A global pandemic and the rise of social media have led to more innovation in the BPO sector.
Stephen Butler-Emmett, Rewardsco’s Managing Executive: Customer Service, believes more positive change is on the horizon in 2022.
“The whole explosion around self-service and Omnichannel systems will grow this year. We will see the introduction of the Hybrid Customer Experience where you will have Bots and humans integrated. The biggest challenge will be to make this appear seamless so that the experience for the customer remains the same,” Butler-Emmett said.
He added that this combination will serve to not only empower the customer, but staff in the industry as well.
“This kind of synergy between AI and humans will allow staff the power to make decisions and give them the freedom to grow in their personal capacity. This means great things for the customer too, because the experience becomes less like traditional “customer care” and more like having a personal broker who understands your individual needs… We’re moving toward becoming proactive rather than reactive as it has been in the past.”
Butler-Emmet said the effect social media has had in the industry has created an added sense of urgency that cannot be ignored by any company wanting to make its mark in this space.
“As social media has grown in popularity, there’s massive demand to be heard timeously and to not be passed off with ‘I’ll get back to you within office hours’”. “Customers demand a lot more from companies now. They want to be heard now and they are way less forgiving because of the nature of these changes.”
The challenge, he says, is to ensure that standards are met consistently, and its technology that will play a leading role in this change.
“Tech allows us to have an overview of every single customer engagement wherever they choose to engage. This really helps us create that consistent experience and allows us to have a golden thread running through the entire journey.”
Butler-Emmet believes this “golden thread” will be key to the success of all BPOs going forward.
He says many BPOs fall into a trap where they become more transactional than pre-emptive, which results in the loss of passion for the work which is so critical to the sector.
“I think that’s always been a big stumbling block for this sector and going forward that’s what will differentiate good BPOs from average BPOs. The customer experience is one of the few places that you can still be very innovative in. We can really set the pace.”