High staff attrition rates have long been a major bugbear, and a significant cost, to contact centre operators. Now, like every other aspect of customer contact, staff attrition is being examined afresh through the lens of ‘customer experience’ or, more specifically, the striving for an optimal customer experience.
A survey of customer support professionals has identified a widespread desire to improve the customer experience and has teased out three pillars supporting this.
Public cloud services are still viewed with some suspicion by large enterprises, sensitive to security concerns. However those concerns are dissipating rapidly, according to Gartner. It is forecasting that by 2017 half of all large enterprises will be integrating their private cloud facilities with public in hybrid cloud deployments.
Two of the basic tenets of business are: delivering good customer service is important for customer retention; retaining customers is important because it costs much less than recruiting new ones. Now, feedbackasap and International Customer Service Professionals have quantified the cost of low loyalty engendered by poor customer service, and that cost is staggering.
Multichannel customer management is another buzz phrase to enter the lexicon of customer service. At its most basic it means interacting with customers through more than one channel, for example phone and email. In its full realisation it means allowing the customer to choose his or her preferred means of engagement and providing a good customer experience through whatever channel they have chosen. That is much harder to achieve.
In the ongoing and ever-changing quest to understand, evaluate, serve and retain customers new techniques and technologies emerge all the time. The latest is ‘customer community platform’.
The Australian Telemarketing Association’s Contact Centre Summit, gets underway this week in Melbourne and with the theme of ‘Creating the ultimate customer experience’ it should come as no surprise that many of the presentation topics mirror those we’ve examined here in recent months.
TELUS International, the global contact centre outsourcing arm of TELUS, says that 80 percent of contact centre employees are Gen Ys or millennials (22 - 33 years old) and that contact centre operators have failed to recognise and take advantage of this fact.
Use of cloud computing by Australian businesses is surging as their concerns about security and data sovereignty start to decline, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan.
Despite the proliferation of new channels for customer service, phone conversations with a human agent are still the most popular and, more importantly, beat all others for first contact resolution rates of customer enquiries.
In this era of multichannel, cross-channel and omni-channel retailing, Australian retailing consultancy, Retail Doctor Group, has taken a swipe at those who espouse the view that retailers should strive for a consistent customer experience across all their retail channels.
The popularity of hosted contact centres is growing rapidly, and it’s not hard to see why. The odds are stacked heavily in their favour compared to the traditional premises-based model.
On 14 August the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that it had secured an enforceable undertaking from telco Teleus Pty Ltd and holiday promoter Flexi Marketing Solutions Pty Ltd for making calls to numbers on the Do-Not-Call-Register.
Imagine. You are the manager of a contact centre business with multiple contact centres or agents spread around the country or indeed the globe. You could be sitting on the terrace of your local café and sipping a latte. As you overlook the harbour you could be monitoring in detail the real time performance of each of your agents, queues or campaigns.
Exit surveys - giving customers some pre-recorded questions to answer after they have completed an interaction with a call centre agent - are a popular way of gaining customer feedback. The problem is they provide no information on the history of the customer’s interaction so give little indication as to the underlying cause of the customer’s responses.
We talked a couple of weeks ago about how customers - especially Gen Y - are embracing social media as their favoured means of interaction with the companies providing the goods and services they want, and how companies must therefore integrate social media into their customer contact strategies. There’s more to it, though. This multitude of tools makes customers much less dependent on their suppliers for information about any potential purchase. Welcome to the era of the Autonomous Customer!
Teleworking enables companies to engage contact centre agents who work from home. There can be considerable benefits for employers and employees alike, for the nation and for the environment. In its drive to justify the multibillion dollar investment in the National Broadband Network, the Labor Government is doing its best to encourage the practice.
“Customer Experience” is the new mantra driving businesses, especially consumer-focussed businesses whose principle interaction with customers is through their contact centres. However, the costs of delivering optimal customer experience must be weighed against the overarching goal of running a profitable and growing business, and that’s not an easy balancing act.
We’ve talked often on WhaTech about the benefits of cloud contact centres like Premier Technologies’ Premier Contact Point, over traditional on-premise systems, now these four case studies provide compelling evidence of those benefits.
Chat - enabling customers to engage in a text dialogue with an agent via a company’s web page - is growing in popularity as companies strive to deliver superior customer experience. According to research firm Forrester it is accepted by all age groups and can deliver tangible benefits at less cost than alternative solutions.
Research firm Aberdeen Group has identified the primary drivers leading companies to invest in cloud contact centres, along with some significant post deployment benefits.
- Aussie telcos failing to fully exploit contact centres
- Cloud contact centres come out tops, again
- Time to disrupt Australian ERP: the last bastion of traditional IT
- Why cloud contact centres deliver the best RoI
- Perfect storm as contact centres face multiple disruptors
- Five ways that cloud beats on-premise for contact centres
- Call Centre: Don’t just manage your workforce, optimise it
- Cloud delivers big contact centre features to small business
- Cloud computing and 4G: made for each other
- No good being number two in the global cloud stakes
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