Moving a Mountain to Get to a Better Customer Experience


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While the number of frequently-used customer support channels reached a brief plateau in the first decade of the new millennium, the early 2010s have witnessed an explosion of groundbreaking new ones including social media and mobile, which have resulted in an uphill climb for large contact centers that must work to adapt.

Deloitte’s 2013 Global Contact Center Survey Report shows that contact centers continue to grow, with 77% of those polled saying they expect to maintain their size or expand within the next two years, with growth driven in large part by the need to improve service. For the report, Deloitte surveyed 560 contact centers across four continents and seven industries including the public sector, software tech, media, telecom, healthcare and financial services.

While smaller brands and organizations are typically agile and better able to adapt to changing customer expectations and emerging customer service channels, large contact centers tend to be challenged with making the best out of the technology they have, siloed customer data and set-in-stone policies and procedures. This makes noticeably improving customer service and the customer experience at scale to compete with digital disruptors and an always-online global marketplace a monumental task.

Let’s Take it from the Top

If you did have to move a mountain, it would be easiest to start from the top, and as a positive, the majority of contact centers polled by Deloitte have a solid footing in knowing where they want and need to go: 82% view the customer experience as a competitive differentiator, and view accuracy and quality of information provided (82%), as well as ease of interaction (73%), as the most important attributes of a quality customer experience. Only 6% of those polled believe speed of interaction to be the most important attribute in customer experience quality, showing that contact centers are ready to set aside frustrating scripts, auto-responses and CSRs bound by strict time limits to achieve increased first contact resolution and a more authentic customer experience – two items that are harder to measure, yet incredibly important to customer satisfaction.

Support for customer experience changes that rewrite the rules of the contact center must start at the top, however, in creating what Forrester calls the “customer experience ecosystem,” an interdependent ecosystem of employees, partners, processes, policies, and technology on which every customer experience relies.

Blazing the Trail for Social and Mobile Service

Beyond the focus on the customer experience is a set of customer support hurdles that done right, can be the stuff of which customer service legends are made; and done wrong, can spell brand disaster: integrating not one, but two, emerging and converging customer service channels as quickly as possible: social media and mobile. The contact centers polled by Deloitte expect service and support request volume to only grow in the next one to two years with email (36%), social media (38%), voice (32%) and mobile (30%) leading the way. Today, only 33% of contact centers polled use social media as a contact channel, and only 13% are capturing the customer feedback from their social media accounts (13%).

The Elusive Summit: The 360-Degree View of the Customer

Which brings us to the next uphill climb. When asked how integrated reporting and analytics were across channels, 34% of contact centers reported somewhat, 28% said completely, but almost an equal amount (22%) said their reporting and analytics were completely separated by channel. Sixteen (16%) said they didn’t know.

It’s a long road ahead for growing contact centers. Most have a long way to go and a short time to get there in incorporating the next generation of customer service channels, and an equal number will have to move mountains within their organization to centralize service, feedback and analytics to get to a 360-degree view of the customer and a better customer experience.

To view the full Deloitte Global Contact Center Survey report, click here.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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