As the hospitality industry continues to adapt to the ever-changing landscape, contact centers have become a crucial tool for businesses. Contact centers often help hospitality companies develop strategies to improve customer experience and eventually increase customer loyalty. The emergence of hospitality contact centers outsourcing has been remarkable after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because the different travel-related inconveniences like flight cancellations, hotel closures, suddenly-terminated reservations, social restrictions, etc. caused by the pandemic left consumers distressed and clambering for immediate support, overburdening the hospitality contact centers. Therefore, when the restrictions started reducing and the hospitality businesses tried to make a comeback, they immensely felt the need of revamping their customer support channels or contact centers to rebuild their customer bases and regain their once-loyal customers by offering augmented services. This is when many hospitality companies found contact center outsourcing beneficial. It helps businesses to meet customers’ needs, and provide them with personalized attention while reducing overhead costs. By outsourcing the contact center department, hospitality businesses started regaining customers’ trust by making sure they receive enhanced services. The hospitality contact center industry, today, is embracing various technological advancements such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and voice recognition. With more companies opting for contact center outsourcing, the industry is becoming standardized and offering hoteliers the opportunity to leverage cost-effective services that are tailored to the customers’ needs.
Contact centers, today, are helping hospitality businesses with everything ranging from reservations, bookings, and verifications, to providing Customer Support and more. The advent of cloud contact centers is enabling businesses to operate with more ease. By outsourcing contact centers to reputed BPO companies, hospitality businesses are now capable of offering omnichannel support to a wider audience on different platforms of their choice, providing digitized and contactless reservation, ticket confirmation, etc. services, sending personalized marketing messages to regain old customers and acquire new ones, and handling customer queries in real-time through 24×7 support services. One of the distinct changes witnessed by the hospitality industry after the pandemic is the shift to contactless travel and hotel check-in. By integrating automation, many hotels these days are replacing the traditional reception/registration counters with check-in kiosks, iPads, etc. to minimize direct human-to-human contact. When it comes to increasing the customer experience, AI-powered chatbots are being widely used to handle surges in contact volumes and offer customers 24×7 support across multiple channels like chat, email, WhatsApp, social media, etc. Today, customer support is the biggest brand differentiator. Cloud-based offerings like CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) are ensuring an added level of productivity with large cost benefits to traditional Contact Centers. Constant advancements in robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are revolutionizing the customer support industry. Cutting-edge technology is being rapidly incorporated by hospitality contact centers to heighten the customer experience.
7 ways hospitality contact centers evolved after the COVID-19 pandemic:
- The cost of the physical office is being eliminated by inclining towards a work-from-home setup.
- Technology is being used to reduce staffing and pressures on the IT budget. The customer engagement processes are being supported by contact center digital technology.
- Due to the increasing need for online services, organizations are switching to more powerful platforms that are helping them to ensure optimum control and customer retention.
- Various new types of agent surveillance and compliance control are being incorporated within contact center systems to make sure the agents’ home, from where they are working, gets as secure as the office environment.
- The constant development of Artificial Intelligence(AI), especially around Natural Language Processing, is enabling companies to better their systems and ensure optimum customer satisfaction and retention.
- The pressure to reduce costs, re-acquire lost customers, and offer them enhanced support has made hospitality businesses opt for contact center outsourcing.
- The pandemic has laid out the importance of voice as a channel and emphasized the need of being resilient for the contact centers.
The pandemic has brought many changes to the business world, particularly concerning customer service. Amid the disruption, contact centers have become increasingly important to organizations, with customer service being seen as a key differentiator in the dynamic marketplace. Many of these changes were already in motion before the pandemic, such as the shift toward digital customer experiences and the need for faster responses. However, the pandemic has rapidly accelerated these trends and, in some cases, brought about a permanent shift in the way businesses approach customer service.