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Industry Research : Phone Calls with Humans Still Tops for Customer Service
Fifth Quadrant, an Australian customer experience research and consultancy company, surveyed 5300 consumers around the world asking them to rate their experiences with various customer service channels. The results were published on the web site of Stimulus Capital Ideas, a management consulting practice specialising on cross border relationships between Australia and the Philippines.
According to Fifth Quadrant director, Catriona Wallace, "On an average day in Australia there are at least 27 million contacts by consumers to an organisation with a customer service enquiry. Of these 79 percent are handled by the contact centre. Social media has added about seven percent more volume to customer contact."
She identified six primary customer service channels - voice (contact centre); face-to-face; online; correspondence (includes email); social media and mobile apps - and within contact centre alone an astonishing 19 discrete channels, some of which - such as email - are equivalent to their non-contact centre counterparts.
According to Wallace, Fifth Quadrant’s research has demonstrated that not only are phone calls the dominant channel but that they lead in first call resolution rates, with 71 percent of enquiries being resolved on the first call. Web self-service came in second at 67 percent followed by "online phone (e.g. Skype)" at 62 percent. Bottom of the table was email with a 55 percent first call resolution rate.
Wallace concluded: "Despite the growth and vendor hype around the coming of new channels such as social media, the phone remains the most used and preferred channel and the one with highest resolution."
And the importance of first call resolution should not be underestimated. According to research firm, Frost & Sullivan "Your First Call Resolution rate is the home run of call centre statistics. It is the single key performance indicator that has an effect on almost every other meaningful statistic and measurement in the call centre."
Frost & Sullivan urges call centre operators to implement a strategy focused on improving first call resolution rates saying it is "the primary way to increase the overall effectiveness and improve customer churn for your business."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, September 30, 2013