At the beginning of the year, industry analysts laid out their predictions for customer service trends and contact center software innovation in 2014. These predictions centered on a few common themes: contextual customer service, multi-channel support, advanced analytics and reporting, and platform openness. In April, we announced our 14.1 release to address these trends and stay on the forefront of innovation in the cloud SaaS industry.
Customers Will Demand Omnichannel Service (Kate Leggett, Forrester, January 2014)
In a January blog post, Kate Leggett chronicled her predictions for customer service in 2014. Trend #1 was that customers will increasingly demand multi-channel communication. Though voice continues to be the primary customer service channel, SMS and Social Media will be the main growth channels for contact centers in 2014 and beyond.
In our 14.1 release, we launched Context-Aware SMS Conversations—the ability for SMS messages to be routed through the inContact cloud Universal Queue. Now, contact centers can have SMS conversations routed to the agents who are best equipped to handle those interactions. The update also allows agents to send an SMS message while on an active voice contact and captures the full text history to help contact centers be more contextually aware while supporting customers.
Reducing the Data Noise (Sarah Stealey Reed, ICMI, January 2014)
In January, Sarah Stealey Reed wrote about the need for contact centers to reduce the “data noise” in order to improve customer satisfaction rates. Contact centers have improved their data collection and storage methods, but big data is only as useful as the actionable insights you gain from it. In our latest release, we introduced New Direct Access to help enterprise organizations segment information based on customer interactions, agent performance, and contact center operations. This functionality gives managers and executives the business intelligence they need to make critical decisions about their customer service protocols.
Agile Integration with Open APIs (David Cearley, Gartner, February 2014)
The final trend of 2014 was discussed in by David Cearley in the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014 (Gartner subscription required. For non-Gartner subscribers, please go to Forbes coverage here). Cearley outlined the importance of integration between disparate cloud platforms. In our 14.1 release, we addressed this by building a new state-of-the-art inCloud Developer Zone. Developers can now hook into every feature of the inContact platform, as well as access new customer apps and over 100 APIs.
Stay tuned for our next release this fall when we’ll have our next set of products and features that will enhance customer experience and contact center operations.