9 Customer Experience Trends in 2022 You Should Know About

The heart of the customer experience is the contact center. However in recent years, contact centers have faced increasing challenges due to the pandemic, rising inflation, negative supply chain impact and high turnover.

What will it take for contact centers to overcome the challenges and continue delivering a top-notch customer experience? In this article, we present nine customer experience trends in 2022 that will help you solve the challenges and stay ahead of the curve.

Communication Business Avenue has been helping some of the world’s largest companies to integrate call center systems and digital communication tools for the past 16 years.

Table of Contents

1. Increase in the number of remote workers

One impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been a significant rise in the number of home-based call center workers. This trend is set to continue into the future as both companies and employees have seen the benefits of working from home.

However, working at home is not all about benefits. There are also challenges, such as:

  • Security
  • Call quality
  • Mental health of home workers
  • Information sharing with peers
  • Support for home-based operators by SVs
To solve the challenges, it’s important to use a contact center system that is easy to use at home. What contact center system should you choose? Here are some features that a good contact center system should include:
  • Compliance with international-level security standards
  • Softphone support
  • Quality check functionality
  • Integration with MicrosoftTeams
A system with the above features will solve the challenges of security, quality, operator management and operator-feeling communication. In particular, integrating contact center systems with communication platforms such as MicrosoftTeams is essential for the customer experience.
In addition to system operation, create a mental health care system for home-based workers.

2. Support smartphones

The number of smartphone users and usage rates are increasing year over year. In one international study, 39 percent of survey participants said they use their smartphones more to maintain social distance. It also reported a 23 percent increase in consumers using apps when shopping.

The trend in customer experience in 2020 was for companies to support the smartphone channel. However, in 2022, the trend is to go one step further and respond to social and messaging channels.

Today, social channels are being used more and more, along with the growth in smartphone usage. What social channels are companies using for customer experience?
Using the above social channels, companies are getting customer feedback and responding to voice assistants.
It is also essential to support messaging channels. Companies around the world are working hard to build customer experiences on the following messaging channels
  • Facebook
  • Messenger
  • WeChat
  • WhatsApp
  • Line
  • Viber
  • Telegram
The above messaging apps allow businesses and customers to share files, photos and videos. Asynchronous conversations can also be held, increasing customer convenience.

Ted Hunting, Marketing Director of Bright Pattern, a contact center system that supports messaging channels, comments.

“Video chat, photo and document sharing within the mobile channel is becoming a standard service. For example, use cases include sending photos of a car accident to an insurance company via a mobile app, or receiving an SMS or in-app PDF notification from a bank after a mobile deposit.”

3. AI

AI is being deployed globally for customer experience, and the focus in 2022 is not on the trend of AI deployment per se, but on the next step after deployment – how to utilize it. There are three ways in which AI can be used to contribute to the customer experience
  • Primary response by AI
  • Operator support
  • Call center response analysis

At the height of the pandemic, the number of enquiries handled by call centers increased significantly. As a result, a number of call centers have begun triaging their primary response to AI. In other words, AI can be used to identify the content of the enquiry, and direct the caller to the appropriate person or web resource.

IBM Watson, which is easy to implement, is being used by many call centers: from February to April 2020, IBM Watson traffic increased by 40 per cent.

AI speech recognition can help support operators. It analyzes conversations between operators and customers in real time and quickly identifies conversations where emotions are running high. It then immediately informs management.

AI is also essential for analyzing call center responses. According to a September 2019 survey by leading contact center systems company Bright Pattern, only 13% of companies analyze all call center interactions. Most centers were analyzing only a random part of the voice, as they were unable to analyze all of the vast number of interactions in the voice and text channels.

However, with AI, the entire voice and text interaction can be analyzed. The channels that AI can analyze include
  • Voice
  • Web chat
  • Email
  • Text messages
  • Bot conversations
The quality of the customer experience can be improved by letting AI analyze the data.

4. Cloud

Systems that deliver the customer experience are moving from on-premise to the cloud. Until now, there was a belief that using cloud technology presented a security concern and that on-premise systems are easier to integrate with the CRM.

But now, cloud contact center systems are more capable of integrating with various platforms and databases. Custom integrations can also be linked via APIs. Security is also available with products compliant with advanced protocols such as PCI, HIPAA and GDPR.

A 2018 report by Markets and Research predicted that global spending on cloud-based contact center solutions would triple by 2022. In fact, the adoption of cloud contact center systems in call centers worldwide is only accelerating.

5. Omnichannel contact center systems

The ability for customers to seamlessly enquire from a variety of channels is essential for the modern customer experience. Omnichannel contact center systems are indispensable for the operation of diverse channels.

An omnichannel contact center system enables you to serve customers through the following channels (seamless response while switching channels is also possible).

  • Voice
  • IVR
  • SMS
  • Chat
  • Messaging
  • Video

With an omnichannel contact center system, operators can respond to customers as if they were having a single conversation, even if they use multiple channels. Customer avoid the stress of having to explain everything from scratch each time they change channels.

6. Labour management

Contact center operations management companies are always busy managing operator shifts and handling busy periods, and in 2022, more and more centers will use contact center systems to manage operator labour.
More and more centers are utilizing contact center workforce optimisation (WFO) and workforce management (WFM) functions.

The workforce optimization (WFO) function allows experienced operators to be given appropriate authority. Not only does this improve operational efficiency, but it also allows operators to be more flexible, which has been shown to reduce experienced operator turnover.

The workforce management (WFM) functionality allows the system to analyze call volumes and automatically schedule and ensure that various queries are routed to the right operator.

7. Integration with MicrosoftTeams

The number of users of MicrosoftTeams has grown exponentially over the past few years: launched in November 2016, Microsoft Teams opened 2022 on a high note. It announced reaching 270 million active users in January.

This number has tripled its user count of 75 million in April 2020 and more than twice where it was, at 145 million, in April 2021.
Close communication within a company and between operators is essential to delivering a customer experience. For this reason, more and more companies are focusing on integrating MicrosoftTeams, which has a large number of users, with their contact center systems.

One example is the YMCA of the North, a non-profit organisation with more than 370,000 members and approximately 3,800 employees, which has implemented a contact center system that integrates with Teams, with three implementation benefits

  • Reduced operator call handling time
  • Increased operator efficiency
  • Automation of routine tasks
Ultimately, they achieved a cost saving of approximately 36,000 USD.

8. Outbound automation

Outbound calls contribute to the customer experience. Outbound calls can be very useful in finding potential customers and buyers early and providing them with the information they need.
However, outbound calls are often inefficient because there are few people to answer or listen to the calls. This is where the automation features of contact center systems can help. Automated calls are made and only those customers who answer are directed to an operator. The following functions are required for efficient outbound calls.
  • Preview dialer
  • Progressive dialer
  • Predictive dialer
  • Autodialer (IVR)
A contact center system with the above features in the basic plan will enable low-cost outbound operations.

9. IT Service Management (ITSM)

Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is the management of IT services to meet the needs of customers. The term ITSM is used broadly and includes everything from service design and creation to customer delivery and support.
For example, ITSM in customer service includes the management of three important elements:
  • Mobile apps
  • Cloud services
  • Contact center systems
In the case of customer service, it is also important to improve IT services while incorporating customer requirements.
The trend in customer experience in 2022 is to automate ITSM, which has two advantages:
  • IT service management tasks become more efficient
  • The customer experience is improved.
By introducing automation into ITSM, IT departments and IT call centers become more efficient. Time spent on customer service and data analysis can be reduced. The customer experience is improved, as customers can resolve their own issues speedily.

In conclusion

Customer experience trends in 2022 are many and varied. In order to overcome the challenges and continue to deliver a quality customer experience, it is necessary to embrace the latest trends in 2022.

A recent 2020 IBM study found that the pandemic has brought the shift to e-commerce forward by five years. McKinsey similarly analyzed that the shift to digital channels was accelerated by five years in just eight weeks by COVID. This migration to digital channels will continue.
The world is steadily shifting towards a digital channel customer experience. This means it is essential to have a modern contact center system in place, or to utilize the latest features of the system.

With the impact of the pandemic easing and global business accelerating again, now may be the opportune time to invest additional resources into delivering the best possible customer experience.

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