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The future of Contact Center: how to prepare for the upcoming demographic and technological changes?

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Without a doubt, predictability and stability are luxury values that should distinguish modern businesses. On one hand, we observe significant demographic shifts affecting the structure of the labor market, consumption, and global economic trends. On the other hand, we face accelerating technological evolution that continuously redefines how we conduct business, communicate, and live. To survive and thrive in such an environment, companies must not only understand these changes but also actively adapt to them. This includes customer service and systems like Contact Centers.

Customer service trends

Trend #1: Personalization

90% of customers are willing to spend more if companies focus on personalized customer service (123formbuilder, 2023). Consumers are not interested in mass communication and template interaction – they much prefer a format tailored to their individual needs, purchase history, and previously reported problems. This trend is a result of the development of machine learning-based technology, a branch of AI. The effectiveness of algorithms built this way is appreciated by leaders of major industries – including the entertainment industry (e.g., Netflix).

Trend #2: Modern technologies

For several years, we have been witnessing the dynamic development of AI, which has influenced the growth of chatbots and voicebots. These automated tools allow for solving simple customer queries, enabling consultants to focus on more complex issues. Their biggest advantage is response time — which is why 68% of users happily use this form of communication (Userlike). The CX Trends 2022 report by Zendesk indicated that 76% of customers expect immediate conversation initiation and quick responses. It also reads that customers dislike repeating information that should be recorded and made accessible to consultants. Examples of companies utilizing AI in their daily service include Sephora, LOT, and IKEA.

Trend #3: Automation

54% of customers stated that having to answer the same questions by a chatbot and a consultant causes them significant frustration (Zendesk). Bad experiences are greater when repetitive processes involve long waiting times for a response and help. In light of these data, automation becomes extremely valuable. Its purpose is to streamline the communication process, relieving employees and transferring some tasks to the aforementioned modern technologies. It’s also thanks to automation that conversations can be conducted 24/7.

Trend #4: Contact Center

Just a few decades ago, customer service took a back seat, giving way to logistics and efficient production. Today, we know that contact with the customer is often the foundation of brand building, as a loyal and devoted group of consumers influences PR and revenue. Therefore, the role of Contact Centers is huge and importantly — evolving. These theses are confirmed by data (123formbuilder, 2023), according to which:

81% of customers admit that good service increases their chance of repurchasing, 70% of shopping experiences are based on how customers are treated by the service, 64% of companies acknowledged that they can see an increase in sales thanks to good customer service.

What will customer service look like?

A new generation, known as Generation Z, which has been familiar with new technology, automation, and mobile devices since early childhood, is entering the market. This suggests that customer service will have to focus even more on reaction speed and the use of omnichannel, which ensures fluidity in transitioning between different communication channels (from social media to live chat). Along with these values, authenticity, transparency, and constant access to online resources will be valuable.

Thus, businesses will likely proactively identify and solve problems, often through behavioral analysis, instead of waiting for customer reports.

How to prepare for these changes?

All these predictions and trend analyses indicate that companies will have to be flexible and proactive. To meet these changes, adaptation is key. Here are a few strategies that can help companies prepare for future demographic and technological changes.

1. Analyzing demographic forecasts

Companies must analyze forecasts regarding population aging, urbanization growth, or migration to adjust their marketing strategies, products, and services. With these conclusions, companies should emphasize continuous training and development of employees who can flexibly adapt to trends and technologies penetrating the business world.

2. Adapting to digital technologies

Introducing new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analysis, or automation can significantly increase a company’s efficiency. Adapting to these technologies also allows a better understanding of customer needs and adjusting the offer to changing expectations. This is especially true for Generation Z, which expects a rapid response from brands (preferably within 24 hours) in 57% of cases (Hubspot).

3. Collaborating with Industry experts and creating a culture of adaptation

Analyses in demographics and technology enable companies to better understand upcoming changes. Additionally, supporting a culture of openness in the organization means that employees are ready to learn and thus contribute to the company’s success.

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