When we look into contact centers, it’s really easy to see the effects of the state our world is in at that current moment. 2021 was no exception. The year 2021 had a significant and will have a lasting impact on contact centers as we move into the new year. But what did that impact look like? 

      Here are 5 different ways 2021 impacted contact centers and the customer experience. 

      1. Transitioning to the cloud 

      When the COVID-19 pandemic started and threw the world into the unknown, the cloud was the one place companies could put everything for their employees to access anywhere. Immediate benefits were evident like business agility, business continuity, improved security, enhanced productivity, and better agent experiences. This transition to the cloud has no means of slowing down because, as you’ll read soon, hybrid and flexible work is here to stay. 

      2. The preference for hybrid working 

      After experiencing the flexibility of working from home, the hassle of returning to the office for employees has been magnified. Such a trend highlights the significance of consulting agents when building and reviewing hybrid plans. As we move into the new year, consult your agents and the data to see what’s working and who’s performing the best. Accommodating a hybrid, digital workforce has become the norm, so make sure you listen to what your agents want and be flexible for them. 

      3. The impact of the Great Resignation 

      The Great Resignation refers to the huge flux of people voluntarily resigning from their jobs. The pandemic has shifted what agents want from their employers and careers. With the Great Resignation came a high agent attrition rate due to the complicated and overworked agent role and the availability of the open job market during COVID. The Great Resignation showed contact center managers that improving work-life balance, reducing contact complexity, and managing occupancy rates are crucial initiatives to safeguard retention rates moving forward. 

      4. Digital transformation 

      As e-commerce grew, understanding and improving the digital-first experience became a crucial skill for contact center leaders. Omnichannel capabilities like SMS, chat, email, AI, and messaging have all become an avenue for the consumer to interact with businesses. Leveraging that kind of technology while keeping the customer in mind will help drive better business outcomes. If businesses fail to act on digital transformation, they risk losing business to brands that provide omnichannel service. 

      5. The art of personalization 

      The importance of truly understanding the customers became evident in 2021. Agents need the right information at their fingertips to identify why the customer is calling and resolve it in a minimal amount of time. Chatbots and digital assistants grew in importance for their ability to gather relevant information and seamlessly hand the customer off to the agent for a personalized experience. Personalization is a data-driven science and having insight into your customers to provide the services they want, when they want has become a major key to contact center success.  

      There are many other 2021 events, concepts, and factors that will impact the way of the contact center moving forward. Our best advice: stay on top of contact center news, be on the lookout for new technology, listen to your customers and agents, and be willing to change how you operate your contact center. 

      Contact Wilmac to consult with our experts and identify opportunities for growth in your contact center.

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