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Three Bold Predictions for the Future of Customer Interactions in Contact Centres

At MaxContact’s ‘Afterwork’ community event, Jonty Pearce, the Founder of Call Centre Helper, shared his top three predictions for the future of the contact centre industry. While making predictions can be a bit daunting, especially in such a rapidly evolving field, Pearce believes that by examining past trends and current data, valuable insights can be gained into what lies ahead. However, he emphasises the importance of taking these predictions with a pinch of salt, as the future is always uncertain.

Prediction 1 – Voice Will Remain the Primary Channel

Despite the growing popularity of digital channels, data shows that voice interactions have actually increased slightly over the past decade, currently accounting for 55% of inbound contact centre traffic.

While younger generations may prefer messaging and chat, the majority of customers still value the personal touch of a phone conversation. Pearce cautions contact centres not to neglect voice channels in favour of digital alternatives, as this can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction among customers who prefer traditional methods of communication.

Prediction 2: AI Will Have a Profound, Long-term Impact

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already beginning to revolutionise the contact centre industry, but its impact will be felt gradually over time. In the short term, Pearce suggests that AI can be effectively leveraged for tasks such as speech analytics, after-call notes, and generating knowledge base articles.

However, he cautions against relying too heavily on AI-powered chatbots for customer interactions, as they are currently flagged by 36% of people as the channel most likely to deliver a poor outcome. As AI technology matures and becomes more accurate, its potential applications will expand, but this process will take time.

Watch the full talk from Jonty Pearce, Founder of Call Centre Helper:

Prediction 3: Customer Service Will Become the New Marketing

In the coming years, Pearce predicts that companies will begin to view customer service as a crucial investment rather than a mere cost centre. As customers grow increasingly frustrated with offshoring, chatbots, and the lack of voice support, businesses that prioritise exceptional customer service will gain a significant competitive advantage.

It’s well-established that retaining existing customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones, and even a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25% increase in profits. By focusing on customer lifetime value (LTV) and the long-term benefits of customer loyalty, contact centre leaders can make a compelling case for investing in superior service.

In conclusion, while the future of customer interactions in contact centres is sure to bring many changes and challenges, Pearce believes that by staying attuned to customer preferences, embracing AI judiciously, and prioritising service as a key differentiator, the industry can thrive in the years to come. He encourages contact centre professionals to examine the data, think critically about these predictions, and adapt their strategies accordingly, working together to shape a future in which exceptional customer service is not just a goal, but a reality.

MaxContact is proud to have hosted this insightful Afterwork event, providing a platform for industry leaders like Jonty Pearce to share their expertise and discuss the future of contact centres. By fostering open dialogue and collaboration, MaxContact aims to help contact centres create better experiences for their customers and drive success in the ever-evolving landscape. Join the MaxContact Community to be notified about similar future events.

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