Deloitte recently released the findings of its 2015 Global Contact Center Survey, revealing a number of key insights regarding the future of communications and contact centers as it relates to both business operations and consumer preferences. Check-out the most significant results, and what businesses and contact centers should take away from them.
- Contact Centers continue to grow in size and strategic importance: An astounding 96% of respondents expect contact center growth in the next two years primarily to support business growth and customer experience demands, and 72% are planning to transform their contact centers through consolidation, outsourcing, and/or establishing new contact centers. But achieving this will require a flexible contact center solution that allows businesses to quickly scale up or down as demand and strategy dictate—something only a cloud contact center solution can truly provide.
- Volumes on all contact channels are expected to grow: Web self-service, email, and mobile are likely to experience the largest growth for simple inquiries, while voice, web chat, and email are projected to experience the largest growth for complex inquiries. And while businesses might be placing an increased focus on newer and more modern service channels (mobile, self-service), it should not be at the expense of delivering a superior experience through traditional ones (phone) used for more complex requests, as these are the times when the customer relationship can be most fragile.
- Channel integration continues to struggle: Today, 74% of consumers want to use 3 or more channels when interacting with a business. But 82% of respondents have not fully integrated their communication channels, inhibiting their ability to meet the needs of today’s multichannel consumer. By adopting a multichannel communications platform, businesses can easily manage all channels (voice, email, text, chat, social media, self-service) and customer information from a single interface, enhancing the user experience while facilitating seamless customer interactions.
- Customer experience is a competitive differentiator: Businesses have moved away from differentiating on the basis of price and product, and are instead placing an greater focus on customer experience. In fact, 85% of responding organizations surveyed view customer experience provided through the contact centers as a competitive differentiator. But keeping up with the demands of today’s fast-paced digital consumers will require businesses to adopt the latest technology and place a greater emphasis on unified communications to make a real impact.
- Employee satisfaction and engagement are important: 3 in 4 surveyed contact centers measure their employee satisfaction. And many also indicate that employee or group recognition is the most effective way to improve employee satisfaction. By empowering agents with automated and easy-to-use tools, adopting WFO and WFM solutions to more effectively manage them, measuring results to more effectively coach, and continuously asking employee’s for feedback, contact centers can improve employee satisfaction, thereby reducing attrition rates.
- SaaS-based solutions are projected to fuel the growth in contact center technology solutions: Software-as-a-service platforms, specifically CRM, WFM, Social, and Mobile, continue to fuel the growth of contact center solutions. Touted for their superior flexibility and integration capabilities, SaaS has enabled businesses to unify disparate information that was once siloed, costing agents time and inhibiting their ability to meet customer expectations. By integrating a multichannel communications platform with a database management solution, contact center agents can be given access to key customer information when it matters most—the point of interaction.
- Contact centers continue to utilize outsourcing, but the usage of remote staff hasn’t quite gained traction: While 35% of business say they outsource contact center functions to third-party providers, the majority of surveyed businesses employ less than 10% remote staff. Fearing lack of oversight and reduced security, many would simply rather outsource sales or service roles than manage it themselves—something that does not always lead to the most favorable customer response. But by adopting a cloud contact center solution, supervisors can easily monitor and guide remote agents with reports and quality management tools, allowing them to easily and cost effectively employ remote agents. It’s a win-win.