Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Omnichannel Customer Experience Growing Concern in Contact Centers

May 17, 2017

We've heard a lot about the omnichannel customer experience, particularly in the contact center, and with good reason. The more channels contact centers can offer to customers, the more likely it is those customers will reach out to a business. With customers reaching out, that's a greater likelihood of future sales. A new report from Deloitte suggests that 2017 will be a major year for the omnichannel customer experience.

The Deloitte study—which drew on over 450 separate contact centers across 16 different countries—revealed that improving the customer experience was the “largest driver of investment,” with 80 percent confirming that notion true. That stands in stark contrast to the 3 percent that said revenue growth was the top driver of investment.

To get to that point, several sub-factors emerged to drive improving the customer experience. Right at the top of the food chain was omnichannel operations. Though the ordinary telephone is still top of the heap, most expect it to decline; it's currently 64 percent of market share, on average, but that number is expected to drop to 47 percent. That's a development that's been long in forecast but only occasionally enacted, though the growth in technology for tools like Web-based chat and messaging systems as well as video conferencing has only improved the situation.

Technology is set to continue being a major force in omnichannel development, and is driving investment as well. A full third of contact centers is set to bolster investment in artificial intelligence and robotic process automation by 2019. Meanwhile, two thirds are ready to invest in analytics tools for better customer insight. Despite this automation, though, employees are set to be the biggest investment, as even 53 percent plan to establish work from home operations or other flexible work arrangements to improve engagement and retention.

If one thing is clear from all of this, it's that the contact center is fundamentally changing. No longer is this the necessary evil and cash sink it was 20 or even 10 years ago. The contact center is now the primary face of the company, a means to retain current customers and inspire the growth of new customers entering the fold.  As technology changes, those who staff the contact center are no longer rank amateurs hired for their ability to fog a mirror but rather their ability to understand technological growth and how it applies to customer service.

Omnichannel is driving big things for businesses, and the contact center may be one of the biggest beneficiaries of and sources for this movement. We'll see plenty more moves in omnichannel, and the contact center will lead the way.

Edited by Alicia Young