Organizations throughout the world stand to gain significant benefit from studying the activities of contact centers, as well as the experience of contact center customers. These organizations can gain better knowledge of how to do or not to do things; can better understand the environment for an offshore location and can learn the implications of certain business practices.
Avaya last week released the Avaya Contact Centre Consumer Index for Singapore. This research, completed in collaboration with research company callcentres.net, is part of a regional study of the contact center consumer’s experience. To gather its data, the company interviewed customers of contact centers located in Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, China and India.
The results of this research show that the contact center customer is changing. What was once a traditionally phone-based industry is now evolving into a multi-channel interaction center.
Much like the results in Australia and New Zealand, this study found that from an attitudinal perspective, 53 percent of respondents stated that ideally they would prefer to use an Internet channel than to call and speak with a contact center representative. An additional 38 percent agreed that interacting with contact centers is always problematic.
In spite of this negative perception, consumers overall still had something good to say about their contact center experience. Many stated that the level of service that they receive from contact centers is Fairly Good and is the same as the level of service they expect from the company, no matter what channel they are using.
As to be expected, gaps in expectations and reality were found when talking with Singapore customers. The greatest gap is currently in what Singaporean customers expect and what they receive. Centers are struggling to fill these gaps with correct information and the variety of options that are available to the customer to make contact with the center.
Respondents in Singapore also had a firm grasp on what the contact center should deliver in terms of service to meet their expectations. The ideal contact center interaction would include 1) first call resolution; 2) knowledge service representative; and 3) a friendly and polite representative.
The expectations of these Singapore respondents are like that of customers throughout the world – they want their contact center interaction experience to be pleasant, quick and to solve the issue at hand. Such a simple approach, one would wonder why contact centers would ever fail to satisfy a customer.
The Avaya Contact Centre Consumer Index rates Singapore's performance from the consumer perspective as 61/100, which is the same score as Australia and a lower score than New Zealand, at 64/100.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.