Call Centre - Industry insights for 2017 and beyond!

The New Year is set to provide both challenges and opportunities for all industries across the UK. Here, we examine  5 trends that are set to make an impact on call and contact centres in 2017 and beyond!

1. Call centre agents will need to expand their skill sets.

Over the years, we have seen how call centres and customer service agents have played an increasingly important role of bridging the gap between businesses and their clients. As we move towards the future, where there will be an increase in automation, intelligent call routing and a generation Y customer base, customer service agents will have to adapt their skill sets to meet the demand.

“Aside from excellent communication skills, customer service agents need analytical problem-solving skills, project management – and in some cases, technical training, in order to understand the finer details of the product or service. Customer service agents will also need to be able to adapt to changes in technology – from becoming an expert in every new app and social network, to utilizing the increasing range of data on their CRM,” advises Tim Pickard, Chief Marketing Officer at NewVoiceMedia.

2. Call routing systems will result in a more accurate service delivery

Too often is the case that agents receive calls from a customers who are looking to speak with someone with specific knowledge or expertise on the particulars of their query. Understandably so, it can be frustrating for an existing customer when they are connected to an agent who treats them as a first-time caller, and who doesn’t have sound knowledge of a complex query. The good news is that modern call centre solutions provide companies with the opportunity to speed up the process and enforce customer service consistency by connecting customers to the right agents.

“Although intelligent call routing systems are currently available, it’s predicted to grow within the next 10 years, enabling the customer to reach their desired expert at a faster rate. As CRM and workflow management systems develop, a complex ‘match-making’ process will occur every time a customer calls, to ensure the right expert is on hand to solve every problem,” Tim predicts.

3. The rise of web chat

There is no denying that there are limitations when being restricted to phone communication with customers. “The success of Amazon Mayday has made video-based chat a real possibility,” Tim says. “The channel has huge potential, because it allows agents to develop a more personal connection with customers through face-to-face chat. Plus, have you ever wanted to show a customer how something works? With video chat, this becomes a possibility.” In addition, video chat could also eliminate the idea of being put on hold, because even if the agent isn’t speaking, the customer is connected via the visual feed.

4. Increase in the use of mobiles and apps

Technology has undoubtedly evolved over the years, and with it sprung forth a new wave of digitally innovative businesses such as Uber and Airbnb, among others. These businesses that optimise customer service experience through the use of instant, digital solutions represent the modern generation of customers with an elevated standard of what they believe to be excellent customer service.

“According to the Economist, mobile apps are predicted to become the second most important channel for engaging with brands. And it’s not just about apps, as the mobile phone becomes an increasingly important part of everyday life. It’s how your customers are most likely to get in contact with you – via email, live chat, social media or in a voice call. Companies need to optimise their mobile functionality for this – particularly by allowing customers to multi-task on their mobile,” says Tim.

5. Remote working and location-based services could increase

Thanks to the rise of cloud-based SaaS, your call centre agents will no longer need to work from the same location. Having remote working agents could be proven beneficial for employers. “This approach can reduce the costs associated with running a call centre and give employees greater flexibility,” says Tim. Industry predictions suggest that the growing number of virtual call centres could lead to more location-based services. “For instance, a customer calling a company could be automatically connected to an agent working remotely a few miles from their location. The agent could even arrange to meet the customer if necessary, which could be very useful for certain sectors,” Tim advises.

Are you a call centre agent of the future?

Are you an interactive, ambitious and tech-savvy professional who is looking to cultivate and develop valuable skills to fuel your career progression? At Search, we recruit candidates for a wide range of temporary to permanent roles! You can find our full list of vacancies here!



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