Call center agents working.
PHOTO: Andrey Popov

Customer service has never been as important as it has over the past year as consumers continued to change their shopping and purchasing behavior. A brand’s call center has become the epicenter for customer care, and is often the difference between a satisfied, loyal customer and a former customer. In 2021, the call center became omnichannel, using AI for predictive analytics, conversations with customers, and prescriptive analytics, in order to serve the customer more quickly and efficiently.

With that, we present CMSWire's 10 most popular call center articles from 2021.

10. Call Center Technology Trends for 2022

Of all the businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, call centers saw unique challenges, with a huge increase in call volume and difficult calls, and many call centers moving their employees into remote settings for extended periods. This article looks into the call center trends one can expect in 2022.

9. Call Centers vs. Contact Centers: Understanding the Key Differences

Call centers and contact centers can serve as the front lines of your customer service and customer experience. Most organizations recognize that, but actually knowing the difference between a call center and a contact center is important as organizations shape their customer experience programs.

8. 5 Skills Contact Center Employees Need Beyond Empathy

Call-center employees have rightfully been heralded as the superheroes of customer experience, working away from the spotlight and rarely receiving the recognition they deserve. As the first human point of contact many customers will have, call center employees must balance a number of skills to bring each contact to a successful resolution. While experts agree empathy is one of those key skills, they identified five other skills as essential for customer representatives to be effective.

7. A Look at the Pros and Cons of an Offshore Call Center

Should you outsource your call center and implement an offshore call center? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is cost. And rightfully so. There are countless — and necessary — ways to explore cost comparisons for in-house call centers vs. offshore call centers.  It’s also important to understand the basics of offshore call centers and their pros and cons.

6. How Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics Improve the Call Center Experience

Predictive analytics can help evaluate behavioral patterns which can enable call centers to provide better up-sales, improvements, or ticket resolutions by analyzing historical customer behavior and predicting likely future actions. This article looks at the ways predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics are being used in the call center today, and trends to watch for tomorrow.

5. How Customer Communities Improve Customer Experience

Branded customer communities have been around for years now, helping to connect customers and creating a direct line into customer needs and more for companies. This article looks at six ways customer communities provide a customer experience advantage.

4. Why the Call Center Should Be Omnichannel

The customer journey is omnichannel, and customers expect and demand an exceptional experience through every channel they interact with, so why should the call center be any different? This article looks at the characteristics of a call center that is omnichannel, and will discuss why that should always be the case.

3. 7 Skills and Traits of an Effective Call Center Leader

Call centers aren’t going anywhere. About 46% of global contact center decision-makers project their contact centers to grow 5% to 10%, according to a 2020 report from Get Voip. With the growth, comes the need for consistent leadership from call center managers. A call center agent can be a thankless job without proper inspiration, feedback and a trusted leader overseeing the heart of the call center and caring for their agents. What are some skills and traits a call center manager should possess?

2. 4 Ways Chatbots Can Fail at Customer Experience

Chatbots continue to handle an increasing amount of customer support and other B2C and B2B interactions. expect the global chatbot market to reach $10.08 billion by 2026, representing a 30.9% compound annual growth rate from the $1.17 billion market of 2018. Chatbots are being used to take customer orders, speed interactions, increase access, generate leads and for a variety of other uses. Yet, despite these advantages, there are times that chatbots don’t provide better CX. This article discusses four examples of how chatbots can fail in CX.

1. Is 2021 the Year AI Dominates the Call Center?

AI and machine learning are coming of age, and 2021 is set to become the year that AI dominates the customer service call center, by providing real-time feedback, predictive analytics, and in-depth analysis. AI is enhancing the customer experience while improving the lives of call center employees. This article looks at the ways that AI is changing the game when it comes to call center dynamics.