The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on a wide range of industries, bringing heavy losses, not only in terms of lives, but in business likewise. One upside, however, is that many start-ups are bringing new tactics, expansions, technological developments, and long-term contracts to the world, and in the process considerably improving standards in customer service.
- Artificial intelligence ameliorating customer relationship management (CRM)
The digital customer support ecosystem is but one area seeing the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) streamlining, automating, and generally ameliorating customer relationship management, payment processing, and transactional volumes—among many other business processes.
Several companies have shut down operations owing to strict new government norms, but many new ones have emerged in the wake, following social distancing practices and reducing workforces, yet still meeting the corresponding increase in customer demand.
No doubt Salesforce, the San Francisco, California-headquartered cloud-based software company leads the field in customer relationship management services. It also provides a complementary suite of enterprise applications focused on customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and application development.
The global market for contact center software was estimated at $20.6 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach a revised size of $52.4 billion by 2027, growing at 14.3% over the period. The market size in the U.S. was estimated at S$6.1 billion in 2020, while China—the world’s second largest economy—is forecast to reach a projected market size of $9.2 billion by the year 2027.
- Customer experience as important as products and services
Incorporating Salesforce CTI (computer telephony integration) has become essential for start-ups deploying contact center software and the increasing application of such software solutions across diverse industry verticals has made for healthy market competition. As a result, companies are looking to integrate concepts such as AI and machine learning with the aim of establishing a strong brand presence.
According to Salesforce, eight out of 10 customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. The 2020 Digital Trends Report conducted by Adobe and eConsultancy further adds that 77% of companies that are positive about their customer experience also believe in their company’s future.
And when it comes to driving the best results for customer service, Salesforce demonstrates continuous growth and success—ranking #1 for CRM applications for the seventh consecutive year by the International Data Corporation (IDC).
Greater contact center efficiency means improved key performance indicators (KPIs). With a product such as Vocalcom Salesforce Edition, average handling time is reduced—as data is much easier to access—and skills-based routing connects customers with the most appropriate agents. Similarly, agents are empowered to handle customer situations more comprehensively, enabling greater first-contact resolution rates.