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  1.    Omnichannel  

Customers are interacting with companies across multiple channels such as chat, web, phone, email and text and still want to have consistent experience across all the channels. 96% of customers use more than one channel to interact with companies according to Forrester. This complexity is not going to get reduced.

The need for omnichannel experience is driven by the use of mobile devices and social media. Today, customer can easily use social media to show their dissatisfaction and make complaints online. Organizations needs to have omnichannel customer service solution so that customer service agents can respond to those customers.

Customer service agents should be able to transition from one channel to another and maintain the continuity of conversation with client. As per Deloitte, only 18% of the companies have fully integrated channels and 31% have not even started integrating channels in any form.

  1.     Cloud based contact center

Contact centers are moving from on-premise based solution to more flexible cloud based solutions. Cloud adds much more flexibility in terms of the size of deployment as well as the time to deploy the solution for corporates. Corporates can also choose to scale up customer service agents as per the changes in the customer behaviour and demand in the market. Further, cloud based solutions can be easily integrated with third party CRMs such as salesforce, zendesk, SAP and facebook.   

  1.    Self-Service Support

          Gartner predicts that 85% of the customers will prefer automated self-service without any human intervention by 2020. Customers typically send their queries on web before connecting with call centre. With web based self-service support getting automated, the load will decrease on call centre services. Companies must prepare their channels such as web, mobile and IVR for intelligent self-service support which will make it easy for customer to get support. Here are few facts that point towards emerging self-service support:

      40% of customers use self-service support before contacting a call center

      45% of customers abandon their purchase if they do not get answer to their queries

      91% of customers use an online support if they are tailored to their needs

  1.    Social media

Over the last 10 years, social engagement has become one of the key platforms from lead generation to customer service. Social media offers ample opportunities for corporates to build loyalty by providing exceptional customer service. Through contact centre solutions provided by Aspect, service agents can respond to any queries posted by customers on social media.

  1. Analytics

Contact centers need analytics on text, speech and surveys to generate customer insights and respond proactively to customer issues and opportunities. 41.9% contact centers do not have analytics that meet their requirement and 50% of the respondents rank analytics as #1 factor to reshape the industry. Analytics can provide personalization at micro level so that customer service agents know how to respond to customers’ queries.  

In summary, there are five trends that are defining the way enterprises will use contact centre solutions in future: proliferation of mobile devices, increasing use of social media, adoption of cloud, analytics and use of self-service support.

Compiled list of top contact centre solutions providers and their key products matching with the needs of current customer behaviour

Name of company Description Cloud Omni channel IP Social media Self-service support Analytics Target size of enterprise
Aastra Its  flagship product is Solidus eCare which is best suited for mid size organizations and has global installed base with good channel network yes yes yes yes yes no mid-size
Alcatel-Lucent Alcatel-Lucent has three solutions suitable for organizations which require broad set of communication capabilities having presence in Europe yes yes no yes no no mid-size (upto 150 agents)
Altitude Software Altitude uCI is suitable for organizations that wish to build independent multichannel contact center infrastructure yes yes yes yes no no mid-size
Aspect Aspect’s unified IP is suitable for organizations that want to integrate contact centre infrastructure with multiple PBX/IP telephony environments yes yes yes yes no no mid-size to large
Cisco Cisco’s offering is suitable for organizations that want end-to-end Cisco infrastructure yes yes yes yes no no mid-size to large (upto 1000 agents)
Enghouse Interactive Enghouse interactive offers premise based or cloud based multimedia contact center infrastructure that can connect with variety of PBX/IP telephony environments yes yes yes yes no no mid-size to large
Genesys Genesys solutions is suitable when contact center infrastructure should be scalable and customizable as per customer needs yes yes yes yes no yes large size
Huawei Huawei offers one of the cost effective solutions suitable for large installations yes yes yes yes yes no mid to large size
Interactive Intelligence Interactive offers consistent administrative and management tools across applications which makes it very appealing for IT decision makers yes yes no yes no no mid-size
Mitel Mitel has expanded its offerings to cover large size installations and lacks some of the features such as WFO suite, predictive dialing and workflow routing no yes no yes no no mid size or large size (upto 1000 agents)
NEC NEC contact center infrastructure is suitable when there is sufficient dependency on NEC telephony yes yes yes yes no no mid-size to large size