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Enghouse Releases Interactive Customer Interaction Index

March 21, 2012

Interaction management solutions provider Enghouse Interactive recently compiled its Enghouse Interactive Customer Interaction Index, a survey of U.S. IT executives on the topics of customer interactions – structured, unstructured and self-service. This week, the company shares its results.

Structured interactions are defined as transactional in nature and are generally high volume, low value communications, handled by agents within a company’s contact centers. Unstructured interactions usually enter an organization through an operator or attendant and are typically lower in volume but higher in value; they have a more complex scope and require a consultative approach to handle efficiently and professionally, according to Enghouse in a press release this week.

Self-service interactions, generally serviced through an automated resource such as IVR, enable customers to efficiently and entirely manage their own interactions, or provide the front end to capture information for more efficient and satisfying structured or unstructured communications with live agents.

For purposes of the survey, 227 senior IT executives were interviewed about which type of interaction was most important to their organization. Nearly 65 percent of respondents indicated unstructured interactions are most valuable. The remainder was nearly evenly split in identifying self-service and unstructured interactions as most valuable.

These figures are consistent with observations Enghouse Interactive has made over many years of experience with its own customer base, said the company. However, most IT executives felt their organization was currently better at managing structured interactions, with just 15% stating they were best at handling unstructured interactions. This indicates a lot of opportunity for improvement in handling this type of interaction.

Enghouse noticed an interesting conundrum, though. When the same executives shared their opinions on the percentage of actual interactions their organization handles for each type, it observed a “flip,” with structured taking the lead. Structured interactions averaged 46 percent of the company’s interactions compared to 29 percent for unstructured and 25 percent for self-service. The company says that these statistics, when considered with the preceding set, support the current definitions for structured and unstructured customer interactions and align with Enghouse's end-to-end approach to the market.

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Edited by Braden Becker