The ‘customer hangout’ is the contact centre of the future according to Syntec’s white paper
The ‘customer hangout’ is the contact centre of the future
Syntec’s latest ‘cloud-gazing’ white paper researches the development priorities needed by contact centre and IT managers to satisfy modern digital-age consumers.
The results of the Institute of Customer Service’s UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) in July 2014 confirm a national downward trend in customer satisfaction. Satisfaction declined across 12 of the 13 sectors of the 197 organisations featured. In addition, Syntec’s consumer research highlights concerns about customer service including payment security, particularly in contact centres (Syntec’s previous white paper: PCI DSS in Call Centres, June 2014).
In the past contact centres have tended to be viewed as expensive cost centres (particularly by Finance Directors) that needed to manage down overheads. However, in this latest Syntec research, 74% of IT decision-makers say their contact centres have a revenue-driven culture, making the most of customer contact to up-sell and cross-sell. Further research with contact centre managers showed that they now want to meet the challenges of becoming modern business centres, with 76% of IT managers saying their contact centres are now customer-focused.
Our research with 50 IT decision makers and contact centre managers highlights the technology improvements they most want. These include:
• Improved multichannel integration to enhance customer service
• Flexibility and scalability to meet fluctuating demand
• Video chat with customers
• Improved card payment security
• Agents being able to take calls wherever they have a connection
An accepted route to modernising contact centres is adopting cloud technologies. When we asked IT contact centre decision-makers what the top three benefits of adopting cloud systems were, they prioritised a customer-focused service:
• Individualising customer experience, with agents informed about customers before the call
• Improving agents’ knowledge, with access to call recordings for training
• Customers being able to contact using any channel they wish
A key finding from our research is that 26% of organisations in the survey already use remote-hosted (cloud) contact centre technology whilst 60% are planning to use it in the next year. However, 48% of IT decision-makers do not understand how the cloud will be better than what they already have, highlighting the need for further education to overcome the barriers to moving from legacy premise-based systems to easier-to- deploy hosted managed services.
When contact centre managers were asked to suggest what the contact centre of the future might be called their ideas included customer hangout, customer communications platform, customer support and customer service centre.
Simon Beeching, Syntec Director, says; “In today’s digital world, where consumers are as likely to connect with organisations ‘anytime anywhere’ via webchat from their tablet or smartphone screen as they are to pick up the phone, our research shows how contact centres need to move with the times and become even more customer-centric, with the expectation that emerging cloud technology can help deliver this”.
The free Syntec research whitepaper with the full survey results also includes questions for contact centre leaders to ask potential cloud technology suppliers and can be downloaded at http://www.syntec.co.uk/syntec-resources/white-papers/