If you’re like most people, then it’s been a while since you’ve taken the time to check out the latest trends in your industry. Engineers work tireless nights to produce new software or to modify the old solutions. Marketing and sales teams hound you to check out their new product, features or service but you don’t have the time nor the desire to listen, we’ve all been there. Now although it’s normal for us to pass on new information for far too long, it’s vital for us to check back and see what we may have missed.

With summer coming to an end we have created a summer short hit list of new trends you should be watching out for this year.

1. Customer experience is meant to be kept short and sweet.

Time is of the essence. Your clients and prospects do not have the time to be on a single call for the entire day. With the advent of email, voice automation, and call screening software, your support team can burn through calls in minutes all while ensuring customers are happy. It’s important for call center managers to build solutions that expedite the process of each request. For example, If a customer has an issue with a particular billing issue, then it should be routed to the billing department or a voice recording of the solution. There is no need for your customer to speak with someone in the wrong department. Simplify your process and make it easier for your customers and agents to handle the problem at hand.

2. Agent enablement is a must

Give your agents the tools to succeed. These tools can range from email tracking software to having a robust CRM. Provide your agents with access to the CRM so that they can readily access accounts and better understand the account they are handling.

If you don’t already have a virtual playbook full of tips and tricks for handling any conversation, then build one out. Chances are your reps are all dealing with the same issues. Having an online knowledge center for your team can help expedite common problems.

Don’t skimp on training. With the advancements of today’s technology new and unusual situations are being brought up every day in your call center. Particular circumstances may become more common as time goes on. Agents must be ready for any and every situation. Make sure to provide them not only with physical tools but also ongoing training. A better-trained team will put you in the driver’s seat to succeed.

3. Self-service and ticket deflection

Customers can fix problems without the use of one of your agents. If a question is as simple as flipping a switch, then it is vital that you exhibit ways for your customers to learn about the resolution. The more information you publish, the more time your agents will have to work customers needs.

It is essential to have a knowledge bank ready for your customers so that they can handle some of the more straightforward issues as well as, the more commonly asked questions about your service and or platform.

4. Social media support channels

Some don’t enjoy conversing over the phone. Texting, email, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, & Instagram provide users with a new way of communication that doesn’t necessarily require a human voice. Currently, it is easy to communicate with an emoji as it is with words. Therefore, it is crucial for you to provide customers with other means of reaching you without having to call in.

It is essential to have your agents aware that customers may be reaching out via social media. If your company is not currently utilizing any of these tools to communicate with customers, you are handicapping yourself. Create a game plan for answering questions by searching hashtags, and direct messages via your social media pages. Remember, when a client or potential client reach out via social media then that message could be public. The more readily your team is to answer these questions, the stronger your brand will be.

The list above is only a small list of items you should be aware of moving forward. Trends are always changing, and therefore you should be ready to take a look at your current operations and talk to your agents a few times a year.

We drew inspiration for this article from Mitel’s article, THE 9 MOST IMPORTANT CALL CENTER TECHNOLOGY TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2018.