rely on their contact centre operation’s to support their business activities”.
“NTS Communications were selected by Randall & Quilter to support their 400 user global voice and data environment which includes 4 sites in the UK and 3 sites in the US and Bermuda. We needed a partner who offered 24/7/365 global Support and who was quick to react to issues and enquiries and was not saddled with the ‘red tape’ associated with many service organisations these days. We find their support centre professional and effective with an excellent team of technical staff who are on hand to solve any issues we may have and to offer implementation services as required. Added to this was their recommendation around the consolidation and supply of our ISDN lines and call traffic which saved us a considerable amount of money. NTS Communications has been a pleasure to deal with and I would not hesitate in recommending their services to other organisations”.
Randall & Quilter Insurance Services Group IT
“The use of Basecamp was proposed by NTS as we started our roll out of the Shoretel system to 150+ users across seven sites and four continents.
Although few of my team had first hand experience with Basecamp we found it intuitive to use and quickly came to rely upon it.”
Instem – Information Solutions for Life
“NTS Communications have been a tremendous help in sorting out our call centre re-implementation. They provided an excellent insight into best practice and helped drive the project to conclusion. NTS Communications and their technical team put in a fantastic effort and have a real ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to their work”.
Technology Support Manager EMEA