The call center is evolving. To compete, companies invest in better call center experiences, the right service processes, and system optimization tools.
Did you know that almost one in every 25 jobs in the US is within the contact center industry? Pretty thought provoking, huh? But just what does the future hold for the people, processes and technologies of this constantly evolving environment?
As the leading developer and provider of contact center workforce optimization solutions and services, we at VPI decided to compile a list of compelling statistics that are shaping the future of customer contact and our solution portfolio. Check it out:
Customer Service Experience
3) 59% will try a new brand or company for a better service experience. (Source: American Express)
These stats make it clear. Your company’s customer service simply can’t be ignored. Customers are choosier and more discerning than ever before. If you neglect the quality of your customer service you will lose key customers to your competitors. Interestingly, these customers are actually willing to pay more for better service and a superior experience.
4) By 2020, the customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Source: Gartner)
5) The number of consumers preferring automated self-service has doubled to 55% in the last five years. (Source: Convergys)
6) The IVR accounts for an astounding 27% of the total call experience. However, only 7% of organizations currently offer an IVR solution that delivers a better experience (CSAT) than their live agent experience. (Source: JD Power & Associates)
Self-service is growing by the minute. Your customers’ preferences are rapidly changing. They expect and demand immediate service and satisfaction. These days,regardless of age, gender or occupation, customers expect almost instant gratification when it comes to customer service – they have tools at their fingertips that provide constant and immediate communication. They don’t want to have to wait on hold and they don’t want to have to repeat their information. Can you live up to their expectations? It’s crucial to adapt to your customer’s self-service needs or you may be left behind.
Call Center Agent Flexibility
7) More than half of the contact centers in the U.S. today, 53% have some percentage of their agent population functioning from a home office. More than 70% of those currently supporting at-home agents plan on increasing the number of their at-home agents in 2013. (Source: National Association of Call Centers)
8) Ovum expects the number of home-based customer service agents to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 36.4%, one of the strongest expansion levels of any outsourcing market sub-segment. (Source: Ovum)
9) By 2016, 63 million Americans will telecommute. (Source: Global Workplace Analytics)
Working from home is becoming an increasingly common practice – quite possibly the single biggest phenomenon changing the customer contact landscape in over a decade. Telecommuting offers employees a flexible schedule and higher job satisfaction rate. Without the limits of geography, employers benefit from the ability to cherry pick candidates from a vast labor pool beyond the confined radius of a brick-and-mortar facility. Consequently, more and more companies are hiring at-home agents, but this means they need a way to monitor the performance and productivity of the agents.
Service Quality and Consistency
10) Only 31% of organizations closely monitor the quality of interactions with target customers. (Source: Forrester Research)
11) Two-thirds of organizations view access to real-time or nearly real-time metrics is a very important capability. However, very few companies (8%) receive their metrics as soon as they are generated. Fewer than one-fifth (18%) receive them on the same day, while at the remaining companies it can take up to four weeks for the metrics to be delivered. (Source: Ventana Research)
12) 60% of all repeat calls are process or training driven – business processes are not in place to meet the customer’s need, and agents have not been given the training required to meet the customer expectations that have been set by marketing or elsewhere in the business. (Source: Frost & Sullivan)
13) Only 31% of organizations recognize and reward employees across the company for improving customer experience. (Source: Forrester Research)
Clearly, these stats show that companies need to pay more attention to agent quality and performance management in order to maximize the potential of each employee and provide the training the agents need to be successful.
When empowered with real-time performance metrics and information, front-line agents and supervisors thrive. The problem is that most contact centers struggle to extract customer insights from multiple siloed systems and applications that share data. It takes time and resources to produce spreadsheets and reports that have already become stale and outdated by the time they’re delivered. Fortunately, with the availability of Real-time Performance Management software, the ability to consolidate metrics from multiple disparate contact center telephony and business applications and deliver them just-in-time to agents, supervisors and executives has now become an affordable reality.
Omni-Channel Service Interactions
14) Contact channels other than the phone, such as email, Web self-service, chat, and other online techniques, now account for more than 30 percent of customer service engagements. Web self-service and email dominate this mix. (Source: CFI Group)
15) 25% of consumers utilize one to two channels when seeking customer care and 52% of consumers utilize three or four channels. (Source: Ovum)
16) 57% best in class companies measure support center success across email, chat, web, and voice, and 62% use integrated voice response (IVR). (Source: Aberdeen Group)
Today’s contact centers are using many different channels to reach their customers. In this era of constant, ‘round-the-clock communication, customers expect to be able to interact with a company through any channel – whether via phone, going online or even live Web chat. In addition, an increasing number of businesses and contact centers are implementing live chat to meet this rising demand. In addition to being able to evaluate and analyze voice interactions with customers, organizations need to place equal or greater weight on the ability to assess and extract insights from self-service, Web chat, email and social media conversations. This leads us into the next major trend – Speech and Text Analytics.
Social Media Service
17) More than 50% of Facebook users and 80% of Twitter users expect a response to a customer service inquiry in a day or less.(Source: Oracle)
18) Failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15% increase in churn rate for existing customers. (Source: Gartner)
19) 56% of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. (Source: Huffington Post “100 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures from 2012 )
20) Customers who wrote about their contact center experiences on social media sites and then received follow-up from the company rated their overall satisfaction with the contact center experience nearly 20%higher and are 15% more likely to recommend the company than those who received no follow-up. (Source: CFI Group)
Social Media has had a huge impact on the future of the contact center industry. After interacting with your company, a customer can immediately vent their frustrations or share their positive experiences with the click of a button. This is why customer service you provide is more important than ever before.
Additionally, since word now travels so fast, companies can lose business opportunities if they don’t regularly respond to their customers’ requests and comments on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, blogs and others. With the advent of Social Media, QA is becoming more important than ever before as it takes just seconds for a customer to rave about or complain and bash a brand to thousands.
The Numbers Don’t Lie – You’ve Got to be Prepared for Change
You’ve got to love statistics. When carefully compiled and reliably sourced, they provide clarity and perspective, enabling us to make better decisions based on facts as opposed to fear and speculation. In the contact center industry, which can be somewhat tumultuous and unpredictable, it’s crucial to be well prepared and proactive.
Overall, these statistics prove that the future of contact centers is changing rapidly. In order to survive and compete, companies must be ready to evolve. Armed with the right processes and workforce optimization tools, this is very doable.