The past decade alone has seen proliferating customer contact channels. Just ten years ago, communication was limited to phone, email, fax and surface mail. Today, organizations can interact with customers through a myraid of channels, including social media, Web self-service and increasingly mobile devices.
Q4 2011 research from The Temkin Group, Data Snapshot: Consumer Channel Preferences, revealed that the phone and Internet are consumers’ most preferred channels across 11 common interactions that include updating an address or resolving technical problems. In the Wipro/Outsourcing Center study, nearly all (96 percent) participants are contacting customers by phone and email and 70 percent are using postal mail to reach out to customers. Interestingly, Web self-service is nearly as popular as surface mail, with 69 percent using this channel in their front office strategy. It seems to be growing in popularity as surface mail declines.
Vishal Kapoor, director of global transformation services for Wipro, says that while it comes as no surprise that Web self-service is enjoying a great deal of popularity, organizations will be challenged to create a more personal, interactive experience to make this channel more effective in the future.
“We recommend that organizations focus on a personalized customer interaction that is very personalized to customers when they’re on the self-service side, rather than providing generic selfservice experience,”Kapoor explains. “Customers get quickly disillusioned if the experience is generic, which can lead to high drop-outs.
Kapoor adds that chat, collaboration and cobrowsing have been extremely effective tools in customer care scenarios. “Chat has very dramatic and phenomenal results in deflecting high-cost calls that come into the contact center,” he says. “While customers have witnessed the benefits of chat, there is an increasing population that is looking to harness next generation collaboration tools such as cobrowsing and remote diagnostics, which will see dramatic adoption over the next three to five years.” Voice will remain a significant channel in the future, but it will evolve, Kapoor notes.
Voice self-service and automation with the voice channel will see increasing adoption.
“In the next several years, we will see more and more new devices and new channels emerge, like mobile self-service and SMS-based service,” he says. While most of the self-service now provided on mobile applications is static, this will change. “There will be increased functionality that will allow customers to use their mobile devices more interactively over the next few years,” Kapoor adds.
Finding #2: Most Organizations do not believe their current customer contact efforts are as effective as they could be.
How would you rate your current customer contact efforts