Traditionally, contact center investments were intended to increase revenue and reduce costs. However, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in contact center priorities in recent years, with the customer experience emerging as the top driver of growth, according to Deloitte’s Global Contact Center Survey. Today, organizations are recognizing that the customer experience drives customer choice.
Nearly nine in 10 survey respondents said improving the customer experience is a primary focus of the contact center, compared to just 3 percent who rate revenue growth as a top priority. Similarly, 73 percent point to service improvement as one of their main objectives. Almost half (46 percent) said the customer experience is more important than cost and revenue, compared to just 18 percent who prioritize cost or revenue over the customer experience. Survey respondents believe the customer experience is influenced the most by providing accurate service and information (66 percent) and by making interactions effortless (62 percent).
The intense focus on the customer experience is bringing customer feedback to the forefront of business decision making. Eighty-two percent of survey respondents said feedback is either core to their DNA or a core input to business decisions, compared to 45 percent two years earlier. Most organizations rely on customer surveys (77 percent) and interaction monitoring (64 percent) to collect feedback, but one-third are now using speech, voice and text analytics.
With the number of contacts increasing across a variety of channels, the contact center plays a critical role in delivering the kind of experience today’s customers demand. While voice is used for 64 percent of contacts, making it the most popular contact center channel, that number is expected to drop all the way down to 47 percent this year. At the same time, chat and messaging are expected to more than double from 6 percent to 16 percent. Video chat and social media are also expected to become more prominent channels for customer interaction.
Channel diversity and the types of content involved in customer interactions are bringing more complexity to the contact center, according to 85 percent of survey respondents. In addition to audio, interactions involve email threads, chat sessions, screenshots and photos, video and more. To address increasing complexity and improve the quality, accuracy and efficiency of customer service, organizations are investing in technology, especially analytics. In fact, two-thirds of survey respondents plan to make strategic investments in advanced analytics to integrate data from contact center channels and business systems and use those insights to enhance the customer experience.
Contact center analytics allows organizations to automate many quality management processes, such as interaction monitoring and scoring, and to better understand customer interactions. The goal is to not only enhance the customer experience, but improve operational efficiency and contact center performance. Contact center analytics automatically captures unstructured data from all channels – voice, email, chat, social media and video – and converts it into structured data. This makes it possible to classify and evaluate interactions, identify trends and patterns, and solve problems at the source.
In the next post, we’ll discuss the types of contact center analytics, how analytics helps to overcome contact center challenges, and barriers to analytics success.