Here are my predictions for how cloud communication 2.0 will shape up in 2019
Cloud communication- What will 2019 bring us in the cloud communication space? I would like to call it cloud communication 2.0. In no particular order, here are my predictions for how cloud communication 2.0 will shape up in 2019.
Voice will be king
The success of assistants like Google Home and Alexa has shown that voice is the most natural interface. Voice channels will pop up everywhere. Inside apps, on websites, in emails. Adding voice channels will become easier through widgets. Contact centers will support home assistants. Alexa, Google Home etc will allow customers to connect to the contact centers of businesses.
Chat. Talk. Why don’t we do both
Omni-channel will become mainstream. In fact, the term omni-channel itself will take on new meaning. Agents will talk and chat with customers in the same interaction. Gone are the days when an agent could only chat or talk at a time. Now they can talk for faster resolution and chat for important information like order numbers or ticket numbers etc.
It’s the age of assistants
Watching my 4-year-old son ask Google to play Beat it, I know it won’t be long before voice assistants make their way to businesses. Supervisors will just ask assistants to update their call center queues. Agents will ask assistants to give them information about the callers. Assistants will alert managers about any discrepancies in the conversations. Do you want to schedule an appointment? We have an assistant for that.
It’s a bot world
Chat bots were promised as the next big thing. Then everyone claimed that they would die; both sides are wrong. Bots will become an integral part of business communication, although they will not be deployed to handle everything. Instead, bots will handle the most common or easy parts of the communication and the more complex processes will be left for agents to handle. This will lead to huge agent efficiency as the agents are left with dealing only the most important and challenging parts of a conversation.
Voice bots for the win
All chat bot companies will start adding a voice channel to provide voice bots. And these voice bots will be served over widgets so that they are available everywhere. Voice bots will take over all the regular calling needs.
AI has eyes and ears everywhere
AI will monitor all the contact center conversations. Everyone knows the ubiquitous term, “This call may be recorded for quality improvement purposes”. Well, now it will become true. Every interaction will be recorded and monitored and AI will help in quality improvement.
CRM, Support Desk, Contact Center. Who is doing what?
CRM systems and support desks will start offering contact center services. Contact centers will provide inbuilt CRMs and support desks. The boundaries between these systems will merge. Customers will start choosing one partner for all these.
You live and die with the customer lifecycle
Managing the customer lifecycle will become important. The question, “Who am I talking to?” will go extinct in most contact centers. Additionally, the complete history of the customer will be at the fingertips of the agent so that they can serve better.
Social media support will become paramount. Most social media channels including WhatsApp will start providing public APIs for businesses to manage their social media channels.