SALT LAKE CITY (Dec. 16, 2010) – A recent survey of over 400 contact center professionals illustrates that contact centers are accelerating spending on self-service solutions, primarily to reduce operating costs and increase customer satisfaction. However, the research findings indicate that, based on low success rates, the majority of those contact centers are still searching for optimal strategies for self-service success. The survey was conducted by ICMI and sponsored by inContact (NASDAQ: SAAS), a provider of on-demand call center software and call center agent optimization tools.
“Self-service options, including inbound and outbound interactive voice response (IVR) and web-based solutions, are often the first touch point a customer has with a company,” said Mariann McDonagh, inContact Chief Marketing Officer. “When executed well, self service enables customers to resolve issues on their own and via the channel that they most prefer, which reduces costs and enables companies to deliver a differentiated service experience. The trick is implementing the solutions effectively.”
The professionals surveyed represented contact centers of all shapes and sizes from around the world. More than three quarters of respondents currently offer self-service and, overall, contact centers plan to spend more on these technologies in the coming years, primarily to realize operating cost reductions (83%) and meet customer demand for service options (74%). However, based on the respondent data, the current strategies fail to truly address and meet customer needs and realize projected savings in operating costs. “The key is to effectively balance agent-managed and self-service options. Self-service makes perfect sense for simple tasks like account balance and hours of operations inquiry. It sounds easy, but it’s very difficult to effectively manage that balancing act,” said McDonagh.
Additionally, according to the survey, many companies are failing to measure the effectiveness and results of their self-service channels:
- More than one fifth (21%) of respondents said they do not measure completion rates for IVR-only calls.
- 64% of respondents don’t know if or when a customer has tried to self-serve but then opted for a live rep.
In order to improve self-service development and execution, the report authors noted that more focus on a customer-centric self-service strategy could help reduce abandonment rates and customer dissatisfaction, as well as increase ROI on self-service investments.
Concluded McDonagh, “We believe that this study underscores the growing market need for cloud-based solutions that effectively address the self service challenge in today’s contact centers. As the leading cloud-based contact center provider, inContact helps companies develop powerful and customer-centric self service solutions and feedback systems to help measure a customer’s experience with these channels. Our cloud-based platform makes it cost-effective and easy to implement self service solutions such as IVR, web-self help and click-to-dial applications that can be rapidly deployed in response to new business initiatives or programs, and can be modified on-the-fly based on customer feedback and changing business conditions.”
- Listen to the ICMI webinar about the report
- Read more about IVR strategies
- Follow @inContact on Twitter
- Become a fan of inContact on Facebook
inContact (NASDAQ: SAAS) helps call centers around the globe create profitable customer experiences through its powerful portfolio of cloud-based call center software solutions. The company’s services and solutions enable call centers to operate more efficiently, optimize the cost and quality of every customer interaction, create new pathways to profit and ensure ongoing customer-centric business improvement and growth. To learn more, visit www.inContact.com.
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