Customer service and call centers have become an extremely important part of a brand’s customer experience initiatives as consumers continue to move to hybrid omnichannel shopping experiences in a post-pandemic world. Customer expectations have risen, and they now expect an exceptional, consistent and personalized service experience through the medium of their choice.

A 2022 Salesforce report on the State of the Connected Customer revealed that 96% of customers say excellent customer service builds trust, an indication of just how important the customer service call center is today. With that, we are pleased to present CMSWire's 10 most popular call center articles from 2022.

10. Are Your Call Center Operations Making Employees Leave?

Call centers have long been known for their high staff turnover. According to a 2021 report from Calabrio, 1 in 3 contact center agents are considering leaving within a year — and 50% plan to leave within 2-to-3 years.

Every new staff member you need to hire and train costs your business money. In fact, a Gallup analysis revealed that finding and training a new worker could cost half to two times an existing employee’s annual salary. As such, reducing turnover is essential to your bottom line.

9. Powering Customer Experience Through Conversational AI, Analytics and Good Data

Customers today demand a personalized, seamless experience throughout their preferred channels — and they want to control the narrative.

By using conversational artificial intelligence (AI) along with good data and analytics, brands can provide an exceptional customer experience based on the customer’s previous interactions and data from current sessions. This article will look at the ways brands can create such an experience, along with the challenges that often come about during the process.

8. How Digital Voice Technology Is Changing Customer Service

Voice-recognition applications are nothing new, but artificial intelligence-driven digital voice brings a level of sophistication to the table that has been unheard of before. Whereas most people do not like using interactive voice response (IVR) technology, finding them to be annoying, time-consuming and unhelpful, today's AI-driven voice applications are changing customer service and call centers.

Natural language processing (NLP) and conversational AI are often combined with machine learning and natural language understanding (NLU) to create sophisticated applications that enable machines to communicate with human beings in a natural, conversational manner.

7. Google Says It 'Reimagines' Contact Center Customer Experience With New Solution

Google has expanded its Contact Center AI solution with the Google Cloud Contact Contact Center AI Platform.

"With the introduction of CCAI Platform, Google extends its Cloud Contact Center AI offering to a full end to end Contact Center solution, reimagining the contact center CX," Yariv Adan, director of product management, Cloud Conversational AI for Google, told CMSWire. The product will be available at the end of this month for a private preview.

6. 2 Years Later: How Customer Service Has Changed

Over the past two years, customer expectations have risen, along with an increased emphasis on customer experience and, naturally, customer service. How has customer service changed over the past two years, and how are brands approaching it with improved technology and more of a personalized connection?

"Becoming 'obsessed' with understanding the customer should be the goal of every company," said Tomas Gorny, CEO of Nextiva, a business phone service provider. "Knowing that the better a business understands its customers, the better it can deliver a superior customer experience, and that is what customers want."

5. 4 Ways AI, Analytics and Machine Learning Are Improving Customer Service and Support

By using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) along with analytics, brands are in a much better position to elevate customer service experiences at every touchpoint and create positive emotional connections.

This article will look at the ways that AI and ML are used by brands to improve customer service and support.

Learning Opportunities

4. 5 Best Practices for Using AI in Your CX Strategy

Talkdesk’s Future of AI in the Contact Center report found that 84% of CX professionals expect their company’s total spending on AI and automation to increase in 2025 compared to 2021, with 89% of CX professionals — including customer service leaders, managers and operational staff — believing in the importance of using AI in contact centers. However, only 14% of businesses consider themselves transformational with AI.

Just having the technology isn’t enough to produce positive results. AI users also need to follow these five best CX industry practices.

3. One Size Does Not Fit All With AI and Customer Service

Apparently, I don’t know my own size when it comes to ordering T-shirts.

Truth be told, I have a bit of a T-shirt problem. I own and wear a lot of them. Roughly 100 graphic tees of different designs currently take up most of my closet space. A few months back, I did one of my occasional shirt culls to get rid of those that had become too small through shrinking in the wash (at least that’s my excuse), or too worn out and ratty to be seen in public (translation: My wife says, “You’re not really going out wearing that, are you?”).

The result is a row of now empty hangers, just waiting to welcome some new shirts. As with shirts, with AI and customer service, one size does not fill all.

2. We Know Chatbots Are Falling Short, But Why?

Let’s face it: Customer experience chatbots have been a major disappointment. They currently sit squarely at the bottom of Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Natural Technologies, July 2021. GOMoxie found only 22% of consumers have a positive impression of chatbots. A Userlike survey found that the No. 1 thing that consumers want from chatbot experiences is the ability to escalate the interaction to a human. No wonder some research firms have called the current chatbot landscape a “failed revolution.”

Why, despite the millions upon millions of dollars of funding going into the space, have chatbots yet to provide anywhere near a level of experience warranted from such market hype? In my most recent book, "Experience Is Everything: Winning Customers’ Hearts, Minds, and Wallets in the Era of NOW CX," we dive into some of the major reasons behind the current chatbot disillusionment. I wanted to share a few of them in this article.

1. What Is a Call Center? A Detailed Guide

Customer service is an essential part of running a modern business. And organizations with medium-to-large customer bases often use a centralized call center to handle customer service issues.

Gartner defines the call center as a "department in which employees receive and make high volumes of telephone calls" with both internal customers (such as helpdesks) and external customers (customer service and support).