Global Survey Studies Customer Interactions in the Contact Center
November 01, 2007
Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel-Lucent company, recently surveyed 1,390 contact center managers and customer service executives from 19 different industries and 76 different countries. Results of this survey reveal some of the most advanced strategies companies are deploying to optimize effectiveness and efficiency in customer service.
This survey found that nearly three quarters of customer service organizations have begun adopting strategies that optimize the value of every customer interaction. Less than twenty-five percent, however, have fully implemented these strategies in key areas.
The business goals of creating and operating contact centers at maxim efficiency remain a top priority for a large number of businesses, especially in highly dynamic environments. The goals of the complete optimization however, remain largely unmet.
The most critical areas for improvement are identified as the ability to effectively cross sell, prioritizing customers according to their status and matching customers with the best agent.
"While great leaps in efficiency and quality have been made over the past decade, contact centers are still in the early stages of evolution," said Arnaud Kraaijvanger, vice president of marketing programs, Genesys, in a Wednesday statement.
"The purpose of this survey was to investigate how contact centers around the world optimize customer interactions and more proactively manage customer relationships. We found that many contact centers are employing innovative strategies, but there are substantial untapped opportunities for contact centers to evolve even further."
The study also identified certain dynamic contact center strategies, including an increasing number of organizations implementing contact center management strategies that simultaneously address effectiveness and efficiency of customer interaction; and 28 percent of contact centers manage Average Handle Time by actively directing agents to spend longer on interactions during troughs and verse during peaks.
Only 11 percent of centers actively manage cross-selling opportunities, while 17 percent use voice call-back. Another 26 percent of contact centers expand the agent’s role to include managing interactions through other channels.
In relation to effectively managing customers, the most effective and successful contact centers seek to identify the customer at the first available opportunity. In fact, 78 percent of centers are identifying customers before connecting them to agents. Centers are also assessing the value of the customer interaction to determine the level of service to provide and how to match the customer with the right agent.
Demographic matching, matching customers and agents by age and gender is being considered by an increasing number of contact centers. The vast majority of centers segment agents according to the most basic needs; some centers are beginning to use newer methods of segmenting agents and matching customers including demographic matching.
While the contact center industry continues to be one that is constantly evolving and changing, many of these changes are for the better. Many organizations are learning what works and what doesn’t and they are making changes to improve the total overall customer interaction.
Contact center managers understand that the performance of the center plays a major role in the overall success of the company. As a result, it must be a priority to ensure that each and every customer interaction meets the highest of standards to ensure satisfaction. In doing so, the center not only protects the base, it also drives overall optimization.
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