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2021 is an interesting year for a contact center. Companies are dealing with the events that have taken place over the past year and a half, and trying to decipher the difference between normal and “new normal.” More than that, they have to meet customer demands that are everchanging. Giving customer’s a good experience is their number one priority, but what trends are they utilizing the most? We’re going to take a look at some of the trends emerging throughout 2021, and see which ones are paving the way and shaping the future of contact centers everywhere.

1. Flexibility in the Workplace

2021 taught everybody about flexibility in the workplace – not just contact centers. Contact centers, though, have the perfect opportunity to work flexibly. Employees are able to work full contact center jobs from anywhere. Contact centers that were best-positioned to work flexibly were of course the companies that had already implemented a cloud-based solution. Utilizing a cloud-based contact center has many benefits. Two key benefits are employee satisfaction and work-life balance.

Employee Satisfaction

Workers who work outside of the office, at least some of the time, are happier, feel more trusted, and are less stressed. They are more inclined to recommend their employer to a friend, and are less likely to leave their current position. In a study where respondents were asked if they feel happy in their job, they found that workers with the ability to work from anywhere said they were happy with their jobs 29% more than on-site only workers.

Work-Life Balance

Having the ability to fully immerse in your work from your laptop or cellphone, while utilizing the same number as your office phone, means that you can still be “in office” while at home or on the go. 91% of employees with the ability to work outside of the office reported that they had a better work-life balance. Not to mention if you are working from home, your commute is a whole zero minutes!

2. Contact center agents demand a better employee experience

With the increase in customer calls to contact centers, it’s no surprise that agents are stressed. They want a more positive experience – one that offers them greater flexibility in where and when they work.

Cloud contact centers allow employees to work remotely. This gives them the flexibility to work from home, or from wherever is most convenient. Research from Pipkins shows that agents who work from home have a higher retention rate (80%) than those who work only out of a contact center (25%).

A cloud contact center also allows you to hire top agents from anywhere in the world. You can easily expand your potential talent base to a global pool of talent.

3. Customers also want a better experience

No customer experience managers in contact centers enjoy having obstacles. Things such as lackluster customer journey, data silos, and lack of visibility can be the difference between a great contact center and a horrible review. Without the correct communication solution, it’s difficult to overcome these obstacles.

A unique benefit of cloud based contact centers is the ability to integrate all areas of communication into one place. Customers want to contact businesses on the channel of their choice. Using CallHarbor, requests can come in by email, by call, and by text. They can be routed to an available agent who is qualified to resolve their specific issue. CallHarbor also allows integration with existing CRM platforms and apps, such as Salesforce and Insightly. The centralization of communication helps to create better customer service solutions for teams of any size.

Customer service managers can set up an options menu to redirect customers to the appropriate department or to a database that answers frequently asked questions. These features help to free up agents to handle the most pressing customer requests.

4. Customers want to help themselves instead of always having to call the contact center

Eighty-eight percent of customers around the world expect a company to have self-service capabilities. Additionally, 79% of customers in the US have used a self-service portal. Customers want to use self-service capabilities because they’re fast and convenient.

Our support team is 24/7, never outsourced, free, and answers in less than 10 seconds. You can reach us by calling, texting, emailing, or starting a live chat. Even with all of that, we still have an easy to use manager portal that gives our customers the ability to make changes, see reporting, and access account info.

You can do things like:
– Edit users, locations, and phone buttons
– View call records and detailed reports & analytics
– View call recordings and download or share them
– Enable or disable features for individuals & groups
– Change auto attendant buttons
– Add or edit call queues
– Turn on voicemail transcriptions & toggle preferences
– Add a new voicemail or greeting

The different sections within the portal are built to be simple and easy to use. Once inside the portal, you can begin to make changes on your own. You can also start a live chat with a support team member if you need any help or guidance. We also have a knowledge base filled with info about how to make changes and utilize certain features. Our articles are easy to digest and even include screenshots from the portal so you won’t miss a step.