Future of the Contact Centre: 6 Key Trends for 2024 & Beyond

April 16, 2024
future of the contact centre

In an age shaped by digital transformation and the rise of AI, it can really feel like the future is now.

These technological advancements have had a massive impact on all our lives - from how we communicate with friends and family to how we collaborate and perform tasks in the workplace.

But what does this shift mean for your call center and the digital customer experience?

With their global market value expected to hit $407.1 billion by 2025, contact centers are poised to redefine customer service in the coming years.

As such, it’s crucial that business leaders embrace innovation while staying up-to-date with the latest CX trends and call center technologies.

Fail to do so, and you’ll risk being left behind.

Fortunately, we’ve put together this guide to help you and your contact center stay ahead of the curve. We’ll cover:

  • The evolution of the contact center
  • 6 key trends/predictions for contact centers in 2024 and beyond
  • How to navigate the future of call centres and customer service


6 trends/predictions for the future of the contact center...

  1. Implementing AI & automation: The rise of AI and automation (e.g. AI chatbot solutions) will streamline customer support and increase efficiency, significantly enhancing service quality and reducing operational costs.
  2. Overcoming data security concerns: Addressing data security and privacy concerns will be crucial as AI use increases. Steps include enhancing security measures, being transparent about data usage, and selecting trustworthy AI partners.
  3. Diversifying contact channels: Expanding into omnichannel service allows seamless interactions across multiple platforms, improving the customer experience and contact center performance.
  4. Creating teams of “Super Agents”: The role of customer service agents will shift to becoming "super agents". These advisor must be highly trained to handle complex issues and use multiple communication channels effectively.
  5. Shifting to cloud-based contact centers: Cloud technology provides scalability and flexibility, making it easier and more cost-effective to manage cloud contact center operations and facilitate remote work.
  6. The rise of remote working: Remote and hybrid work models will become more prevalent, offering benefits such as cost savings, greater flexibility, and decreased staff turnover.
customer interacting with agent on mobile

The evolution of contact centers

The nature of contact centers has undergone dramatic change since their inception.

Initially, contact centers were simply call-handling facilities, with phone lines functioning as the main interface for customer support.

These centers focused on managing high volumes of calls, relying heavily on interactive voice response (IVR) systems and interaction scripts for agents.

The primary goal was to get through as many customer queries/issues as possible, with an emphasis on speed rather than high-quality service.

Nowadays, digital customer service has surpassed phone lines alone to encompass numerous contact channels — from email to live chat, video calls, social media, and even messaging apps like SMS or WhatsApp.

As a result, the modern call center has evolved into an omnichannel hub for customer communication.

These hubs integrate a variety of channels, aiming to deliver a seamless and consistent experience across all devices and digital touchpoints.

This transformation has been fuelled by a combination of technological innovations, societal changes, and a new emphasis on customer experience as the pivotal competitive differentiator.

Moving forward, this evolution will continue as businesses incorporate advanced automation, self-service, and artificial intelligence into their support strategies.

These technologies are set to reshape operational efficiency and the call center customer experience in years to come.

happy support agent working in a contact centre

6 trends/predictions for the future of the contact center

Although no one can see the future, we can certainly make educated predictions regarding the trajectory of contact centers and customer service.

By considering emerging technologies, CX innovations, and shifting consumer preferences, we’ve uncovered 6 key trends that’ll shape the future of call centers for the rest of 2024 and beyond.

Let’s explore each of these trends/predictions in turn.

1. Implementing AI & automation

The rise of AI and automated customer service is one of the most significant advancements that’ll define the future of call centers.

In fact, automation is predicted to boost business productivity by up to 40% by 2035, and 96% of contact centres already view AI as a vital technology to help their operations.

These emerging technologies can optimise customer support, improve agent performance, and maximise contact center efficiency - all of which lead to reduced costs and increased revenue.

They achieve these outcomes in a number of ways.

Firstly, AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming capable of automating a wide array of queries without human intervention.

These systems streamline support, freeing up agents to focus on more high-value tasks and interactions. AI chatbots also give customers access to an advanced self-service channel, enabling them to resolve many queries/issues independently.

Secondly, AI assistive tools empower agents to perform and communicate better by providing them with automated suggestions or guidance during customer interactions (more on this later).

This boosts agent productivity and service speed, improving both efficiency and the user experience.

Finally, AI and automation can significantly speed up tasks, reducing a substantial amount of manual work for agents, supervisors, and contact center managers.

With tools like real-time translation, sentiment analysis, AI-driven reporting, and predictive analytics, contact centers can save time and significantly enhance the quality of customer service.

As AI and automation continue to evolve, these technologies will become integral to the success of future contact centers, transforming how they operate and serve their customers.

human hand reaching to AI robot hand for assistance

2. Overcoming customer data security & privacy concerns

As AI-powered customer service becomes increasingly prevalent in the call center, it’ll give rise to new concerns regarding customer privacy and data security.

AI technologies are still fairly new to the contact center industry, so it’s understandable that some may be concerned about how AI systems handle user data.

Customers often share personal information during AI-enhanced live chat or chatbot interactions, posing risks if this data is not properly secured.

Some users might even be reluctant to disclose certain details to a chatbot or an AI-assisted agent due to fears of data misuse or breaches.

Additionally, many providers of AI solutions integrate their platforms with other AI companies and models (e.g. OpenAI’s Large Language Model).

This can be problematic for contact centers worried about potentially sharing their interaction data with third parties and how it may be stored/used.

As we navigate the future of contact center AI, these data and privacy concerns can be rectified in the following ways...

  • Adhere to robust security measures: Any customer service software and AI tools you implement must have stringent security protocols to protect user data. This includes end-to-end encryption of messages, secure storage of interaction data, regular security audits, and compliance with data protection regulations (e.g. GDPR, CCPA). If using containerized systems, maintaining robust container security in cloud environments is also important to protect against vulnerabilities and unauthorized access, thereby enhancing the protection of customer data.
  • Be transparent with customers: You should clearly communicate to customers how their data is being used, stored, and protected during AI interactions. Providing information about data handling practices will help alleviate concerns and build trust with consumers. This includes informing customers about the specific types of data the AI collects, how it contributes to improving service, and any options they have for managing their data, such as accessing, correcting, or deleting their information.
  • Check privacy policies: Before using any software that integrates with third-party AI solutions or models, it’s crucial that you thoroughly review and understand their privacy policies and data usage terms. This review should ensure that third-party practices align with your company’s data protection standards and comply with relevant regulations.
chatbot data and analytics

3. Diversifying contact channels for customer satisfaction

The future of the contact center lies in omnichannel experiences that allow customers to interact with companies how and when they prefer.

Traditionally, phone lines served as the primary mode of communication between consumers and businesses.

Now, as we’ve mentioned, voice calls are just one of many possible engagement channels for customers.

The expansion into new platforms, apps, and channels offers more modern and convenient ways for customers to seek support.

It also reflects the communicative behaviours of today’s consumer, allowing them to interact with brands in the same way they would communicate with friends or family.

By going omnichannel, call centers enable their customers to digitally engage with them using their preferred method. They can even switch between channels effortlessly, creating a seamless customer experience.

It’s why businesses that offer omnichannel service have a 23x higher customer satisfaction rate.

That said, omnichannel has to be done right in order to be an effective and lucrative strategy.

Ensuring that all channels are equally efficient and equipped with the necessary information to resolve customer issues is paramount.

The best way to achieve this is by leveraging a robust platform like Talkative that can easily integrate diverse channels to deliver a consistent and unified customer experience.

With this approach, you can easily escalate and switch between channels without disrupting the customer journey - and manage all interactions within a single screen.

happy customer using different channels and touchpoints

4. Creating teams of “super agents”

As contact centers and the customer service experience continue to evolve, so too will the role of support agents.

With AI and automation handling an increasing amount of repetitive tasks and customer conversations, the future of agents and their role will be centred around complex queries/issues.

This means that today’s customer service agents need to be equipped with more advanced communication and problem-solving abilities, plus extensive knowledge of their company’s products/services.

These highly skilled advisors, often described as ‘super agents’, also need to be confident using and switching between a variety of channels - from voice calls to web chat, video chat, and messaging apps.

To create a force of super agents, future contact centers need to empower their staff with comprehensive coaching, continuous learning/development, and performance management.

A great way to streamline this process is through automated training and quality assurance.

One way you can do this is with Talkative’s Agent Training Simulator. Powered by generative AI, this tool allows contact center agents to practise and refine their skills through virtual simulations of customer interactions.

Once configured, the AI simulator acts and responds as a real customer would in various scenarios. Your agents will then be able to interact and engage with it as they would during a live chat conversation with a human user.

This accelerates training/onboarding for new agents and also allows current staff to easily upskill or improve their abilities.

Simulation-based training isn’t the only way AI/automation can help prepare and empower super agents.

These technologies can also provide agents with real-time assistance during actual customer interactions. Take the following AI-powered tools as examples...

  • AI response recommendations: AI solutions can be used during live chat conversations to generate response recommendations for agents. These tools work by analysing interaction data in order to produce a selection of relevant response suggestions for each customer message. With Talkative, you can gain these capabilities via integration with OpenAI or Google Agent Assist.
  • Knowledge base suggestions: This feature allows you to create AI knowledge bases using web pages and file-based resources. Once set up, the AI can extract information from your knowledge base content and use it to suggest answers in response to live chat queries. The distinction between this feature and the above AI recommendations is that it uses your knowledge base dataset in addition to the interaction context when generating responses.
  • AI rephrases: Agent Rephrases work by offering improved or revised versions of agent messages during chat interactions. This means that, instead of having your agents manually edit and proofread each live chat message themselves before sending it, the AI does all the work for them. Agents can even choose a preferred tone/style (i.e. better spelling/grammar, longer, shorter, friendlier, or more professional) for the rephrases.

These tools not only expedite resolution and response times but also help contact center agents perform optimally - all while providing customers with accurate information and consistent service.

AI response recommendations for agents

5. Shifting to cloud-based contact centers

Cloud-based call centers aren’t a new concept, but their prevalence has increased significantly in recent years.

In fact, 75% of contact centers have already switched to the cloud, suggesting that it’s become the industry norm.

A cloud-based contact center system operates remotely via the Internet. With this approach, the center’s infrastructure is configured and hosted off-site by a third-party company like Talkative.

Cloud-based technology offers numerous advantages for contact centers, notably in flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency.

It allows agents and supervisors to access the system from anywhere with an internet connection, facilitating remote or flexible working (more on this below) and a global workforce.

This flexibility also extends to scalability, as businesses can adjust their resource use without the need for physical hardware adjustments, easily accommodating fluctuating demand.

Financially, cloud-based solutions reduce the burden of maintenance costs, as updates and system upkeep are managed by the service provider.

As cloud services continue to develop, so too will their capabilities regarding integrations, automation/AI, and data analytics, further improving operational efficiency and customer service.

call centre agent performance

6. The rise of remote & hybrid working

Since 2020, Covid-19 has had a profound and lasting impact on all our lives.

One of the most substantial changes sparked by the pandemic is the increased adoption of remote working across industries - and call centers haven’t been exempt from this trend.

With the rise of cloud-based contact centers already paving the way for the possibility of remote agents, Covid-19 only accelerated this shift.

Working remotely offers a host of benefits, including access to a wider pool of talent and reduced operational costs.

It can also boost agent productivity and job satisfaction through greater flexibility and a better work-life balance, leading to decreased staff turnover.

However, a successful remote working model also requires robust virtual infrastructure and a strong focus on collaboration to keep teams aligned, engaged, and effective.

That said, it seems that the benefits of remote and hybrid working models outshine the potential challenges for contact centers as this trend continues to rise.

In fact, it’s estimated that around 73% of call center agents will work remotely or in hybrid arrangements by 2025.

customer service agent using live chat on laptop

The takeaway: Embracing the future of call centers & customer expectations

As we look towards the future of customer service, one thing is for certain - change is inevitable for the call center industry.

Contact centers will continue to evolve alongside technological advancements and shifting customer expectations.

With this in mind, it’s crucial that contact center managers take deliberate steps to stay one step ahead and actively search for new ways to grow or improve.

One key part of this process is finding the best customer service platform for your specific business needs and customer service goals.

That’s where Talkative comes in.

Our solution was carefully designed to connect call center agents with the right customers, via the right channel, at the right time.

We provide a versatile suite of advanced support channels and capabilities, including...

We also support numerous integrations with leading contact center systems and CRMs. In fact, our Salesforce integration is one of the most in-depth and cost-effective on the market.

Want to learn more? Book a demo with Talkative today, and check out our interactive product tour.

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