The Latest and Greatest Contact Center Trends in 2018

In 2017, Contact Center trends focused around data integration. In 2018, there has been a renewed emphasis on showing increased business value through the use of more intelligent contact centers. With the advent of social integration, machine learning, chat bots, and powerful analytics as part of CCaaS solutions, or as add-on solutions, contact centers are being transformed into holistic customer intelligence hubs.

Let’s dive a little deeper into these trends, explore how they work and why they’re trending with contact centers.Contact Center Trends in 2018

Social Integrations
Studies show that one out of every three customers prefers social media to using the phone for customer service. That’s why many companies have begun to offer social media integration as a service-level offering for contact centers. This way, the customer can also get in touch via message or direct messaging. It’s important for you to have a conversation with your customer about proper planning, training and preparation for adding a social integration tool. Many organizations have jumped on the social customer service bandwagon, however, without taking into account the proper amount of staff needed or training involved. Additionally, having a process with product development or planning teams to relay important customer response research is vital so a business doesn’t lose out on the benefits of this type of valuable, timely feedback. Social media integration also makes tracking, monitoring and reporting easier.

Chat Bots – AI and Machine Learning
What is AI? At its highest level, it’s the mimicking of human behavior. In the case of contact centers, machine learning is then used to study positive customer behavior and contact centers reps’ interactions with that behavior to create chat bots, which then mimic call center agents. These can then be used as a first point of contact or to resolve lower-level escalated issues, so that call center agents can focus on higher level escalations.

Through conversation recordings--usually of positive interactions--the chat bot or voice assistant is trained to handle customer interactions. It would be great if call center agents were able to handle every customer interaction perfectly, but this is usually not the case. When delivering a conversational AI interface with the use of previously recorded interactions, be sure you're able to edit out bad behavior and incorrect answers, taking your customer service to the next level. These bots act as the first point of contact, so the human reps can deal with the more complex issues. This enables reps to not get burnt out on the everyday questions/issues and allows them to focus on higher priority and escalated complaints. In essence, these bots afford contact centers an ability to scale more quickly and efficiently.

Data Analytics
Why do support cases fluctuate? Have you noticed that there are certain peak times for your case volume? Do you understand what events trigger these spikes in activity? Analytics platforms, especially visual ones, help businesses to better understand where they are effective and efficient and identify areas that need improvement. New programs in analytics offer the ability to track these events and provide an easier-to-use interface designed for the business user rather than the IT department. This allows management to utilize predictive analytics to improve their ability to properly staff their contact centers or implement other tools (such as leveraging chat bots during periods of higher chat volume or if there’s a backlog of open cases to attend to).

Powerful analytics tools can also help these managers track and analyze complex voice-of-the-customer data that streams into contact centers in the form of customer feedback. This data offers invaluable insights not simply for sales, marketing, but for product development as well.

TBI can help you recommend the right solutions to your customer service or contact center customers. Learn more about the value of contact center integrations and solutions by contacting your TBI Channel Manager, or fill out our Become a Partner form here

To learn more about our CCaaS solutions and how they differ, download our CCaaS Comparison Guide.



As Digital Marketing Manager at TBI, Amanda is responsible for creating and writing engaging content and assisting with internal and external communications programs. She manages a portion of the digital marketing efforts for both the TBI and Omnicenter teams, including social media, strategy, and execution.  You can reach Amanda at aroszkowski@tbicom.comconnect with her on LinkedIn.