Unisphere Research, independent IT market research firm, and CRM Media, a source for information, products, and services relevant to the CRM user marketplace, released new research entitled Inside the Contact Center: A Study of Customer and Employee Experience. The study, which looks at the everyday lived experiences of contact center leaders across the United States, reveals new data and trends around several key topics including cloud migration, technology priorities, agent turnover, budgeting, and more.
- A significant portion of contact center technology has not yet been moved to the cloud. More than half (57%) of businesses surveyed are less than halfway there.
- CX leaders are desperate to add new conversation channel options, like SMS (53%), to their contact centers to reduce handle time and improve experience.
- Nearly half (48%, 47%, and 46% respectively) say they need artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML), real-time transcription, and self-service bots "urgently" or "yesterday".
- 41% of leaders admit that toggling between channels is the technology issue currently most affecting their contact center and worry that adding more to legacy technology will only exacerbate the issue, so most have done nothing to date.
"Agent turnover has long been an issue for customer contact centers," Joe McKendrick, study author and consulting analyst for CRM Media. "The technology they use is key to their ability to deliver that ‘wow’ experience to their customers. If they can access the information they need when they need it, and the technology is as easy to use as their smartphones, it can go a long way in making their jobs more attractive."
It is widely accepted that the experience employees have at work directly affects how well they serve customers. Forty-four percent (44%) of contact center leaders surveyed say providing a better experience for agents is "in need of improvement" or is of "urgent concern" to the business. This indicates that businesses must evaluate their policies and offerings around issues impacting the employee experience like remote work, training, and, critically, the software and hardware they provide to agents to do their jobs.
Ultimately, Inside the Contact Center: A Study of Customer and Employee Experience underscores that contact center leaders struggle to balance achieving internal KPIs with delivering exceptional customer experiences. When asked to choose one "greatest challenge," one-third of leaders cite meeting metrics like average handle time (AHT) and first call resolution (FCR) and another one-third cite offering positive experiences and lowering customer effort.
"Achieving the balance between what the business needs and what its customers need has eluded companies forever because the two are inextricably linked – and should be addressed as such. The problem is that there has yet to be customer service technology that solves for both," said Cameron Weeks, co-founder and CEO of Edify. "The Edify platform was built specifically to end the cycle of meeting internal metrics at the expense of the customer experience, and it is so gratifying to see how it changes our customers’ businesses."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Monday, May 23, 2022
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