Matthew StormNICE Systems
While we are unable to align priorities with specific roles, In October of 2009, NICE announced the results of its first annual Benchmark* of contact center business and technology trends. The comprehensive global research focuses on growth expectations, technology investment priorities, operational tactics and strategies, and market trends and initiatives. The research results were published in a white paper entitled, "Preparing for the Upturn: Research on Contact Center Operational and Investment Practices." The Benchmark was commissioned by NICE Systems and conducted by Ventana Research, an independent third-party firm.
The Benchmark aims to assist contact center business and technology professionals in better assessing their own plans and strategies in light of the overall industry. Key research findings include:
• Customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and compliance are top operational priorities: companies are focused on increasing customer satisfaction and reducing operating costs. For financial services companies, regulatory compliance was a key priority, along with increasing customer satisfaction.
• Growth in contact center interactions: 44% of respondents expect increases in customer interactions, both in phone interactions and as driven by the availability and maturation of alternate communication channels, such as instant and text messaging and web self-service. Growth in customer interactions is also attributed to the economic turmoil; for example, in the financial industry, many more customers are calling to receive information about their finances, voice their personal financial concerns, and to refinance their mortgages.
• Speech analytics deployments to grow by 182%: Respondents foresee planned speech analytics deployments growing by 182% by 2011 from first half 2009. Interviewees noted that speech analytics presents an opportunity for obtaining valuable insights on key business issues from a readily available and historically overlooked information source—call recordings.
• Over 50% of infrastructures to be VoIP-based by 2010: As a technology that helps reduce operating costs, VoIP was noted as a high investment priority, with 70% of respondents indicating that they plan to have more than half of their infrastructure VoIP-based by 2010. Furthermore, large multi-site enterprises are centralizing their contact center operations, made possible by advancements in VoIP-enabled solutions, and as a result are prioritizing investment in VoIP.
• Workforce Optimization investment growth greater than CRM: Agent workforce optimization and performance management systems also ranked high, significantly outpacing expected growth in CRM investments.
• Staffing levels to remain steady, growth in home-based agents: 81% of respondents expected staffing levels to remain steady or increase slightly, with 37% anticipating an increase in home-based agents.
* About the Research Methodology
A total of 370 responses are included in the survey results. Respondents represent a varied sampling of contact center sizes and industries including Service Providers, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Telecommunications and Government and commenced in the first half of 2009. The majority of those surveyed were from North America (74%) with EMEA, APAC and South America regions also represented via a statistically valid sample. In addition to the formal survey, in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with senior level business and IT personnel from forty contact center organizations."