The Future of Call Centers: Predictions and Trends for Call Center Software
The year 2023 is a crucial year for tech breakthroughs. The advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and quantum computing have altered the digital landscape for good. The rapid digital transformation will revolutionize every possible industry. How can call centers be left behind?
Call centers have always been at the cutting-edge of digital revolution. Whether it was the invention of the telephone in 1876 or the launch of the World Wide Web in 1989, call centers leveraged every emerging technology to achieve such a humongous market size.
As per Statista, the international call center market size reached USD 339.4 billion in 2020. The industry is projected to reach USD 496 billion by 2027. A major contribution goes to call center software, which is the life force of every call center.
From its inception in the 1970s to 2023, call center software has come a long way. It will keep up with the ongoing rapid digital transformation and change the way call centers operated in the past. Let’s take a look at some of the emerging trends and predictions for call center software in 2023.
The rise of AI will revolutionize call centers and call center software
Call centers have always used some form of AI to enhance customer service. But this year onwards, AI is going to revolutionize the way call centers work. The launch of ChatGPT, ChatSonic, Jasper, and other AI tools is just the start of the revolution.
With AI tools increasing at a faster rate, call centers will increasingly adopt the technology and will increase their investments in it. As per a report by Forrester, call centers’ investment in AI will boost over 300 percent in the next year.
The international call center AI market size will grow from USD 1.6 billion in 2022 to USD 4.1 billion by 2027. Many call centers will invest heavily in call center software fortified by sophisticated AI tools and algorithms.
Increased use of voice biometrics
Voice biometrics is an authentication technique that measures marked aspects in a person’s voice to recognize them. Even though the technology has been around since the 1990s, many call centers and contact centers have started using it not only to authenticate their customers and protect their data but also to improve several call center metrics.
A recent study found that voice biometrics can reduce a call center’s average handling time (AHT) by up to 45 seconds and save businesses about USD 10 per call. As per another study, voice biometrics can cut customer authentication time by more than 90 percent.
With the rise in voice biometrics adoption, the market size is going to grow by leaps and bounds. As per a Mordor Intelligence report, the voice biometrics market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19.48 percent between 2022 and 2027. Many reliable call center software providers will integrate voice biometrics into their offerings to replace security questions and reduce fraud.
Remote working is here to stay
According to Gartner’s Future of Work from Home for Support and Service Employees report, nearly nine out of every ten support and service leaders and as much as 80 percent of their staff will work from home till 2023. The report also said that more than three-quarters of customer support and service functions will have 80 to 100 percent of the employees working from home.
For years, many call centers experimented with remote working to enhance efficiency and provide 24/7 customer service. But the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns made remote working the only option for all call centers across the world. The lockdowns have been lifted long ago, but remote working is here to stay.
As per various studies, remote workers are far more productive and satisfied compared to office workers. By allowing remote working, businesses can considerably reduce operating costs and overheads. That’s why call center software that allows agents to work across time zones, in multiple remote settings, is going to be in huge demand.
Prevalence and alignment of cloud-based call center solutions
Cloud-based call centers solutions such as UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service), and many such cloud call center software will be more prevalent in 2023. The popularity of cloud-based call center solutions will be mostly due to their flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.
Not only that, some cloud-based models are more likely to merge (such as UCaaS merging with CCaaS) for increased efficiency and to provide a comprehensive, unified, and cost-effective solution for businesses. In addition to that, UCaaS and CCaaS can align together to create a far more efficient workflow. Many call center software providers will merge both the communication technologies in their call center software to enable their clients:
- Enhance team collaboration
- Boost productivity
- Enhance customer experience
- Provide better business insights
- Achieve cost savings
More focus on self-service
As ironic as it may sound, it will benefit call centers to focus on providing sophisticated self-service options to their customers. That’s because many customers nowadays are looking for better and more efficient self-service options so that they can get their issues resolved quickly.
As per recent data, over forty percent of customers choose self-service over human interaction. As per a Nuance study, almost two-thirds of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative.
A study conducted by Dimension Data found that nearly three-quarters of the respondents said that they prefer to use a business’s website, instead of using live chat, SMS, and social media for customer support.
All these findings from various studies show the rising popularity of self-service. That’s why all call centers should keep those customers in mind who prefer to find solutions to their problems on their own. To facilitate that, they must have advanced and efficient self-service options in place.
Prioritization of mobile-first
As per data published by Bank My Cell, there are currently 6.92 billion mobile phone users in the world. In terms of percentage, more than 86 percent of the world’s population own a phone. Now, it’s only natural that a cell phone user will call a customer care number using their mobile device, isn’t it?
Let’s look at some stats. Recent research found that about two-thirds of customers prefer messaging using their mobile devices when compared to phone and email. Another study revealed that almost the same number of American adults use their mobile devices to seek customer support.
Over the years, the use of mobile phones is increasing at a rapid pace. As the penetration of mobile phones continues to increase, call centers need to adopt a mobile-first strategy to help their customers.
Call centers need to ensure that customers can find them and connect with them via mobile devices. Apart from integrating mobile solutions into their extant call center software, they also need to build mobile-friendly apps and websites.
Popularity of live chat
Live web chats are fast, convenient, and interactive. Instead of waiting on hold, customers prefer to engage in live web chat to connect with customer support executives fast and speed up the resolution process. According to data published in Freshworks, the highest number of customers prefer live chat over all other channels. As per the data, 41 percent of customers prefer live chat, whereas 32 percent prefer phone support, 23 percent prefer email.
Another data released by Zendesk found that, at 85 percent votes, live chat scores the second highest customer satisfaction ratings. It loses the top spot to phone support (at 91 percent) by six percentage points.
By using live web chats call centers can foresee customers’ problems as the latter navigate their websites. That enables them to assign the right agents to handle customers’ queries and issues. The right call center software comes with a sophisticated live chat feature.
Make your call center future-ready by choosing the right call center software
Call centers have always been at the forefront of digital transformation and the innovation of call center software leveled up their operations to several notches. Over the decades, emerging technologies have played a huge role in call centers’ efficiency and productivity. With the rapidly changing digital landscape, call center software will evolve to ensure exceptional customer support and service.
At HoduSoft, our call center software HoduCC comes with many sophisticated features, which can make your call center future-ready.