Organisations that don’t embrace digital customer engagement channels – that’s web chat, social media, SMS, smart phones and mobile applications, and even video – into their engagement strategies within the next two years, are likely to see their customers jump ship to competitors that do. In fact, the digital customer engagement revolution is here, and is forcing organisations to adapt their customer service strategies, or die.
That’s according to new research published today by Dimension Data in its annual Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report. This year, 901 organisations in 72 countries across Asia Pacific, Australia, the Americas, Middle East & Africa, and Europe participated.
Results from the report show non-voice traffic (digital) is set to rise in ¹86% of South Africa’s contact centres within the next two years, and voice traffic (talking to a customer centre agent on the telephone) will drop in 42% of contact centres during the same period. Based upon information gathered by Dimension Data gathered over last 10 years, contact centres will manage more digital interactions than voice in the next 24 months.
“This represents the biggest change in the contact centre business in 30 years, and has profound implications for the way organisations deploy technology to deliver and manage customer service,” says Adam Foster, Dimension Data’s Group Executive – Communications. Digital convenience is creating growth for the industry, and 79% of contact centres expect combined volumes across all channels to rise by the end of 2016. This shift will transform contact centres from being telephone-centric stereotypes into customer resolution centres, and change the shape of the industry forever.
According to the report, by the end of 2016, customers will commonly be using up to seven different digital channels, in addition to the telephone.
“But,” stresses Foster, “That’s not to say that contact centres are dead, and customer service agents will become redundant. That’s definitely not the case. The reality is that their scope has been broadened, and the types of interactions that are happening via the telephone where an agent is required, are becoming more complex and more critical.
“Organisations will need to focus on getting their staff highly skilled and putting systems in place to enable them to answer customer enquiries immediately. Because voice is often the channel of last resort, this is where the moment of truth really happens. If agents can’t resolve the customer’s call, it will reflect badly on the organisation, and could lead to the search for an alternative supplier.”
Meanwhile, with around 74% of contact centres predicting the overall number of transactions to increase – largely fuelled by digital – the impact that this trend is having on customer satisfaction is concerning. Of the 901 research participants polled, 75% companies recognise that service is a differentiator, yet customer satisfaction is down for the fourth consecutive year.
¹ percentages rounded to the nearest decimal point
About Dimension Data
Founded in 1983, Dimension Data plc is an ICT services and solutions provider that uses its technology expertise, global service delivery capability, and entrepreneurial spirit to accelerate the business ambitions of its clients. Dimension Data is a member of the NTT Group. www.dimensiondata.com. Visit us at Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow us on Twitter
Merchants is a leading Customer Management Outsourcing solution provider specialising in business process outsourcing (BPO) that delivers customer experience and customer interactions. We focus on people, process and technology to create exceptional customer experiences.
We are pioneers in the contact centre industry with over 30 years of experience in creating and managing contact centre operations around the world to blue chip clients. Our services and solutions are built on tried and trusted models, systems and processes that are based on best practice standards.
We are passionate about people. Our ability to attract the best talent, coupled with our rich history of success and innovation across different industries around the world, is what differentiates us from our competitors.
For more information about Merchants, please visit www.merchants.co.za