These days, customers are turning more and more to non-voice channels when reaching out to companies’ contact centers for service. So much so, in fact, that the number of customer interactions through digital channels will surpass voice interactions by the end of 2016.
That’s one conclusion emerging from the 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, released this month by Dimension Data. The research group reports that phone transactions by contact centers decreased by 12 percent in 2015, while traffic increased across just about every digital channel, accounting for 42 percent of all interactions. Companies’ customer service teams are now working with an average of nine non-voice channels, including email, IVR websites, social media, SMS text, web chat, mobile apps, service kiosks, video chat and other automated services.
Dimension Data surveyed some 1,320 organizations across 14 industries globally about customer experiences across multiple communication channels. The researchers found that most companies perform well over voice channels, but struggle to deliver the same quality and consistency of service over digital channels. Two in five (40 percent) contact centers say their systems for digital channels are not meeting current needs, and less than half of those doubt their digital infrastructure is prepared to handle future needs.
“While telephone interactions in the contact centre are managed, tracked, and quality controlled, the same performance rigor isn’t always applied to digital channels,” said Rob Allman, Dimension Data’s group principal director of Customer Experience and Collaboration. “This can lead to an inconsistent and degraded customer experience across a brand or services company.”
The inconsistency is apparent in many of the numbers gleaned from the survey. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they have systems to track customer service quality over the phone, but only 50 percent said they have quality-tracking systems for digital channels. Eighty-two percent have ways of identifying sales opportunities over the phone, compared to 60 percent through digital channels.
The disconnect seems to be caused by a lack of communication among organizational silos, the report authors said.
“Our research reveals that almost half (47%) are excluded from, or are partially involved in the design phase of new technology solutions in contact centers, while 55% have little, or no involvement in solution approvals,” Allman said.
To download an executive summary of the 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, follow this link: http://www.dimensiondatacx.com/summary-report/