Like many job sectors across Canada, customer support jobs have been significantly impacted by the advancement of digital technology. Thanks to this technology, customer service professionals have access to a vast amount of consumer data right at their fingertips. While these advancements promote enhanced customer engagement and can help to boost the overall customer experience, it also requires skilled workers who are able to access the right data at the right time.
Today’s customer support professionals must also be able to adapt quickly to this new technology as well as to shifting customer demands. Adaptability is just one of the emerging customer service job trends affecting the industry today. Keep reading to learn more about trends impacting customer service and call centre jobs.
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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.
shift to remote call centres
During the pandemic, many call centres were pushed into remote work. For example, the Toronto-Dominion Bank was able to transition 9,000 call centre employees to remote work. While this shift was definitely challenging for some organizations, they were able to eventually build effective remote call centres and continue meeting customer’s needs.
Now, with the effects of COVID-19 starting to subside, neither the workers nor employers are ready to give up remote work. Companies have already invested in building a remote infrastructure that allows their agents to continue serving customers and many are not willing to let their investment in remote work go to waste. Employees, on the other hand, love the flexibility of working from home. In fact, as the job market continues to heat up, remote work options may be an extra perk that enables employers to attract high-quality 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
From 2018 to 2020, the number of Canadians who primarily use their mobile device to log into the internet has increased by 5%, while the number of residents who access the internet via their laptops has declined by 5%. The transition to mobile use is more prevalent among Millennials and Gen Zs.
This shift is not only visible in the way consumers shop, but also in the way they choose to contact 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
Thanks to the advancement in technology that literally allows people to obtain information in just seconds, consumers have come to not only expect, but to demand real-time solutions. When a customer contacts a call centre, they don’t want to wait for a resolution to their problem. Instead, they want instant solutions.
The reality is that customers have less patience today than ever before. To meet this growing demand, companies have invested in technology tools, such as call-back services, live chat options and on-demand self-services options to ensure their customers receive the instant feedback they crave.
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.