When it comes to planning their omnichannel contact center – a necessary task for any company that hopes to stay in business – many companies may feel like they’re working in the dark. There are multiple channels that can be implemented, but companies aren’t necessarily sure if customers will use them. And implementing new channels doesn’t count for much if they’re not properly integrated into the main contact center foundation.
It’s therefore worth looking at some data to determine what customers are truly using and demanding today when it comes to customer support. In a recent blog post, inContact’s Alyse Chiariello highlighted a study from Contact Babel that examined these statistics.
“Contact Babel found that the two high growth areas for contact centers are Web chat functionality and a customer-focused mobile app,” wrote Chiariello. “Seventeen percent of those surveyed plan on implementing at least one of those features in the next 12 months, which confirms the trend that businesses are actively exploring non-voice channels to interact with their customers.”
Customers are finding Web chat invaluable today. Since many customers already begin their customer support journey on a company’s Web site, Web chat means they can initiate contact with an agent without having to leave the page. Done right, Web chat can allow the customer and the agent to co-browse, which can lead to faster resolution of problems and even upselling and cross-selling.
On the mobile side, a majority of Americans today carry a smartphone, and they are increasingly using their phones and other mobile devices to interact with companies. Having a robust mobile app that offers both self-service and agent-assisted help is no longer optional for companies.
When it comes to where contact centers are spending their infrastructure and IT dollars, three top categories emerged, according to Chiariello.
“Integrating with a CRM and moving to an IP system were the top two areas according to the survey, with Workforce Management systems rounding out the top three,” she wrote.
Companies today are looking for places to spend their capital that will yield both improved efficiency and a better customer support experience. IP telephony, in addition to saving money, can allow an organization to carry out cost-saving remote operations. Integration with CRM leads to a better customer experience, and workforce management allows a company to make the most of the human resources they have.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson