The digital revolution is clearly visible in every corner of the world. Mobile phone users are rapidly replacing their feature phone for a smartphone and they increasingly prefer digital engagement over retail stores and call centers. In the “2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report” the IT Company Dimension Data provided the results of an in-depth global study to 723 call centers and their customers. Key finding: today’s customers are omnichannel, outcome-focused and want a seamless customer experience with the same answer regardless of the channel they use. Therefore, mobile operators should follow a customer-centric approach and prevent that customers need to repeat steps if they switch channels.

OmnichannelMultichannel
Source:
Dimension Data’s 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report


Some of the key findings:

1.   Less than 40% of call centers consider selfservice support channels, while 74.6% of them rate customer experience as the most important strategic performance measure. 57.0% of call centers directly relate improvement in customer experience to an increase of revenue.

2.   Call deflection/cost reduction is for 70.4% of call centres the main reason to provide selfservice support channels to their customers (was 36.4% in 2014). Other reasons are customer preference for selfservice (55.7%), improving customer satisfaction and NPS (53.4%) and providing omnichannel experience (36.6%)

3.   The most common challenge regarding implementing selfservice support is the integration with the website and call center systems and operations (48.1%). Other challenges are demonstrating ROI (42.0%), gaining IT support (34.5%) and the availability of skills (20.2%).

4.   53.6% of call centers don’t provide their agents with any supporting information about the customer and their (previous) issue(s). Therefore, customers often need to repeat their issue which has a negative effect on customer experience

5.   A big 42.9% of call centers never review their customer service efforts and another 20% review them less than yearly. 33.8% of call centers don’t review their selfservice support channels and 26.2% review them less than yearly.

6.   26.2% of call centers rely most on IVR to deflect incoming calls (although customer rate this channel as least favourable), 25.6% would use their website to deflect calls. Emerging channels such as web chat (15.7%); smartphone app (14.8%) and social media (12.5%) are gaining popularity.

Recommendations:

1.   Operators need to review their omnichannel capabilities, draft customer journey maps and make strategic plans to improve customer experience. After creating presence on various channels, operators need to enable themselves to measure ROI for each channel.

2.   Build a business case that includes cost-reduction and customer experience and use a customer-centric approach to the channel strategy.

3.   Provide agents supporting information about the customer to maintain a positive customer experience. Stopping the need for customers to repeat their issue should be a key priority for 2016.

4.   Review and design channels whereby customer experience reporting in embedded in the solution, such as NPS, PRS and CES. Monitor trends and bottlenecks that customers encounter.

5.   Guide customers to the channel that will solve their issue quickest, instead of guiding them to channels you want them to reach out to. Make sure that sufficient metrics are embedded in each channel to realize reliable monitoring, measuring and improving customer experience.

You can obtain a copy of the  full report here