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2022 Trends in Business Services Industry – ABSL Interview with Cristina Man, General Manager Valoris Center

  1. What are the trends related to technology that 2022 will bring or will continue in our industry? How will they impact us? What opportunities and challenges should we expect? How do you plan to use them in your favor and to be ahead of other companies?

In 2022, the business service sector will lean on modern technology, meaning RPA, AI, or the extensive use of chatbots will be part of the daily routine.

The perks are immediate, with technology that can run repetitive queries and route tasks to specific people or teams.

We already know that the impact on productivity will be fast and valuable, paired with the effect we’ll see on the organizational culture. It will empower people and offer them the autonomy to consciously scale their efforts. At Valoris Center, we expect that more than 60% of our colleagues who work in operations will benefit from AI technology by the end of this year. Artificial Intelligence becomes an asset for our business model, adding value, enhancing quality, and aligning our solutions to the actual market needs. At the same time, it reinforces our colleagues, by reducing pressure in their daily activity.

  1. The way of working, recruiting, onboarding and so on were probably the most affected activities by the pandemic. What do you think is here to stay and what new trends will emerge in 2022 when it comes to work? What are the challenges that most companies could face? How will companies, as well as their employees, be affected? Does your company plan to implement new strategies for recruiting and retaining people? Do you intend to go back to the office? When? What are the changes that your employees should expect to see there?

This year finds us in a more stable way of working. For sure, the pandemic proved the efficiency of remote work. However, it raised some concerns regarding what isolation can do to people. Naturally, hybrid work turns out to be a good solution, and our approach is to have a constant presence in the office for our colleagues this year, 1-2 days a week.

Having found this stability in the physical and remote workplace, we also keep focusing on peers’ connectivity and remote leadership. Engaging our colleagues in the Valoris community, both virtual and physical, remains a priority along with cultivating the work-life balance. Customer support is a demanding job, and the last two years made this role a challenging one, as agents had to deal with more stressed-out customers than usual. For the current year, through our L&D programs, we provide our colleagues with skills that will allow them to get a better working experience and deliver results in the operational area.

  1. Are there any trends in the customer experience area? Do you foresee any change in the way our industry delivers its services? Is the customer’s satisfaction affected by the pandemic? What opportunities do you see for this year? Did your company find any new solutions to improve the customers’ experience?

From my perspective, all foreseeable trends reduce to three words: empathy, speed, knowledge.

The pandemic raised anxiety among people, so empathy is vital and will remain a priority. But empathy is not a new concept in customer services, and in 2022 we can add up to its connotation. Respecting customers by having a fast reaction, anticipating, and offering the best solution gather up in the empathetic support they expect from customer advisors nowadays.

In 2022, business service providers must keep up with their client specificity, with in-depth knowledge on everything that counts for a business. It means more than adapting to the customers’ needs, it is about identifying with the customers, gathering insights, anticipating needs, and being ready to face challenges.