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Evolution of Contact Centers: Combining People and Technology

contact centre

Contact Centers have undergone remarkable evolutionary changes. From traditional-telephone-based support to the integration of text and video chat capabilities, businesses are adapting to meet the dynamic needs of their tech-loving customers. This shift not only enhances their experience but also strengthens and streamlines contact centers’ operations. Incorporating text, video chat, and chatbots can significantly reduce the dependency on traditional telephone calls. 

Telephone-Centric Model and Why This No Longer Works

Telephones were once the primary mode of communication between customers and agents. While effective at this time, this model presented challenges such as long wait times, language barriers, and limited multitasking capabilities for both customers and support agents. As technology advanced, the need for a more versatile and efficient system became apparent. Businesses that completely rely on telephone-centric models for their customer service suffer as a result. The more customers contact you in this format, there are longer wait times and a decrease in the quality of service. Solely relying on this form of communication will break down and affect your business negatively. 

The Rise of Text-Based Communication 

The introduction of email support marked text-based communication and later developed into live chat and instant messaging. Recognizing the advantages of these channels – quicker response times, documented communication, and the ability to handle multiple conversations simultaneously – this evolution addressed some of the shortcomings of traditional telephone support but also presented new challenges, particularly in conveying emotions and building rapport with customers. As smartphones become the primary means of communication, customers look to use the right tool at the right time – that might mean voice or SMS, or social media apps like WhatApp and Facebook Messenger. 

Customers Seek Self-Service Options

Shopping habits have changed and with the rise of ecommerce, it has become a 24/7 activity, many companies have added chatbots to their websites to allow customers to get answers to their questions regardless of whether or not the contact center is open. As AI gets more integrated into the chatbot experience, the usefulness of this technology will continue to increase. Even while a contact center is open, chatbots can help customers quickly find answers to questions on their own and reduce the volume of calls that ultimately go to an agent. However, there comes a point when a chatbot can no longer help. To avoid frustration companies must have a way to channel those customers to live agents. With the help of chatbots, Vee24 customers have seen a 30% reduction in call handling time because simple, initial queries were handled by the chatbot. 

Integration of Video Technologies in Contact Centres

To bridge the emotional gap in online experiences, and provide a more personal and in-person experience online, contact centers have turned to video chat. With the widespread availability of high-speed internet and advanced video technologies, businesses started leveraging video to connect with customers in real time. Video chat allows support agents to establish a more human connection, understand visual cues, and ultimately provide a richer customer experience. Through implementing video chat, Vee24 customers saw significant improvements in Average Order Value, Conversion Rates, and Customer Satisfaction Scores. 

Benefits of Reducing Customer Telephone Engagements in Contact Centres

Enhanced Customer Experience:

Chatbots help customers to efficiently get answers to their simple questions leveraging all the content that has been created on your website. Video chat allows customers to interact with support agents more personally and visually, replicating the face-to-face experience. This fosters a sense of trust and enhances the overall customer experience.

Multimodal Communication:

By incorporating text and video chat capabilities, contact centers offer customers the flexibility to choose their preferred communication mode. Giving customers choice and freedom to choose, is vital to attract different customer demographics and satisfying all. 

Efficient Issue Resolution:

Video chat enables support agents to troubleshoot issues more effectively by visually diagnosing problems. Cobrowse technology comes into play here. Cobrowse allows customers and agents to share their screens. Agents can guide the customer throughout the website, help with product picking, and website navigation, and take them to checkout. Agents can handhold the customer through the entire process. Using these technologies not only speeds up the resolution process but also reduces the likelihood of miscommunication. Vee24 always stands by ‘show not tell.’

Cost Saving and Productivity:

Reducing dependency on telephone calls can result in significant cost savings for businesses. Chatbots can reduce the number of inbound calls and shorten call times.  Text chat enables agents to handle multiple inquiries simultaneously, thereby improving productivity and efficiency. Video chat helps drive revenue acceleration by offering a human touch to the online experience. 

 

Best Practices for Implementing Text and Video Chat in Contact Centres:

Invest in the Right Customer Engagement Platform:

Identify the use case and goal for your digital engagement project, and choose a platform that supports what you need. Consider your website platform and CRM during this stage. Make sure agents are equipped to handle messages across all communication channels including chat, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other social channels. Reach out to Vee24 to discuss, and provide support and technology to achieve your goals. 

Train Support Agents:

Equip agents with the skills required for effective text and video communication. Training should focus on maintaining professionalism, empathy, and problem-solving abilities across different communication channels.

Promote Customer Awareness:

Educate customers about the availability of text and video chat options. Consider chatbots and asynchronous communications for out-of-hours engagements. Furthermore, communicate the benefits, and encourage customers to explore these channels for a more personalized and efficient support experience. 

The evolution of contact centers from traditional telephone-based support to the integration of text and video chat represents a significant leap forward in customer service. By reducing the reliance on telephone calls, businesses can create a more versatile, efficient, and customer-centric support ecosystem. Embracing these advancements not only enhances customer experience but also positions businesses to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of the digital age. As we move forward, the synergy between technology and human interaction will continue to shape the future of contact centers, ensuring a seamless and personalized experience for customers around the globe.