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Channels, Metrics for Contact Centers in 2019

Contact centers, making meaningful connections in 2019, will use new technologies, engage in new channels, and assess performance against new metrics.

Updated from 08:07AM
of 20 November 2018

New Tech, Channels, Metrics
for Contact Centers in 2019

 

MANILA, 10 December 2018 — Contact centers will make especially meaningful connections with their customers. Moreover, they will use new technologies, engage in new channels, and assess performance against new metrics.

According to the report Future of Contact Center 2019, they will also have a lingering passion for the human touch.

“They will leverage new technology to augment—not eliminate—human connections,” the report said. “(Also), they will drive agents to become partners rather than providers. They will evaluate customers as multi-faceted, emotion-heavy individuals rather than random buyers.”

CCW Digital’s Market Study on the Future of the Contact Center revealed that the best way forward for contact centers is to ensure that customer centricity is at the heart of their service.

Contact Center 2019 Report Highlights include

  1. 73% of organizations specifically believe customer satisfaction (CSAT) must be on the quality scorecard.
  2. 64% of organizations meanwhile believe customers should have easy access to a live agent. This is despite the hype surrounding self-service technology.
  3. Artificial intelligence (AI) must complement, rather than replace, human agents.
  4. In an earlier 2018 CCW survey, consumers said they prefer “easy” experiences to “personalized” ones. Interestingly, organizations believe that increasing personalization is more important than reducing customer effort.
  5. Less than one-third of organizations believe in “right-channeling” customers to a more efficient touch point.
  6. The No.1 priority for 2019 is, therefore, increasing digital engagement capabilities.
  7. Other top priorities include improving the knowledge base, journey mapping and orchestration, coaching agents on “human” factors, and using AI for process automation.
  8. “Empowerment” to provide unique resolutions to customers hence represents a top agent experience priority.
  9. Reducing agent effort is also a concern, and many organizations accordingly plan to update their workspace tools and systems.
  10. Few organizations are planning radical contact center shifts, such as installing a C-level customer experience team, investing in a new contact center suite or revamping the outsourcing strategy.
  11. Popular investment areas meanwhile include customer feedback solutions, live chat, and coaching.

Respondents and Methodology

CCW Digital surveyed customer experience, contact center, marketing, customer care, IT, and operations professionals in the third quarter of 2018.

Among the sample respondent job titles were:

  1. EVP operations,
  2. SVP of marketing and customer experience,
  3. VP of member experience,
  4. SVP of customer service and marketing,
  5. VP of market operations,
  6. VP of call center operations,
  7. director of call center operations,
  8. global customer experience director,
  9. director of customer experience design,
  10. service design manager,
  11. chief operations office, and
  12. guest care manager.

Also, 59% of respondent organizations generate over $1 billion in revenue, and 57% employee over 1.000 individuals. Two-thirds of respondent organizations have multiple contact center sites.

Other Report Highlights

  1. (64%) Customers should always have easy access to a live agent,
  2. (60%) The notion that AI should complement rather than replace human agents,
  3. (54%) The importance of aligning all contact channels and engagement functions,
  4. (52%) The dichotomy that self-service is for transactional matters while agents are for complex ones, and
  5. (52%) The sense that speed is important to the customer experience.

Priority 2019 Initiatives for Contact Center/CS

  1. 46.25% Improving offering in digital channels (chat, mobile, social, etc)
  2. 44.38% Improving the knowledgebase
  3. 39.38% Customer journey mapping/orchestration
  4. 36.88% Coaching agents on making “connections” with customers
  5. 36.25% Using AI to improve efficiency (process automation)
  6. 35.63% Improving CRM
  7. 35.63% Improving agent desktop/dashboard experience
  8. 35.00% Integrating contact center tools
  9. 33.75% Better understanding customer intent
  10. 33.13% Better measuring customer sentiment
  11. 33.13% Improving interaction analytics
  12. 31.87% Predictive/proactive engagement
  13. 33.13% Rethinking contact center metrics
  14. 29.38% Using AI for customer engagement (bots, etc)
  15. 28.75% Connecting contact center/CX with other departments
  16. 25.00% Improving IVR
  17. 24.38% Using AI for analytics
  18. 20.00% Offering flexible scheduling or remote work opportunities
  19. 12.50% Implementing new contact center/cloud solution
  20. 12.50% Changing outsourcing investments/strategies
  21. 10.00% Installing a CCO/Executive CX team

Moreover, the report said contact centers will enhance their digital channels, agent tools, coaching strategies and customer intelligence initiatives. However, it said organizations are not generally planning to overhaul their overall customer experience function.

Only 10% plan to install an executive-level customer experience presence, such as a chief customer officer or steering committee. And fewer than 13% plan to implement a new contact center suite or change their approach toward outsourcing.

Additionally, only 20% will consider flexible scheduling or remote work opportunities.

Outsourcing or remote work, they believe, may have ramifications for agent training and the ability to emphasize “connections.”

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