Like many job sectors across Canada, new technological developments heavily influence customer support jobs. Customers have high expectations and limited patience, so companies must be prepared to deliver fast, flexible and individualized service.

In response, businesses are employing AI-driven chatbots and social media tools to offer rapid answers. Data also plays a key role in developing targeted, hyper-personalized service options.

As companies embrace new technologies, they need employees who can navigate billing and CRM programs with ease. Bilingual employees and professionals who can improve the customer experience are in high demand. Employees need advanced selling and support skills to navigate the now-permanent shift to remote work. Keep reading to learn more about the trends impacting customer service and call centre jobs in 2023.

Man and woman working at a hotel reception desk helping a guest.
Man and woman working at a hotel reception desk helping a guest.

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customer service job trends

Recent research predicts that there will be an additional 11,300 customer service jobs added to the market between 2019 and 2028, but only 10,600 skilled job seekers to fill these roles. This statistic shows a moderate labour shortage of 700 skilled workers. While this shortage level certainly isn’t as alarming as in some industries, it will still create a highly competitive job market that will make it difficult for employers to hire the skilled workers they need.

Employers must take steps now to build effective hiring solutions to attract and retain top talent. To do so, you’ll need to stay on top of the call centre job trends below.

remote work is here to stay

Both employees and employers are ready to make the shift to remote call centres a permanent fixture in the industry. After all, Canadian companies have invested heavily in remote technology infrastructures over the past few years. 

They’ve also spent time and money preparing their agents to serve customers remotely, and they’re not willing to let that investment go to waste. Employees are benefiting from the shift, too. They love the flexibility, work-life balance and cost savings of working from home.

As supply chain disruptions persist across the globe, the demand for customer service is higher than ever. The current labour shortage intensifies the need. Considering that 36.9% of all businesses in Canada are facing hiring challenges, companies are more likely to offer remote work as a perk to attract top candidates. 

personalization is a must

Customer service has always been about pleasing the customer. Whether it’s helping with their shopping needs, addressing concerns or fixing billing errors, a customer agent’s top priority is to meet the needs of the customer.

Today, the push to please the customer has gone one step further by providing a level of personalization. From enabling consumers to select from multiple communication tools to addressing the customers by name, customers centre agents must be able to provide a holistic, multichannel experience that addresses the unique needs of each customer.

The good news is that this high level of personalization is made possible through advanced digital technology, such as CRM platforms. However, it also requires customer service agents that can not only connect with the customer, but who also possess the necessary digital skills to quickly assess the data they need.

mobile-first customer service

With more shoppers opting to use their mobile devices when connecting with customer service, businesses have taken great strides in recent years to improve the mobile experience for customers.  To meet this increasing demand, companies must seek out candidates who have the digital skills necessary to ensure a seamless customer experience whether connecting with a laptop or mobile device.

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advancement of digital technology and AI

Digital technology and AI software have helped to alleviate some of the pressure put on call centre agents by enabling customers to use self-service tools, including chatbots, to assist with minor tasks, such as finding products, requesting a return or making an online payment. This technology allows customers to complete these tasks without any form of human contact.

This technology certainly helps to reduce the number of calls coming into the call centre. However, it also means that the calls that do make it through will likely involve more complex issues that require a skilled agent. This factor means that employers must build robust hiring strategies that enable them to attract and retain top talent.

real-time customer solutions

As technology advances, customers now expect real-time solutions. To keep customers happy, businesses must be prepared to offer instant support across a wide range of time zones. Live chat and self-service options satisfy some users, but companies are also investing in systems such as face-to-face video support. These personal interactions can humanize a brand, which may help satisfy customers who’ve escalated beyond AI-driven options.

Another way businesses can create a speedy and positive experience is by using a centralized service hub. These systems manage questions and customer service tickets, so agents can see the history and provide fast, personalized solutions.

rise of social media

Social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, are becoming one of the most popular methods for consumers to reach out to companies. In fact, studies suggest that almost half of the businesses surveyed state that they respond to customer queries through social media.

Since social media is a public forum, this level of customer service requires more than just standard customer support skills. Instead, it incorporates elements of public relations, marketing and brand reputation. Customer service representatives that manage social media queries must be highly skilled in all relevant areas.

For companies managing ongoing supply challenges, customer service plays a critical role in customer satisfaction. As you’re preparing your business, find out how to hire customer service talent you can count on. If you’re considering bringing in short-term workers to meet the demand, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of hiring temporary customer service staff.

As the customer service sector evolves, keep your company at the forefront by signing up to receive our insights and resources before anyone else. While you’re at it, subscribe to our LinkedIn for real-time updates about the labour market in Canada.

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