5 Trends for the Call Center in 2021

From new technologies to the current health crisis, call centers have recently undergone tremendous changes and must constantly adapt to the changing needs of customers in order to provide the best customer experience. This is a key factor for companies that want to stand out from their competitors. The pandemic has forced contact centers to strike a balance between providing a seamless digital customer experience and maintaining a human touch. Therefore, the future of customer experience depends on the call center’s ability to adapt to changing customer needs by combining the best technology with a careful and understanding approach. Here are five call center trends to watch in 2021.

The Rise of the Cloud as a New Normal for Business Continuity and Performance

According to Gartner, by 2024, approximately 88% of contact center end-user expenditures will be generated by cloud services, rather than based on local contact center infrastructure (CCI) investments. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cloud has become a major asset for companies that have adopted this model in contact centers, and this is an urgent need for companies that still need to migrate. Cloud solutions provide companies with many benefits, including ease of deployment, reduced costs, instant flexibility and scalability, higher security and data accessibility. In addition, the flexibility of the cloud solution enables companies to diversify contact center agents across multiple sites and seamlessly guarantee business continuity, because all agents can access the same tools, no matter where they are located.

The Shift to a Work-from-Home Model

A survey by Global Workplace Analytics shows that once the pandemic is over, 77% of the workforce wants to work from home. This new trend requires contact centers to provide the necessary support to ensure agent success and prevent burnout, while maintaining business continuity. In order to ensure the efficiency of the agents, the contact center must first equip the agents with reliable technology and access the same functions, whether they are working remotely or on-site. Human resources and contact center managers must also adapt to the use of digital tools that allow remote assistance. HR should be trained remotely, and supervisors should access real-time monitoring boards to manage agent performance and help agents develop their skills. By taking these steps, agents will become more capable and productive, thereby reducing burnout, increasing retention and creating true brand ambassadors.

Transforming the Customer Experience with AI

Artificial intelligence and automated services are essential to provide proactive customer service while reducing contact center costs and improving efficiency. Before the pandemic, customers had already expressed a preference for relaxed 24/7 self-service. During this health crisis, artificial intelligence and automated services are critical because they enable companies to handle increased contact volumes, reduce waiting times, and reduce costs. Artificial intelligence also allows companies to accurately analyze customer behavior patterns across all channels. This enables contact centers to predict possible sources of customer frustration and prevent problems before they arise, resulting in a more proactive and personalized customer experience.

Omnichannel is a Must

With the blockade during the pandemic, many companies are turning to online businesses to maintain continuity of business operations. As the point of contact between customers and brands, contact centers must meet customer expectations for a seamless, personalized experience across phone and digital channels. This means that the omnichannel strategy is no longer an option, but a must. Companies must give their contact center agents access to a powerful, unified and integrated omni-channel platform. Such a platform must enable agents to manage customer interactions from a single interface and have access to all customer interaction history records across all channels.

Human Empathy as a New Driver of Customer Loyalty

The digitization of customer experience improves agent and customer satisfaction: 24/7 support, faster solutions, more intuitive and personalized experience…Nevertheless, customers still value humanity. As artificial intelligence and automated services enable customers to solve problems on their own, people are increasingly expecting agents to focus on customer interactions that require expertise, advice, and empathy that only humans can provide. For example, their tasks may be to manage complex topics, provide personalized recommendations, and deal with emotional customers. A Kantar study showed that 70% of consumers expect brands to adopt a reassuring tone during these difficult times, so agents must show empathy to win customer loyalty.

Companies must equip their contact centers with the best technology and provide continuous agent training that includes technical and interpersonal skills. By taking these steps, they can provide a seamless, personalized, and empathetic experience, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Source: Vocalcom

10 features for choosing your contact center solution

Contact Center Live

Nowadays, it is well known that customer service management is as important as the quality of the products and services provided by the brand. A HubSpot study showed that 93% of customers are more likely to buy products from brands that provide quality customer service. In addition, according to data from the 2020 BVA Customer Service Observatory, 74% of consumers are willing to spend more or show higher loyalty when providing a positive customer service experience. In order to provide high-quality customer service, the company must be equipped with a reliable and powerful contact center solution (or call center solution) to handle all incoming and outgoing contacts with potential customers or customers. The following are 10 basic characteristics of a good contact center.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

The idea behind IVR is simple: it allows incoming customers to choose among many options based on different types of requests. It’s the famous:

  • To know your balance, press 1
  • To speak with an agent, press 2
  • etc

Interactive voice response is an important function to ensure 24/7 phone reception. It defines the reason for the call in order to guide your potential customers and customers to the best waiting queue and allows agents to personalize their answers. IVR also supports activity peak management and promotes self-service: simple requests can be handled by the customer themselves-such as checking their balance or paying bills-without agent assistance, allowing agents to dedicate their time to more complex requests.

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)

Intelligent routing by skill routes inbound calls directly to the most qualified agent available. Whether based on the spoken language, expertise, or specific product, the call will be directed to the agent most capable of providing a clear and quick response. As a result, ACD greatly reduces the waiting time for each incoming call, and improves customer satisfaction and productivity.

Omnichannel strategy

The digitization of customer service, which will be greatly accelerated in 2020, now requires new customer service channels. Although customers still prefer phone calls and emails, they also contact brands through other communication channels such as text messages, web forms, chat, instant messaging, and social media. Therefore, your contact center solution must be omni-channel, and all customer service channels must be centralized in one interface. In this way, your agents will have a 360° view of customer history and interactions, and can unify communication across all channels.

CRM integration

In order to quickly identify customers and provide them with personalized answers, your call center solution must be easily integrated with your CRM (customer relationship management) or your industry tools (ticketing system, service desk, payment system). Quickly identifying customers or enriching your customer data in your IVR is one of many options for integrating CRM and contact center solutions to ensure the quality of your customer service.

Automatic pop-up files

The pop-up file (or customer file pop-up window) allows your team to take advantage of all necessary customer information before answering the call. This feature is achieved by integrating the call center solution with CRM, and it is possible to personalize each conversation with the customer and the response of the agent. It can record customer accounts, display customer history, and view previous interactions to provide personalized customer service.

In the cloud or on-premise

According to Gartner, between now and 2024, contact center spending on the cloud will account for 88% of the investment. The widespread adoption of remote work has greatly accelerated this cloud migration, and it is particularly suited to the company’s need for flexibility. If your team works across multiple sites, or if you need to adjust resources based on current events, you need a cloud contact center solution. On the other hand, if you need to integrate the call center with the old information system or carry out specific development, an on-premises solution will be more suitable.

Outbound call dialer

The outbound call dialer allows you to automatically make calls from a predetermined list of phone numbers-from CRM or directly loaded into the call center solution. It usually provides three dialing modes: preview, progressive and predictive. It is essential for teleprospecting, web lead callbacks, order follow-ups, bill reminders, meeting reminders, and satisfaction surveys. It allows you to choose a calling strategy to maximize the reach of your contacts. A powerful auto dialer is an important tool to increase agent productivity and successfully carry out activities.

Call recording

Call recording allows you to save phone conversations between your team and your customers or prospects for later listening. This feature is essential for agent training. While struggling to provide quality service, listening to their calls allows them to determine where to progress, possible obstacles, and reasons for customer dissatisfaction. In the case of a lawsuit with a client, the answering phone can also be used for legal purposes.

Real-time supervision

In order to supervise the overall activities of the call center, real-time supervision is an essential function. With a customizable dashboard available in real time, your supervisor can access all key indicators at a glance, enabling them to make quick decisions: agent online, customer waiting, agent available or resting, etc. Other monitoring techniques-careful listening, whispering, meetings, internal chat-allow agents to improve efficiency and performance.


Average response time, AHT (Average Handeling Time), FCR (First Contact Resolution Rate), CRR (Customer Retention Rate) and Average Pickup Rate are one of many key performance indicators that represent customer quality. In order to optimize your KPIs, rich reports are an important asset for monitoring customer satisfaction and must be an important factor to consider when choosing a call center solution.

Which call center solution should you choose?

In order to optimize customer satisfaction and provide quality customer service, Contact Center Live provides an intuitive and flexible call center solution that can meet your needs. Our all-in-one cloud solution provides you with all the keys to providing perfect customer service on all interactive channels and increasing the impact of outbound activities.

Source: Vocalcom

Choosing the right call center software in 2021

Contact Center Live

The call center is the core of business operations and plays a vital role in customer service. Agents take action at every step of the customer journey: prospecting, telemarketing, customer service, and debt collection. What challenges do call center managers face? Regardless of the communication channel, provide a personalized customer experience while managing the volume of activities. Since flexibility and agility are essential in a call center environment, here are some key features for choosing the right call center software.

Optimize your inbound and outbound call management

Route your inbound calls intelligently

According to Gartner’s “Customer Channel Preference Research 2020” report, telephone is still the most widely used communication channel for contacting customer service. Your call center software must integrate intuitive interactive voice response (IVR), which can be modified in real time without IT support. In this way, you can adjust the welcome message according to the current situation, manage waiting queues and integrate 24/7 self-service options, for example, allowing customers to check accounts, pay bills or track deliveries. Incidents or call peaks. The call distribution system (or ACD, automatic call distribution) must ensure that inbound calls are intelligently routed to the most qualified agent available for each request type.

Automate your outbound call campaigns

In order to increase efficiency in appointment scheduling campaigns, web lead callbacks or telesales operations, your call center agent must be able to rely on an automatic dialer that provides preview, progressive or predictive dialing modes for you to choose from to suit your campaigns needs. In addition, the web callback feature will enable visitors to your website to receive instant callbacks from the agent to answer their questions and speed up the conversion rate.

Offer a unified customer experience on all channels

With the digitization of customer journeys and the increased use of online instant messaging, chat, and social media, customer service is also carried out through other communication channels. In order to adopt these new practices, the contact center must have an omni-channel contact center software solution, in order to improve the management of customer interactions on all channels within the unified platform. With a 360° view of all customer interactions, agents can provide personalized answers and provide a seamless customer experience across different communication channels.

A software solution that drives efficiency

Improve agent comfort

For your team, the use of powerful and user-friendly technical solutions is essential to meet the needs of customers. Intuitive interface, quick access to customer information, script assistance, real-time tracking of its performance indicators: the usability of call center software is crucial because it can help your agents become the best ambassadors of your brand.

Monitor your operations in real-time

To monitor the performance of business representatives and customer satisfaction, your call center software must provide real-time monitoring of key performance indicators (call pickup rate, abandonment rate, waiting time, etc.) in order to react quickly. In addition, the integrated reporting tool will provide detailed statistical information about your customer service center operations to identify areas for improvement.

Choose an open software solution that integrates with your CRM

Your call center software is part of an application ecosystem that allows you to manage all aspects of customer service. In order to quickly identify your customers and provide them with personalized answers, your call center software must easily integrate with your CRM and industry tools (such as ticketing systems, service desks, and payments). From customer identification in IVR to contextual customer card pop-up windows and rich customer data, customer knowledge is a key factor in customer service quality.

Integrate the latest innovations in automation and AI

Due to the health crisis, the ability to deploy chatbots and voice robots for customer service can be accelerated to cope with peak activity and provide 24/7 self-service for simple or recurring problems. It can provide quick answers to other customers based on their previous requirements. In order to provide a seamless omnichannel service, your bot must be integrated with your contact center platform-according to Forrester, a chatbot can be happy for 63% of customers, as long as they can talk to an agent when needed .

Cloud or on-premise software?

With the help of cloud call center software solutions, enterprises can benefit from turnkey solutions without having to invest in hardware, which will reduce the total investment cost. Flexibility, agility, scalability: Cloud is the preferred solution for rapid deployment across remote work or multiple sites, and new agents can be quickly added according to your needs. However, local contact center solutions may be more suitable in certain specific situations-integration with old information systems, specific development, or for companies with strong internal technical resources, which will increase the cost of local solutions in the long run From a standpoint, it is less than a SaaS solution. 

Source: Vocalcom

Chatbots: The Key to Efficient Customer Service

When the idea of artificial intelligence for customer service was first introduced, many people were skeptical. The idea of chatbots assisting or possibly replacing human agents was exciting, but was it feasible? Would customers actually receive better service? While this technology continues to evolve, many industries—from banking to travel to retail—are indeed offering faster, richer experiences due to chatbot implementation. And customers are actively using AI support: According to BusinessInsider, 67% of consumers worldwide used chatbots for customer service in the past year. Here are five ways in which chatbots enable efficient customer service.

Chatbots can be integrated with popular messaging apps

Many companies have made the chatbot experience a seamless one by integrating the technology with messaging apps. Since many customers already use apps such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and WhatsApp for their personal communications, offering chatbot assistance through these apps allows them to enjoy convenient service on the go.

Simple chatbots enable self-service

Simple chatbots follow specific rules and are able to handle requests that follow those rules. For example, they may answer concrete questions such as the boarding time for a flight or the address of a store. In addition, they can send notifications to customers, such as flight changes or delivery updates. These chatbots are therefore excellent for enabling self-service and saving customers time.

AI-powered chatbots help agents offer better service

Many companies are also using more sophisticated chatbots that learn from their interactions with customers. These chatbots are capable of handling more complex cases, processing language to offer more detailed responses. For example, if a customer seeks information about a product return, an AI-powered chatbot may look up the date of purchase and ask questions such as why the customer wishes to return the product. In addition, these chatbots may begin service interactions that will eventually require agent support. They may collect information that informs the agent and expedites the process once the agent takes over.

Customers are routed to the appropriate agents

Chatbots help customers save time by routing them efficiently. When customers ask questions, chatbots are able to identify keywords and route customers to the most appropriate agents. For example, if a customer contacts his bank for support, a question about a recent check deposit may require a different agent than an order fora new checkbook. AI ensures that the customer wastes no time navigating long menus or waiting to be connected to the right person.

Text analytics can improve the customer experience

Lastly, artificial intelligence can help companies improve overall customer experiences by identifying problems in advance. By recognizing keywords that indicate customer issues, AI can propel brands to prevent difficulties before they occur. In addition, text analytics may reveal key information that can be used to personalize customer experiences. If a customer repeats a product name, for example, this data can be used to make targeted marketing offers in the future. Business Insider states that by 2020, over 80% of companies are expected to use some form of chatbots. When companies combine the power of artificial intelligence with the skills of their service agents, customers save time and enjoy richer overall experiences.

5 Tips for Sales Agent Communications

The rise of omni-channel practices has undoubtedly put more pressure on brands to take advantage of every sales opportunity. With customers exposed to various channels such as social media, messaging, and phone calls, sales agents face the challenge of turning potential and existing customers into loyal followers, which does not sound so positive. However, in this era of conversational business, customers welcome the opportunity to have meaningful conversations, as long as it enables them to obtain the products and services they really want. Here are five tips for optimizing sales agent communication to increase brand growth and customer trust.

Build a relationship with the customer

Every successful brand knows that building relationships is the key to customer loyalty. Every conversation should start with an interaction with customer service; sales agents should introduce and conduct short conversations before meeting customer needs. This can build trust and make customers feel personal value. If he can trust the sales agent, then he is more likely to trust the brand’s products and services.

Follow the natural flow of a conversation

Asking too many questions may shut down the customer, but only by responding to the customer’s query can the agent appear passive and ignorant. Sales agents need to strike a balance between asking questions that clarify customer needs and publishing statements that reassure customers and motivate them to buy. For example, an agent of a telecommunications company might explain the benefits of telephone and Internet subscriptions, and then ask the customer whether his current provider (or current package with the company) meets his needs.

Sell product benefits, not features 

Remember, when a customer considers buying a product, he wants to know how the product or service will solve the problem and/or improve life. Will it cause inconvenience? Will it improve the products he already likes? Sales agents must always describe their advantages before product features and try to establish an emotional connection with customers. For example, a premium phone plan with a price lower than a competitor’s offer might sound attractive, but explaining to the customer that the customer can make unlimited calls and can access Internet data anytime and anywhere is likely to appeal to him. Sales agents can explain how customers call friends and family during the trip, thereby establishing the emotional advantage of the service.

Show your knowledge

Each sales agent must be trained to explain product functions. When a customer asks a question, the agent can never be sure of the answer. Agents who are familiar with the product will naturally have confidence and enthusiasm for the brand. Customers in turn feel this confidence and become more excited about the purchase.

Appease customer concerns

Sales agents should try their best to find solutions to customer concerns. For example, if a customer hesitates to switch phone providers because they think the upfront cost is too high, the sales agent must first determine whether the product offered can actually save the customer money. If this is not the case, the agent should find a way to meet customer needs, perhaps recommending more affordable products or waiving additional fees. When an agent handles each conversation in good faith and provides customers with the best solution to meet their specific needs, the agent is more likely to make a deal.

Interacting with customers is naturally an art, and service and sales representatives must be trained to improve their interpersonal skills. By listening to customers, providing solutions to problems, and sharing deep knowledge and enthusiasm for each product, agents can turn each sale into a long-term relationship between the brand and the customer.

Source: Vocalcom