5 customer care trends that will change the contact center experience in 2022
January 18, 20224 min read
While many aspects of our day-to-day lives have felt extremely slowed down these last couple of years — impeded by long lines, backordered supplies, and canceled transportation — in other areas, we have come to expect faster and more attentive interactions than ever.
Even well before the COVID-19 pandemic, 75% of customers said they expected help within 5 minutes of reaching out to a business. And as more and more people turn to online solutions for previously offline activities, customers have evolved a new standard of immediacy for both online and online-to-offline interactions.
To keep up with customers’ increasingly high expectations, care teams should consider these 5 trends when building their strategies for 2022 and beyond:
1. The digital contact center is becoming the default contact center
Organizations that approach customer conversations which take place in multiple channels (across different social media and messaging apps, live agents, and chatbots) as part of a single unified customer journey will benefit from this omnichannel approach.
By connecting customer facing functions (sales, marketing, and customer service), data gets shared across departments. This gives businesses a holistic view of each customer, enabling someone to reach out using their favorite social media channel, for example, and to continue discussing that same issue at a later time over live chat on the company website — without having to explain their situation over again or repeat important details.
2. Customers prefer self-service
Gartner has found that 70% of customers are using self-service channels at some point during their resolution journey, indicating that most customers who seek help from a business would prefer to solve their issues independently if possible.
Customer service leaders should aim to enhance their self-service capabilities in the coming year so that at least 50% of inquiries are resolved through self-service channels. Not only will providing more options for people to easily find answers to their questions cultivate happier, more loyal customers — it can also significantly reduce costs for the customer care organization.
3. Live agents are increasingly being augmented with AI
AI for the contact center has been a popular topic of discussion for some time, but we predict that in the coming year, we’re going to see an increase in adoption of AI to augment agent performance, automate quality, and deliver more proactive care.
By making your live agents’ jobs easier and more efficient, you set them up to focus more on complexity, better handle tough conversations, and provide more thoughtful personal interactions with customers. AI also makes it possible to route challenging or sensitive cases to best-fit agents who have strong records of dealing successfully with these cases. And smart load-balancing can improve workload distribution for all agents on the team.
4. Internal silos are breaking down
As digital care becomes more sophisticated and customer experience technology continues to evolve, organizations are dismantling internal silos.
In 2022, more agents will see their roles expand to include both serving and selling — and the once rigid lines between sales, marketing, and service will further blur. The businesses that leverage unified technology solutions, which centralize customer data and insights, will be able to provide better and more consistent experiences for customers.
5. Stricter regulations are making complaints management a priority
The new Australian regulation RG 271, which went into effect in late 2021, requires financial service providers to address all complaints that arise via social and messaging channels — and to process complaints in just 45 days.
We predict we’ll start to see similar regulations showing up for different industries around the globe. So no matter your industry, it’s important to determine now what your organization will need to execute a successful complaints management strategy.
To keep up with customer expectations, you need a unified contact center
Just as you would expect a friend to remember details about you, between what’s shared through texts, phone calls, social media messages, in-person visits, and other forms of communication, customers expect businesses to have a holistic understanding of their journey and relevant personal information — no matter what channel they use to interact in a particular moment. This means the omnichannel experience is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have.
Once you understand what your customers want from their interactions with you, you can help your business deliver the experiences they expect — and keep them coming back in an age where every customer conversation is critical.
To find out how your care organization can take action on these trends, download 5 Predictions for Customer Care in 2022: Why You Need a Unified Contact Center to Keep Up with Customer Expectations.
See how Sprinklr Service can help you provide a unified, omnichannel experience for customers.