Contact Center Study Identifies Strengths and Weaknesses
July 23, 2008
A common theme throughout commercial enterprises is the emphasis placed on quality customer service and maintaining customer loyalty. At present, communication and financial services companies are doing a better job at using customer service as a strategic differentiator than other companies.
This success is due in large part to the fact that they are more sophisticated and proactive in terms of the type and depth of contact center technologies that are implemented.
) Communications Laboratories commissioned a study among U.S. companies to gauge the success of contact centers. The result of this study revealed which industries are leading the charge in customer service offerings, and which are lagging behind.
To measure the overall state of customer service, the study polled 385 contact center managers from communication, financial services, insurance, government, utilities and healthcare organizations to determine what business practices and technologies were being deployed or planned for improving the customer experience.
One common characteristic is the strong likelihood that companies not currently using an IP-based contact center will likely implement one in the next two to three years. The study found that 66 percent of financial services companies, 45 percent of communications companies, 58 percent of utilities and 83 percent of healthcare companies not using the technology are moving toward IP installations.
"Consumers often have intuition about which industries offer the best customer service experience, and which ones use more dynamic customer service technologies," said Paul Segre (News
), CEO, Genesys, in a Wednesday statement. "This research gives us insight into where each vertical segment is in the adoption continuum."
The results of this study also indicate that government organizations have more clearly defined measurements for contact center performance. Despite this progress, they still lag behind other industries, having installed fewer dynamic contact center technologies, such as outbound calling, customer-to-agent e-mail, instant messaging or Web callback.
The research also determined that while nearly two-third of the Financial Services companies are not currently using an IP-based contact center, more than half of them are likely to implement one in the next two to three years. In addition, insurance companies are the highest users of touchtone IVR with a 92 percent adoption rate.
Communication companies appear to be leading in use of SMS/text messaging and Web chat. Only 23 percent of healthcare contact centers are likely to attempt up- or cross-selling as they view the practice as inappropriate or time-consuming.
The results of this study highlight specific opportunities throughout multiple industries for advances that can be made within contact centers to actually drive higher customer satisfaction. While there is no one-size-fits-all in for contact centers, there are specific steps that can be taken that will not only improve performance, but also productivity.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.