In the cutthroat competition related to call center outsourcing, only those players will survive which adapt themselves as per changing trends. The remaining will soon cease to exist as their technologies and management style will become obsolete. The modifications of customer’s expectations also play a key role in shaping the trends of the call center outsourcing industry.
Several customer support agents have predicted that technologies like visual IVR and callback technology will become more popular this year. Let’s look at some trends that are currently popular in call center outsourcing firms and are changing the scenario of customer support process.

Changing Style of Agent Training

Cross-training of agents is a growing trend in outsourcing call center. Also, the companies are giving more focus on imparting comprehensive knowledge related to products and services among customer support executives. This change in training style has helped in resolving the issues of the callers at the first contact itself. Also, it has played a major part in matching the demands of present day customers.

Agents are More Empowered

Gone are those days when the powers of the agents related to customer handling were restricted. In the present scenario, the agents have more powers and they are able to deviate from the rules in order to satisfy the customer. They are also able to take decisions themselves related to offering a discount or agreeing to the customer’s demands in order to offer delightful experience.

Big Data has Become a Norm

There are several contact centers across the world that are dependent on machine learning to constantly track and predict the behavior of consumers that contact the customer support department. This has raised the bar of customer services and more brands are turning towards the outsourcing vendors that utilize big data in their processes. Even speech analytics has become an integrated part of the customer support process management.

Self-Service is Changing the Scenario

As per Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, 90 percent of customers expect a firm to provide a self-service portal related to customer support. IVR and ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ sections are some of the constituents of self-service processes. This trend is decreasing the dependency on customer support agents to a greater extent. Self-service is also loved by those customers who hate to wait in long queues of customer support lines.

Proactive Approach is Gaining Popularity

Sending messages through emails or text to provide essential information of product/service purchased by the customer is an integral part of customer support. Shipping status, warranty details and ‘DIY’ guide related to the product are usually mailed to the customers proactively. This has reduced the common queries for which the consumers used to contact customer support department. Announcing the mistake and apologizing for much before customers find out about the mistake also comes under proactive customer support. These strategies have helped several firms from outsourcing industry to develop confidence and trust among the end-customers of their clients.

Increased Use of Customer Feedbacks

Customer service is now limited not only to the resolution of the queries. Call centers now go a step further to take Feedback from the Customer for the Service Offered to them. Feedback is generally taken using outbound IVR or by sending an email carrying a survey. This technique has helped companies to improve their support process on the basis of expectations of the customers.

Popularity of Live Chat and Social Media Among Millennials

Millennials are dependent on smartphone apps to control their daily life tasks. They are even using them to contact the customer support of brands through social media websites. Therefore, companies are giving more focus on social media monitoring to ensure that positive image is developed through satisfactory services. Live chat is also preferred by this generation as responses are made immediately through it. It is also expected that these two channels may take over the phone call support in future.

Marketing Department is Taking Support of Customer Support Process

For creating much better personas and designing perfect marketing campaigns, marketing departments are taking support of outsourced customer support process. The people from customer support provide the marketing team with in-depth information related to expectations of the customers and common issues faced by them. This information is also utilized by marketing department to create useful content that matches the requirements of target customers.

This industry is expected to modify continuously in future with addition of new technologies and addition of new businesses across the world.

Vishal Parashar

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