When businesses need to offer a point of contact for their customers to get service and support, today’s best choice is an omnichannel contact center. Unlike the call centers of years past, which placed users in a queue and routed them to an onsite or offsite operator, today's contact centers branch out and enable businesses to speak with users through every modern communication method imaginable.
What’s Happening Now with Contact Centers
Using WebRTC technology, contact centers enable organizations to communicate with users in real time across a wide variety of platforms. Because WebRTC can run in the browser without the need for additional software and is an open-source technology, contact center software can be highly customized to meet any organization’s need while offering many different points of contact for their users. The result is an always-available point of contact that can allow customers to reach businesses anytime, anywhere.
Market Size of Contact Centers
Today’s $6.8 billion cloud-based contact center market is expected to expand significantly in the coming years, growing at a 25 percent CAGR to become a $20.9 billion industry by the end of 2022. The industry’s large growth and rapid expansion can be attributed to the demand for platforms that offer modern customer interactions, lower investment costs, and improved reliability. Large industries such as banking and healthcare are also generating demand by choosing to adopt contact centers at scale to offer improved customer service.
What Contact Centers are Used For
The contact center as a service (CCaaS) is typically a cloud-based application that distributes, queues, and manages customer contacts as well as handles customer relationship management functions and detailed analytics.
Many CCaaS platforms offer similar levels of functionality. In one example, Vocalcom’s WebRTC-based cloud contact center puts together a seamless customer experience without the need for the user to download additional plugins. Taking full advantage of WebRTC’s real-time capabilities, the contact center can handle high-definition voice and video calls that can be automatically recorded and stored in the cloud for future reference.
Calls and video chats can be built directly into web links, connecting users directly to the contact center and eliminating the need for additional 800-number services. And, as a fully featured contact center, Vocalcom’s WebRTC capabilities also integrate with email, live chat, text messaging and social media posting to engage customers fully at every touchpoint of an organization.
Main Concerns with Contact Centers
One of the most common concerns with contact centers remains low customer satisfaction. Many repeat calls to contact centers are to resolve issues that stem from previous calls that have still not been dealt with, resulting in continued customer frustration. Even as better communication methods become possible and AI technology to improve the customer experience appears on the horizon, organizations must continue to place a premium on offering users the best possible experience in order to retain them as loyal customers.
Another major concern for contact centers is employee retention. In an industry with an average turnover rate of 40 percent, replacing an agent can cost upward of $10,000, making contact center employees a costly investment. Employees can get burned out by dealing with frustrated customers on a regular basis. While contact centers that offer users more points of contact may make it easier to provide customer interactions, companies must be sure to find ways that keep both employees and customers satisfied on a consistent basis.
Where Contact Centers are Headed
Tomorrow’s contact centers will become more intelligent through AI technology. Augmenting the entire experience, AI will help replace interactive voice menus with smarter, more capable routing technologies to quickly handle common user queries and guide calls to the correct destinations. AI will also assist agents themselves, suggesting the best customer interactions while agents participate in a conversation.
Chatbots are also set to continue disrupting the online customer experience, eliminating human agents by allowing users to interact with a business through AI alone. As a result, Gartner predicts that 15 percent of all customer service interactions will be handled entirely by AI.