Last week, Olive joined over 7,000 enterprise professionals at this year’s Call and Contact Centre Expo at London’s ExCel Centre, as we co-exhibited with our long-standing partner Mitel. Whilst we were delighted to be both presenting and exhibiting at the event, we were also excited by the opportunity to gain an overview about the future of the contact centre. 

Here are 5 of the key takeaways we took from the two-day expo:

1. Artificial Intelligence is pathing the way for simply brilliant customer experiences

Artificial Intelligence was a hot topic at this year’s Call & Contact Centre, with good reason. Olive’s very own Enterprise Director, Nick Beardsley, joined forces with Mitel’s Contact Centre Sales Manager UKISA, Shameem Smillie, to present their insight on the influence AI is having on customer experience to a 70-strong audience.

Features such as automation, contextual analysis and virtual agents have enabled contact centres to evolve into a multi-faceted hub for all customer engagements. Through the adoption of AI, businesses are able to exceed customer expectations and deliver a much more personalised, appropriate response where it matters the most. Through machine learning, virtual agents are able to provide intel to human agents, whilst also making their own engagements more intuitive and human-like.

AI-powered contact centre solutions are available now (through Managed Service Providers such as Olive), but if we took anything out of the 2-day expo, it's that AI is the engine that will power all future customer engagements; just watch this space!

2. The rise of the remote contact centre

Remote working solutions have been around for years, so it's no wonder that this style of working has begun filtering into the contact centre environment. A major theme at this year's Call & Contact Centre Expo was empowering call centre agents with the tools to do their job as effectively as possible to boost productivity and reduce waiting times for clients, and advancements in unified cloud communications and collaboration tools, have made it possible for contact centre agents to work flexibly and remotely.

Over the years, Olive has conducted a wealth of research around remote working, particularly for contact centre agents. Our study found that this method of working has huge benefits for businesses as customer queries get resolved quicker, employees are more productive, and cost savings can be made in office space & staff overheads. 

3. Blending human and AI engagements

Despite self-service options for many common customer queries, AI is also empowering agents to intervene with tougher, or more sensitive issues that robots can’t handle.

Following the recent announcement of Mitel’s integration with Google Cloud, agents are in a powerful position to be able to tap into extra support through machine learning. Throughout the 2 days at the expo, Olive provided demonstrations of this functionality alongside Mitel as a Platinum Cloud Partner to show how human agents are able to use the information provided to drive personalised engagements, faster resolutions and use big data to deliver up-sell opportunities.

4.  Analytics and insights are the real game changer  

Another highly discussed theme at this year’s Call & Contact Centre Expo was the power of analytics and what to do with the information in-depth reporting provides. By utilising natural language processing and machine learning techniques, businesses have the ability - and the agility - to analyse the sentiment behind each customer engagement across each and every channel.

On a primary level; this analysis can identify trends for frustrated/dissatisfied customers to ensure their query is resolved quickly, and via the most appropriate channel. But on a secondary level; the linguistics reporting enables businesses to gain granular insight into what’s driving customers to have to contact the company directly, and look at bigger picture routes to resolving customer queries proactively before they even need to contact the company.

5.  Social media as a contact centre channel

With social media rapidly cementing its role in modern world, it’s no surprise that customers are now utilising social channels to gain quicker, and more personalised engagements with the brands they work with. Historically, companies have used social media for brand awareness and marketing. Now, social media is becoming every business’ best kept tool for customer support, reputation management, and personalised engagements with customers on their terms.

One of the major themes out of this year’s expo is delivering a single customer view to businesses; regardless of which route of contact they take into the contact centre. Whether its email, SMS text, web chat, and social media, agents should have a one-stop-shop for all of their customer interactions in order to provide fast, and accurate resolutions first time.

Is your contact centre prepped and primed for the future of the contact centre? Through the Olive Cloud Managed Service Platform; we make it easy to consume multiple cloud-based solutions in a single location, hassle-free. Drive your productivity and customer experience to a new level without worrying about costs, infrastructure, or licences. Find out more about the Olive Cloud Managed Service Platform in our infographic.

If you need any guidance on how to prep your contact centre for the future, please book your art of the possible session with a member of the team here. We'll provide bespoke advice and tips on how technology can allow your business to provide a simply brilliant customer experience.  

TOPICS: AI

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