An interesting finding from Dimension Data’s “2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report” is that, for the first time, customer experience has surpassed cost reduction as a primary reason for offering digital channels (73.7% vs. 67.9%). “There is a massive focus in the industry to try to push customers toward digital, not just to reduce costs, but because customers are asking to have those channels available,” says Andrew McNair, head of Solutions & Global Benchmarking.
In addition to making digital channels available, though, organizations are recognizing the need to connect the customer’s journey across channels—cited by participants as the No. 1 trend affecting their organizations in the next five years. Currently, only about 20% to 25% of organizations have that capability.
“We were surprised at the lack of information that is available now, in terms of tracking those customer journeys—30.4% cannot track the customer journey at all, and only 36% can track journeys across multiple channels,” McNair says. “When we looked deeper into whether organizations could identify blockage points in their processes, we found that only 17.4% could do so, and only 27.7% can identify key decision points, which is crucial, particularly in a sales environment.”
While there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of managing the customer’s journey across digital channels, McNair points to optimistic results around the use of analytics. Organizations currently have access to quite a bit of customer data, and they’re using it to validate their investments in customer experience.
“Analytics will to help further validate the right balance around investment and services, and the move away from big data (corporate level) to small data (individuals) will drive a personalization of services going forward,” McNair says. “A great deal of that personalization will be created through proactive automation where customers are contacted at their most relevant points, and a lot will be automated based upon the information that we have at a micro-level on a particular customer.”
For customers, he adds, personalization will bring back the human touch and emotional engagement that digital channels currently lack.
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