Understanding advanced call center technologies

Startek Editorial
Startek Editorial

Apr 09, 2024 | 6 min read

What are advanced call center technologies?

More than half (58%) of customers will pay more for better customer service. To remain efficient and competitive, call centers must seek the newest technological advancements that aid customers and increase efficiency and effectiveness. Not every innovation does this, so while it’s essential to stay current with the latest advances in call center technologies, it’s equally important to avoid tools with unnecessary bells and whistles and shiny objects that may be attractive but fail to make an impact on customer service, agent engagement — or the bottom line. 

Advanced call center technologies encompass a range of tools and solutions designed to enhance customer service, improve efficiency and optimize performance in call center operations. Some examples of advanced call center technologies include omnichannel support, conversational AI, advanced analytics software, speech analytics, workforce management software, self-service technologies, robotic automation and gamification. 

Key takeaways 

You will learn how leveraging advances in call center technology have a game-changing impact on overall performance, agent efficiency and customer satisfaction. See which combination of tools and platforms make the best sense for the unique needs of your contact center. 

Discover the types of advanced call center technologies, including  

  • Omnichannel support 
  • Conversational AI
  • Advanced analytics software 
  • Speech analytics 
  • Workforce management software 
  • Self-service technologies 
  • Robotic automation 
  • Gamification 

Learn about the benefits of advanced call center technologies including  

  • Boosting agent productivity 
  • Improved customer experience
  • Cost reduction 
  • Adaptability and expansion 
  • Data-driven decisions

Key technologies in advanced call centers

Omnichannel support

Omnichannel support is a contact center’s ability to provide support to customers through multiple channels. Nine out of ten consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication channels. Traditional voice interactions are supplemented by email, SMS (texts), chat, social media and other platforms. Call centers virtually meet customers on their own terms, according to their own preferences, which boosts satisfaction and aids speedy resolutions. 

Conversational AI 

By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), conversational AI enables your customers to have human-like conversations with self-service tools including chatbots and automated messaging solutions. 

The combination of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms enables conversational AI-based solutions to understand your customer’s intent and deliver relevant and conversational responses in a scalable solution. 

"Explore the latest advancements in Conversational AI in banking and how they enhance customer experiences."

Advanced analytics software 

Deriving insights and predicting future actions, potential queries and likely requests, data mining and other business intelligence tools ensure call centers act upon information from customer interactions and agent responses. These serve to identify gaps, address shortcomings and spotlight wins, improve efficiency and resource use, and overall contact center performance. Making data-driven decisions with advanced analytics software is a clear and significant competitive advantage. 

Speech analytics 

The growing use and value of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expressed in contact centers’ use of speech analytics to scrutinize interactions between customers and agents. AI’s speech analytics and natural language processing functions enable analysis of customer interactions, identify pain points and bottlenecks, and aid in training and coaching agents to improve their performance.

Workforce management software 

By forecasting needs based on previous events and employing scheduling algorithms, these tools aid in schedule management and resource allocation. Not relying on “gut feelings” and “best guesses” empowers call center managers to ensure agents are in places when needed and their skills and experiences are put to best use for efficient and effective deployment. 

Also read: Transform your customer service operations with expert tips on contact center optimization.

Self-service technologies 

Empowering customers with interactive voice response (IVR) systems, chatbots and other self-service tools is a win-win for contact centers and users, as it saves time and provides customers with autonomy in addressing their concerns. Other benefits include reduced agent workload and better case resolution, plus higher customer satisfaction. By relegating routine tasks to these tools, agents are better able to focus on higher-value interactions where human effort shines. Knowledge bases and online FAQs also enable self-service by customers without agent intervention, which streamlines searches and speeds resolutions  

Robotic automation 

Streamlining repetitive tasks such as form-filling, report generation and data entry with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools is a game-changer for contact centers. It cuts down on human error and as with similar tools that handle such tasks, frees agents to focus on tasks for which they are better suited with greater value to customers and the call center. 

Gamification 

Improving agent satisfaction boosts customer satisfaction. Using game-like components with competitions, points, badges and other rewards leads to increased agent engagement and efficiency, and lower attrition. By recognizing winners and their milestones, a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment is created which boosts retention and reduces agent turnover. All of these things lead to better customer outcomes, as well, as a result of gamification.

Benefits of using advanced call center technologies 

Boost Agent Productivity 

Eighty-six percent of agents feel that they don’t have the resources or the authority to deal with customers effectively. The automation of routine tasks and the ability to immediately leverage data and feedback help make agents more productive. In tandem with self-service tools, gamification, RPA and workforce management software, these advanced technologies also enhance engagement and job satisfaction and boost the overall customer experience. 

Improved customer experience 

By deploying self-service tools that empower customers with some autonomy as they seek resolution to their issues, their experience is improved. With omnichannel support and speech analytics, they enjoy a more seamless and personalized experience. Advanced analytics also contribute to faster resolutions which translates to better customer experience, higher loyalty and less churn. 

For actionable insights on boosting customer satisfaction, check out how to improve call center customer service.

Cost reduction 

Though there are expenditures associated with the adoption of new technology — upfront and ongoing — the savings accrue and revenues grow in terms of better resource allocation, greater efficiency, higher resolution rates and lower operational costs. High customer satisfaction and better agent engagement can also mean increased savings that reduce overall costs. 

Adaptability and expansion 

Since many, if not most, of the new technologies are SAAS-based and require little or no additional hardware or space, they can usually be integrated into existing operations — and with incumbent applications. As business conditions change, they will grow or shrink as needed, without impacting the call center’s infrastructure or footprint. And when technology evolves or new functionalities are introduced, this flexibility allows rapid integration with existing tools.  

Data-driven decisions 

The value of making call center management decisions based on solid data cannot be overstated. Having access to information is the difference between just getting by and succeeding and the new technologies available to call centers provide feedback from customer calls, preferences, affinities, upsell opportunities and more. Tools such as advanced analytics, speech analytics and workforce management software aid in staffing decisions, training needs, process improvements and strategic planning. None of these choices can be made effectively without accurate and actionable data.

Challenges of advanced call center technologies

Cost and investment 

As stated previously, there are upfront and ongoing investments required for the adoption of new technology. Though most tools are in the form of SAAS and are cloud-based, some may require hardware to support their operation. In addition to the cost of the tool itself, its implementation will likely engender costs for training and coaching, as well as maintenance and support. Some, if not all, may be rolled into the responsibilities carried by the vendor but budgeting for these expenses is required and must be weighed against the anticipated return on investment (ROI). 

Integration complexity 

Though most providers are savvy enough to anticipate and mitigate against this, it is still possible that there may be challenges in integrating new tools with existing solutions. It is wise to investigate this thoroughly before committing to new tools to avoid lengthy and potentially costly integration. Ideally, the interface should be seamless but if there will be any challenges, speed bumps or roadblocks, other options and alternatives should be considered.

Security and data privacy 

Ensuring data is safe, secure and private is a full-time challenge. Compliance with all applicable rules, laws and regulations (for example, GDPR and CCPA) must be part of the contact center’s daily mission. Cybercrime is a fact of life, unfortunately, and with the introduction of new technology, it is important to use appropriate encryption and other tools to protect customers’ information. 

Change management and adoption 

Much thought must be given to how the new tools impact the call center, agents, customers and other stakeholders. However the solution affects workflows, processes, employee responsibilities and customer-facing aspects of operations must be considered. Use cases and likely scenarios must be anticipated. Role-playing, training exercises and previous experiences from other companies must be implemented and other resources, as needed, should be provided by the vendor. Vigorous change-management programs may be required, with robust communication that will ease the transition and eliminate any recalcitrance or resistance.  

Technology dependence 

It’s a fact of life that to a large degree, we are increasingly reliant upon technology for nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives. There’s no way around it but with proper training, oversight, system redundancy and support, call centers can protect themselves and their operations. The IT team must work closely with other departments in a proactive manner to deal with technology interruptions, disasters and any other anomalies and obstacles to avoid downtime which affects operations. Training and support are ongoing concerns to ensure uninterrupted operation. 

Startek solutions for advanced call centers

Contact center technology from Startek builds your foundation for CX success 

Technology shapes the experience your brand delivers. The right technology ensures seamless CX across live and digital channels and gives agents a 360-degree view, enabling more engaging and personalized interactions. Startek delivers flexible, cost-effective and technology-agnostic solutions by understanding your unique business goals and deploying the best fit for your needs. From tools that enable teams to work securely in a remote environment to solutions that ensure effortless social media management, the contact center technology from Startek ensures the excellence of your brand‘s CX. 

Unlock next-level CX: Explore Startek's advanced call center solutions! 

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