The top 5 CX trends in 2021: From Contact Centre to Experience Hub

 

What you can do today to lead the CX transformation this year and beyond

 

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Yet is has also been a period of opportunities to fuel innovation and turn over strategies in a matter of days or weeks rather than setting monthly or annual plans. According to Precisely, almost 90% of organisations have updated their Customer Experience (CX) strategies in response to the pandemic.

 

Shifting to new models in real time require a foundation: business agility. In an increasingly hyper-connected world, consumers are demanding 24/7 multi-channel support and greater intimacy with brands. Trust, visibility, and immediacy are predicted to be key in a touchless environment.

 

Integrating flexibility into your overall CX strategies will enable your business to keep up with the pace of change. In 2021, we envision Contact Centres will continue to evolve into true Experience Hubs as greater methods of contact will be embraced to match fast-changing consumer behaviours and new technologies.

 

Understanding trends help companies anticipate. What can you do today to lead the CX transformation in 2021 and beyond?

 

1. Expand contact channels: Omnichannel with Digital focus

Investing in a cloud-based omnichannel solution will allow your business to expand the channels of contact and respond in real time. Today, contact centres need to handle much more than phone calls. Customers seek support via messaging, self-serve, social media, email, app, etc.

You need to be ready to address customer issues and concerns quickly and in their preferred channel, to create better experiences and in turn, happier customers.

 

Social distancing has contributed to a much wider adoption of Digital as the channel of choice across all generations. Forrester predicts there will be a 40% increase in digital customer service interactions in 2021.

 

To accommodate this demand, brands will add more and invest in new channels as they become popular. For instance, with emerging “smart tech” devices and the Internet of things (IoT), users no longer require a hand-held device to ask for support.

 

This year and more than ever, digital will occupy a pivotal role in the customer experience.

 

 

2. Rely on technology and automation: Efficiency through Artificial Intelligence

AI and Machine Learning is evolving rapidly. Chatbots, virtual assistants, interactive voice response (IVR) or natural language processing (NPS) have proved to drive efficiencies by automating simpler contact centre tasks that were previously managed manually by an agent.

 

Automation aims to successfully handle some of those interactions through intelligent algorithms without interference of a human, leading not only to cost and time efficiencies, but also enhanced customer satisfaction through speedy case resolution. According to an Uberall study, 80% of people who interacted with a chatbot had an excellent experience.

 

By implementing intelligent IVR solutions, CPM have seen up to 36% of consumers successfully completing the end-to-end CX process through self-serve. Thereby allowing live agents to handle the more complex queries, while AI supports transactional cases.

 

Understanding human and virtual agents are co-workers rather than competitors is crucial to make the most out of CX technology. The potential opportunities of Machine learning are exponential with some till unknown, and so the importance of harnessing digital and human contact strategies will be key in the coming years.

 

 

3. Optimise your resources: Remote Working and Peak Demand challenges

Work-From-Home is here to stay, and companies should learn to manage decentralised teams. This can be a challenge when engaging employees, but it offers a positive side: flexibility.

 

Empowering agents with the ability to influence their working hours and environment can translate into lower agent turnover, higher productivity, and greater employee loyalty. Additionally, companies can maximise talent pool and access key languages in high demand while reducing costs.

 

Furthermore, remote working models offer contact centres scheduling flexibility and greater availability of agents to tap into during seasonal and unexpected peak demands. This dynamic resourcing approach works extremely well in times of crisis management such as the peak customer service demand in industries like travel during the Covid-19 situation.

 

Resource optimisation is also achieved through the combination of human and digital forces. Robotic means must be managed together with human agents, as one integrated workforce. CPM achieved 50% headcount efficiencies for one client by blending complementary teams and introducing automation.

 

 

4. Analyse consumer behaviours: Data leads to Personalisation

Today, an increasing number of companies are employing Customer Analytics to better understand their clients and to capitalise on that information. With increasing actionable data-rich technology, reporting and analytics are expected to be a true competitive advantage in 2021.

 

Knowing what influences consumers, how they feel, and what they think help brands fill in the gap and play to generate the maximum impact and ultimately convert consumers to purchase. Real time reporting speeds up that process by driving actionable insight and in turn, continuous improvement in the end users experience.

 

CPM is investing in a wide variety of business intelligence tools including emotional recognition, sentiment analysis, speech analytics, and predictive analytics, which enable data-driven personalisation. By understanding each consumer, we can deliver tailored services whichprovide added value and connect at a true emotional level.

 

Data-driven personalization can also reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50% (Adweek) while improving the quality of the customer experience. According to Forrester , 25% of brands expect to achieve statistically significant advances in CX quality in 2021.

 

 

5. Enhance employee experience: Groundwork for improved customer satisfaction

Parallel to workforce optimisation, Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) is rising as a decisive CX trend in 2021. A Frost & Sullivan study on WEM found that 89% of companies improving contact centre engagement will significantly enhance the quality of customer experience.

 

By implementing tools that motivate, recognize, and engage employees, your company can nurture your workforce to become highly effective, knowledgeable, and committed. This includes learning and development, collaborative software, well-being initiatives and a strong company culture.

 

Moreover, as remote working becomes more mainstream, a greater emphasis on belonging is needed. Fostering this unifying force is the groundwork of diversity and inclusion policies that will boost a shared sense of purpose and therefore higher engagement.

 

Delivering an exceptional customer experience becomes the end goal for any brand, but a positive or negative brand experience comes from the interactions your customers have with your employees. Happy and engaged agents create better experiences, which ultimately leads to more satisfied and loyal customers.

 

Customer Experience is a crucial differentiator in today’s business and will continue shaping the competitive landscape in 2021. Customer expectations are skyrocketing and each interaction matters. How are you responding to that?

 

At CPM we are already helping our clients transition from customer service into experience hub. We are experts in designing optimal customer engagement strategies for developing and fostering relationships between brands and customers.
Contact us at infobcn@cpm-int.com to transform CX trends into real competitive advantage and best-in-class CX.

 

 

 

 

 

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