Latest research reveals that understanding user journeys across multiple channels is the top trend
Customers around the world can expect their contact experiences with service providers to be more proactive, personal, and positive in the next 12 months. That’s because organisations have begun to grasp the benefits of using better analytics, and leveraging technology capability to build new solutions that deliver better customer experiences across up to nine customer contact channels.
That’s the word from Robert Allman, Dimension Data’s Group Principal Director, Customer Experience and Collaboration, who says there’s been an increase in the number of organisations that are focusing on customer experience to drive revenue, improve loyalty, and reduce their costs through greater efficiency.
Dimension Data published the 19th edition of its annual Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report which provides insights from 1,320 organisations in 81 countries across Asia Pacific, Australia, the Americas, Middle East & Africa, and Europe across 14 industry verticals on trends driving the contact centre industry.
“Customer experience has a significant impact on the value of an organisation’s brand. In fact, it’s a critical differentiator for 83% of this year’s benchmarking report participants. Customer experience was also the most important strategic performance indicator for 78% of respondents. While 82% believe that increased customer loyalty can be linked to an improved customer experience capability; 77% said they can show a reduction in overall costs; and 74% indicate they had an uplift in revenues/profit.
“Customer experience is making contact centres a better place in which to work too. This is illustrated by 76% of our sample who confirmed that customer experience had a positive impact on employee engagement levels,” adds Allman. “We’re seeing significant progress in business transformation and the customer is at the heart of this trend.”
According to this year’s benchmarking report, personalisation of services will be an important enhancement to overall customer experience. “In the last 12 months we saw some elements associated to tailoring of mass services, such as customer profiling and channel prioritisation, treble,” says Allman. That’s due to improved analytics which was identified as the top trend that will change the contact centre industry in the next five years.”
Looking ahead, Allman says it’s going to be small data analysis that will lead companies with big ideas on how to ‘get personal’ with customers. This deeper level of analytics will also help organisations identify opportunities to pre-empt customer needs, and use automation to proactively personalise services,” he says and points out that 57% of those organisations polled will have proactive automation capability by the end of this year.
“It’s emerged as a dark horse and a true game changer,” Allman explains. “If applied effectively, it will revolutionise the future of customer experience and differentiate services from competitors. Consumers embrace channel choice, and welcome those companies taking a well-placed initiative to anticipate their needs.”
Digital can make organisations seem closer and more in touch, despite digital business dehumanising the engagement. The design of technologies for ease-of-use and advocacy is crucial. In fact, understanding the opportunity to connect customer journeys across a multitude of contact channels has emerged as the number one trend affecting contact centres in 2016.
“The power of its customer journeys is a litmus test for the success of an organisation’s operating model,” he says. “‘Good’ customer experience is designed by people with people in mind. ‘Good’ is not a standalone technology channel, but rather a customer experience journey that provides customers with choices that are impressively easy to access and deliver productive results.”
Other highlights in the 2016 Contact Centre Benchmarking Report include:
• Cloud, in some form, is now a must for contact centres. Of the 1,320 organisations that participated in the Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, 61% are planning for it, while just 23% said they’ll retain technology on-premise. Meanwhile, hybrid solutions that enable a single integrated platform in contact centres are set to treble in the next 12 months.
• Digital is driving business transformation and reshaping the way companies do business. However, the contact centre will continue to play a crucial role in their integrated customer experience strategy.
• As forecast in the 2015 Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, digital volumes handled by contact centres are on track to exceed phone volumes by the end of this year.