There is no doubt that the way we engage is changing. The adoption of smart phones has opened the door to new ways of communicating, not only shifting how businesses communicate with customers, but also how the result of that communication is impacting the bottom line.
It is expected that by as soon as 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator*. Contact centers play a key role in determining customer satisfaction and for those in charge of leading them, they may be facing an uphill battle as customer satisfaction remains at an all-time low — down 3% from 2018 determined by CFI Group’s 2019 Contact Center Satisfaction Index (CCSI).*
How has customer satisfaction changed and what does that mean for contact center leaders that drive engagement? Read this blog to hear about the top 3 indicators of customer satisfaction trends and how to address them.
1. Consumers Want Self-Service
In a recent study by the CFI Group, they found that 72% of consumers seek to resolve their issue themselves and they are doing so across numerous channels as seen in the graph. The report also found that 57% of consumers go to existing websites, not new digital mobile apps, for means of self-service.
IMPACT ON CONTACT CENTERS:
For contact centers, this means finding a way to incorporate engagement on a company’s website should be a key strategy, whether or not that be leveraging chatbots, empowering live-agent website chat, and or familiarizing agents on website navigation.
2. Voice Remains Important but Calls are becoming More Complex
Despite the demand for self-service on new channels such as a website, phone calls remain a key channel. The year before, CFI report also noted that 88% who reach an IVR end up talking to a live agent to resolve their issue*. For consumers who wish to reach a customer service rep directly, 77% make use a phone to reach an agent directly. In a report by Deloitte’s Global Contact Center Survey, nearly 50% of consumer voted direct access to the consumer is a high priority:
While phone remains a primary channel, the rise of new channels has made phone calls more complex as today’s consumer have most likely already tried basic self-service prior to reaching an agent as shown in the same report by Deloitte’s:
In addition, by the time a consumer reaches an agent in a digital environment, they are more likely more frustrated after experiencing failed self-service.
IMPACT ON CONTACT CENTERS:
In the race to expand engagement to new channels, contact centers must not dismiss the traditional means of engagement. Investments should simultaneously be made in evolving the capabilities on the voice channel and of the agents responsible for success on the phone channel – especially given agent resources remain the most expensive asset to retain and attract. Today’s agents should be equipped with capabilities such as multichannel functionality and training along with direct insight into the consumer’s multichannel journey upon connection with a consumer.
3. Customer-Centricity Across Channels Drives Customer Satisfaction
Why is customer satisfaction falling? A study by Northridge group found that the lack of personalization or knowledge about consumers may be the culprit with only 16% of consumers report businesses are able to be greet them by their name, 15% know the consumer’s previous interactions, and a mere 13% of consumer’s reporting businesses consistently know about the previous reasons they contacted them as shown below.
IMPACT ON CONTACT CENTERS:
Simply adding channels is not sufficient in meeting today’s consumer satisfaction expectations. Contact centers must be able also know how the consumer has interacted on those channels at any given time. The knowledge of the consumer therefore is just as important as how they are engaged with in determining consumer satisfaction.
What should contact centers takeaway from all these findings? As the number of channels grow, consumers are experiencing a dip in the human touch that was easier to obtain when in-person or voice was the sole means of communication. This is especially important for as customer satisfaction is a growing determinant of consumer buying decisions and brand loyalty.
The key is to address a loss in human touch is achieving personalization and speed across all channels. Having disconnects across different channels defeat the purpose of both. How are some contact centers looking to solve for this? In a recent report by CCW, factors that impact data gaps between channels is a top priority for CX contact center leaders.
Why are contact centers just taking this stance now? The answer is often simple and age-old: Budget. Journey mapping, channel unification, and upgrades to the CRM have historically been a path that has required multi-million, multi-year investments to achieve.
But now, the consequence of not doing so is starting to impact the bottom line and businesses are feeling pressure to do so. However, recent cloud innovation is providing an alternative solution. LiveVox is at the forefront of that effort by providing a simplified path to seamless digital engagement with a fully integrated, CRM, WFO, and Channel customer engagement platform.