Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Traditional Contact Center, Customer Service Solutions Must Update

May 04, 2017

Anecdotally, it's a safe bet to say that most everyone in the customer service market, be it the contact center or otherwise, knows that it's vital to keep up with all the advances in the space to deliver the best customer experience. A new study from Axway, meanwhile, confirmed as much and offered further elaboration on the necessity of it.

The biggest point discovered by the Axway study—titled “The Role of Customer Experience Networks in Delivering Value-Based Digital Transformation”—was that, despite a clear appreciation of the value of the customer experience in the contact center and beyond, companies were woefully underequipped to tell just what a good value in customer experience actually was.

The study, which covered over 600 senior executives in major market verticals, found that 69 percent of these hadn't even implemented a single view of the customer, despite over 70 percent agreeing customer experience is the most critical digital initiative there is. Customer experience is now sufficiently powerful a tool that it's replacing price and product as a means to both create value and distinguish a business from its competitors.

Even with this understanding comes a clear lack of effort. Just 14 percent of respondents found omnichannel operations to be a “...key differentiator and source of competitive advantage.” Twenty-two percent called it a “...necessary cost of doing business.” Just over 40 percent of respondents weren't even providing what could be called an omnichannel experience.

The news isn't all bad, however; 73 percent of users are looking to application programming interfaces (APIs) to drive improvement in customer experience, and 80 percent of executives in financial services, utilities, and telecommunications verticals considered APIs to be either “important” or “extremely important,” which should yield some benefit.

Despite this bright spot, there's still clearly a lot of disconnect between what should be and what is in the contact center and in customer service. Most understand the value of a customer experience, but aren't treating operations as though it is indeed the most valuable part of the operation. That needs to change, and quickly; there are too many competitors out there in just about every industry to make customer experience anything but a top priority, and those who fail to deliver will fail against those who will.

Customer experience is vital, whether it's in the contact center or the sales floor. Any lack here translates into potentially significant losses for businesses. It's time to improve the contact center and the rest of the customer experience in light of its clear value in the field.

Edited by Maurice Nagle