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Industry Research : Enghouse Interactive Shares Findings on IT Executives
Enghouse Interactive, developer of the portfolio of interaction management solutions, shared deeper insights from the recent Enghouse Interactive Customer Interaction Index on the mindset of U.S. IT executives when it comes to addressing three distinct classifications of customer interactions: structured, unstructured and self-service.
Structured interactions are defined as transactional in nature and are generally high volume, lower value communications handled by agents within a company’s contact centers. Unstructured interactions usually enter an organization through an operator or attendant and are typically lower in volume but higher in value with their more complex scope requiring a consultative approach to handle them efficiently and professionally. Self-service interactions, generally serviced through an automated resource such as IVR, enable customers to efficiently manage their own interactions entirely, or provide the front end to capture information for more efficient and satisfying structured or unstructured communications with live agents.
When Enghouse Interactive commissioned Kelton Research to survey 227 senior IT executives as to which type of interaction was most important to their organization, nearly 65% indicated that unstructured interactions are most valuable. The remainder of respondents was nearly evenly split in identifying self-service and unstructured interactions as most valuable. These figures are in line with observations that Enghouse Interactive has made over many years of experience with its own customer base. However, most IT executives felt that their organization was currently better at managing structured interactions with just 15% stating that they were best at handling unstructured interactions. This would indicate that there is a lot of opportunity for improvement in handling this type of interaction.
Interestingly, when the same executives shared their opinions as to the percentage of actual interactions their organization handles for each type, we saw a flip, with structured taking the clear lead. Structured interactions averaged 46% of the company’s interactions compared to 29% for unstructured and 25% for self-service. These statistics, when taken into account with the preceding set, fully support the current definitions for structured and unstructured customer interactions and align perfectly with Enghouse Interactive’s end-to-end approach to the market.
In recent years there has been a slow convergence in the way businesses deal with each distinct type of customer interaction, yet there is still a lot of room for improvement. One in two (50%) IT decision-makers report that their current approach does not consider all three of these categories together. Given that employing such a tactic would result in greater efficiencies and versatility in managing the nuances of each type of communication, businesses are missing the boat on providing the better customer service that will have positive impact across the organization.
"We feel our approach to addressing the full-spectrum of interactions is unique in the market, so we established the Enghouse Interactive Customer Interaction Index to provide a reality check against our observations and assumptions so that we can ensure we continue to produce products that solve customer pain points ," says Enghouse Interactive CTO, Alex Black."The insights we gained from surveying these IT executives on interaction type usage and sentiment validates our strategy of addressing every type of customer interaction."
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Published: Monday, March 19, 2012