As companies scrambled to drive efficiencies and cut costs, they adopted new ways to improve the experience for both the employee and the customer.

There are many innovative ways to improve the experience for both your employees and customers. Emerging technologies help companies reduce average handle time (AHT), increase customer satisfaction (CSAT), and increase profitability. The idea is to let technology handle mundane tasks, nuisance calls, and authentication, so your agents can focus on everything else. The beauty of these technologies is they typically work across all contact center solutions with API integration.

In contrast, remaining rooted in legacy technology solutions negatively impacts employee and agent satisfaction and engagement in two primary spaces:

  • In the IT space, employees are not as efficient with legacy tools; they have to be trained on old systems, and they likely will be frustrated with stand-alone applications and mismatched reports, which may lead to decreased job satisfaction and a higher rate of employees leaving for companies with modern systems.
  • In the agent space, no one is more impacted by dated contact center software than the call center agents. Agents need accurate, accessible information from reliable and efficient systems.

More, customers want seamless, effortless experiences. They want to be able to communicate with a company in the way they prefer, and would rather not have to repeat themselves if they switch from one representative to another. Emerging technology solutions can resolve common issues with legacy systems, such as inaccurate call routing, inefficient agent knowledge, and long hold times.

Here are three emerging technologies that have helped in the chaotic customer service landscape of 2020:

Voice Biometrics

Voice Biometrics reduces time and friction. When implemented, customers no longer need to answer questions to prove their identity. The technology uses machine learning algorithms to create speaker-specific background models for each individual voiceprint. This increases security, as voice authentication is more unique to you than your iris scan or fingerprint.

Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA)

Intelligent Virtual Agents have matured significantly and are able to handle the increased demand for self-service. An IVA can handle basic customer inquiries and include natural language processing, PCI-payments, HIPAA-compliance, Tone Analyzer, and more. A survey by Gartner, Inc showed 25% of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual custom assistant or chatbot technology by 2020, up from less than 2% in 2017. Your customers want issues resolved with as little effort as possible. Intelligent Virtual Agents can help you meet that expectation.

Virtual agents are like human agents: they can only work on one task at a time, and the higher the skilled agent, the more they cost. However, once you create the virtual agent skill, you can deploy it on every other channel.

Virtual Hold

What would you consider some of your top annoyances? Slow Wi-Fi? Traffic? What about calling into a call center and waiting over an hour to talk to the next available agent?

A Virtual Hold, or a callback feature, lets your customers choose between waiting in line or receiving a call when it’s convenient for them. This option makes your customers feel valued, and it can give them back up to an hour of their day that they would have spent waiting on hold.

All in all, a new technological environment can provide companies with a solid foundation with reliable solutions, consolidated processes and redundancy elimination, and automated routines. All of these benefits improve a company’s brand and can lead to loyalty.

Nick Glimsdahl is the Director of Contact Center Solutions at VDS, and his mission is to help improve the customers’ experiences through user-friendly, customer-focused contact center solutions. He is dedicated to living out the sage advice from the philosopher, Vanilla Ice; simply put, he helps companies stop and evaluate their current state, collaborate with subject matter experts, and listen to their customers.

Nick’s background in sales, marketing, and contact center solutions serves as the framework for his advanced expertise in the field of customer experience. He is a leader in the “CX Ohio” community and CXPA Columbus Chapter. He is also the host of the Press 1 For Nick podcast