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40 Stats Shaping the Future of Contact Centers

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40 Stats Shaping the Future of Contact Centers

The Future of Call Center Workforce OptimizationDid you know that almost one in every 25 jobs in the US is within the contact center industry? Pretty thought provoking, huh? But just what does the future hold for the people, processes and technologies of this constantly evolving environment? As the leading developer and provider of contact center workforce optimization solutions and services, we at VPI decided to compile a list of compelling statistics that are shaping the future of customer contact and our solution portfolio. Check it out:

Customer Experience

1) Even in a negative economy, customer experience is a high priority for consumers, with 60% often or always paying more for a better experience. (Source: Harris Interactive)  Tweet This Stat!

2) 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience, up from 59% 4 years ago. (Source: Harris Interactive)  Tweet This Stat!

3) 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. (Source: Harris InteractiveTweet This Stat!

4) 59% will try a new brand or company for a better service experience. (Source: American ExpressTweet This Stat!

5) The top three drivers for investing in customer experience management are:

  • Improve customer retention – (42 %)
  • Improve customer satisfaction – (33 %)
  • Increase cross-selling and up-selling – (32 %)

(Source: Aberdeen)  Tweet This Stat!

What These Customer Service Statistics Say about the Future of Contact Centers

These stats make it clear. Your company’s customer service simply can’t be ignored. Customers are choosier and more discerning than ever before. If you neglect the quality of your customer service you will lose key customers to your competitors. Interestingly, these customers are actually willing to pay more for better service and a superior experience.

Self-Service and Call Automation

6) By 2020, the customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Source: GartnerTweet This Stat!

7) The number of consumers preferring automated self-service has doubled to 55% in the last five years. (Source: Convergys)  Tweet This Stat!

8) US contact centers spend $12.4 billion annually verifying the caller is who they say they are. 59% of calls require identity verification, but only 3% of these are handled entirely through automated processes. (Source: ContactBabelTweet This Stat!

 9) The IVR accounts for an astounding 27% of the total call experience. However, only 7% of organizations currently offer an IVR solution that delivers a better experience (CSAT) than their live agent experience. (Source: JD Power & Associates) Tweet This Stat! 

What These Self-Service Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers

Self-service is growing by the minute. Your customers’ preferences are rapidly changing. They expect and demand immediate service and satisfaction. These days,regardless of age, gender or occupation, customers expect almost instant gratification when it comes to customer service – they have tools at their fingertips that provide constant and immediate communication. They don’t want to have to wait on hold and they don’t want to have to repeat their information. Can you live up to their expectations? It’s crucial to adapt to your customer’s self-service needs or you may be left behind.

Artificial Intelligence is now being applied to self-service to make it smarter, faster and better. To learn more about the next generation in voice self-service – Virtual Call Agents powered by Artificial Intelligence – watch this short video and listen to these virtual agent call audio samples.

At-Home Agents

10) There are an estimated 3 million Americans who work primarily from home today, an increase of 61% since 2005. (Source: Forrester)  Tweet This Stat!

11) An estimated 60% of contact centers utilize home agents today in some capacity and the forecast is 80% by year-end 2013. (Source: Customer Contact Strategies)  Tweet This Stat!

12) More than half of the contact centers in the U.S. today, 53% have some percentage of their agent population functioning from a home office. More than 70% of those currently supporting at-home agents plan on increasing the number of their at-home agents in 2013. (Source: National Association of Call Centers)  Tweet This Stat!

13) Ovum expects the number of home-based customer service agents to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 36.4%, one of the strongest expansion levels of any outsourcing market sub-segment. (Source: Ovum)  Tweet This Stat!

14) By 2016, 63 million Americans will telecommute. (Source: Global Workplace Analytics)  Tweet This Stat!

What these Home Working Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers

Working from home is becoming an increasingly common practice – quite possibly the single biggest phenomenon changing the customer contact landscape in over a decade. Telecommuting offers employees a flexible schedule and higher job satisfaction rate. Without the limits of geography, employers benefit from the ability to cherry pick candidates from a vast labor pool beyond the confined radius of a brick-and-mortar facility. Consequently, more and more companies are hiring at-home agents, but this means they need a way to monitor the performance and productivity of the agents.

To learn more about best practices for implementing a successful at-home agent program,  download your complimentary white paper on ‘Call Center At-Home Agent Best Practices,’ authored by analyst firm DMG Consulting, and consider attending one of Michele Rowan’s world-class ‘At-Home Agent Strategies for Success Workshops.’ As the former VP of Performance Management at Hilton, Michele led the expansion of the Hilton@Home program from 200 to 1000 at-home agents, and has since helped hundreds of other organizations successfully deploy home working programs.

Quality and Performance Management

15) Only 31% of organizations closely monitor the quality of interactions with target customers. (Source: Forrester Research)  Tweet This Stat!

16) Two-thirds of organizations view access to real-time or nearly real-time metrics is a very important capability. However, very few companies (8%) receive their metrics as soon as they are generated. Fewer than one-fifth (18%) receive them on the same day, while at the remaining companies it can take up to four weeks for the metrics to be delivered. (Source: Ventana Research)  Tweet This Stat!

17) 92% of contact center leaders see high value in sharing metrics in real-time with front-line agents. The top 5 metrics of greatest value when shared in real-time with agents are # of calls in queue, service level, customer satisfaction, schedule adherence, and first contact resolution – in that order. (Source: Good to Great: Rapid Results with Real-time Performance Management, A Saddletree Research Paper, 2012) Read the full benchmark research report.  Tweet This Stat!

18) 60% of all repeat calls are process or training driven – business processes are not in place to meet the customer’s need, and agents have not been given the training required to meet the customer expectations that have been set by marketing or elsewhere in the business. (Source: Frost & SullivanTweet This Stat!

19) Organizations that focus on frequent training see advantages in first call resolution – 65% vs. 58% for those who don’t. (Source: Parature)  Tweet This Stat!

20) Only 31% of organizations recognize and reward employees across the company for improving customer experience. (Source: Forrester Research)  Tweet This Stat!

What these Quality and Performance Management Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers

Clearly, these stats show that companies need to pay more attention to agent quality and performance management in order to maximize the potential of each employee and provide the training the agents need to be successful.

When empowered with real-time performance metrics and information, front-line agents and supervisors thrive. The problem is that most contact centers struggle to extract customer insights from multiple siloed systems and applications that share data. It takes time and resources to produce spreadsheets and reports that have already become stale and outdated by the time they’re delivered. Fortunately, with the availability of Real-time Performance Management software, the ability to consolidate metrics from multiple disparate contact center telephony and business applications and deliver them just-in-time to agents, supervisors and executives has now become an affordable reality.

To get more value from Quality Assurance efforts, it’s important to re-think your approach to Quality Assurance (QA). Traditional QA which has been primarily focused on monitoring and improving internal agent quality and compliance for the past 30 years, is now also being used to uncover valuable insights to improve business operations and customer satisfaction. The emergence of workflow automation and embedded analytics with new QA solutions are helping customer facing organizations around the world reduce the manual steps required by most traditional QA programs by 60 to 80 percent. Better yet, analytics-driven QA takes you straight to what really matters – delivering insight into critical business issues and opportunities to improve customer experience and revenue outcomes.

Multi-Channel

21) Contact channels other than the phone, such as email, Web self-service, chat, and other online techniques, now account for more than 30 percent of customer service engagements. Web self-service and email dominate this mix. (Source: CFI Group)  Tweet This Stat!

22) 25% of consumers utilize one to two channels when seeking customer care and 52% of consumers utilize three or four channels. (Source: OvumTweet This Stat!

23) 57% best in class companies measure support center success across email, chat, web, and voice, and 62% use integrated voice response (IVR). (Source: Aberdeen GroupTweet This Stat!

24) In the US, 21% of online shoppers prefer live chat, close to the same number as those who favor using the telephone (23%) and ahead of social media (2%). Email remains the most popular method for online shoppers to communicate with customer services, with 54% saying they prefer this method. (Source: BoldChat Tweet This Stat!

25) 60% of adults aged 25–29 live in households with only wireless telephones. (Source: Centers for Disease ControlTweet This Stat!

What these Multi-Channel Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers

Today’s contact centers are using many different channels to reach their customers. In this era of constant, ‘round-the-clock communication, customers expect to be able to interact with a company through any channel – whether via phone, going online or even live Web chat. In addition, an increasing number of businesses and contact centers are implementing live chat to meet this rising demand. In addition to being able to evaluate and analyze voice interactions with customers, organizations need to place equal or greater weight on the ability to assess and extract insights from self-service, Web chat, email and social media conversations. This leads us into the next major trend – Speech and Text Analytics.

Speech and Text Analytics

26) Currently, there are 3,170 active, successful speech analytics implementations. (Source: SpeechTech)  Tweet This Stat!

27) Speech analytics was one of the top two fastest-growing call center tools in 2012 – the adoption of speech analytics grew by 59% and Web chat jumped by 60%. (Source: ContactBabel)  Tweet This Stat!

28) Speech analytics was among the top five technologies evaluated, with 24 percent saying that they intended to evaluate it for purchase in 2012. (Source: Saddletree ResearchTweet This Stat!

29) The speech analytics market is projected to continue to expand over the next several years, growing by 25 percent in 2013 and 20 percent in 2014. (Source: DMG ConsultingTweet This Stat!

30) Speech analytics solutions are currently in use in 24% of all organizations, predominantly used by services, outsourcing and finance organizations. There is an appreciable amount of interest in implementing a new speech analytics system or replacing the one they have within the near future, especially in the medical sector (45% of companies), insurance sector (54%) and retail (40%). (Source: ContactBabel Tweet This Stat!

What these Speech Analytics Statistics Say about the Future of Contact Centers

These statistics clearly demonstrate that speech analytics may be the fastest growing trend impacting the future of contact centers today. The possibilities are endless. Speech analytics allows you to identify calls that can be better handled, helps you improve First Contact Resolution and reduce customer churn, and enables you to increase sales and collections by sharing best practices.

Social Media

31) More than 50% of Facebook users and 80% of Twitter users expect a response to a customer service inquiry in a day or less.(Source: Oracle)  Tweet This Stat!

32) Failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15% increase in churn rate for existing customers. (Source: Gartner)  Tweet This Stat!

33) 56% of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. (Source: Huffington Post  “100 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures from 2012 )  Tweet This Stat!

34) 19% of consumers who had unsatisfactory service interactions shared their experiences through social networks in 2010, a 50% increase over 2009. (Source: Forrester)  Tweet This Stat!

35) Customers who wrote about their contact center experiences on social media sites and then received follow-up from the company rated their overall satisfaction with the contact center experience nearly 20%higher and are 15% more likely to recommend the company than those who received no follow-up. (Source: CFI Group)  Tweet This Stat!

36) Servicing via social media boosts customer satisfaction by 15-20%. (Source: CFI GroupTweet This Stat!

37) 80% of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook. (Source: Huffington PostTweet This Stat!

Read even more compelling social media facts and statistics.

What these Social Media Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers

Social Media has had a huge impact on the future of the contact center industry. After interacting with your company, a customer can immediately vent theirfrustrations or share their positive experiences with the click of a button. This is why customer service you provide is more important than ever before. Additionally, since word now travels so fast, companies can lose business opportunities if they don’t regularly respond to their customers’ requests and comments on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, blogs and others. With the advent of Social Media, QA is becoming more important than ever before as it takes just seconds for a customer to rave about or complain and bash a brand to thousands.

Cloud Computing

38) By the end of 2015 more than 18 percent of contact center seats will be delivered by cloud-based contact center infrastructure providers. (Source: DMG Consulting)  Tweet This Stat!

39) At year-end 2016, more than 50 percent of Global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud. (Source: Gartner Predicts)  Tweet This Stat!

40) 57% of cloud computing users feel that it actually increased their security when compared to traditional methods for computing and data back up. (Source: MimecastTweet This Stat!

What these Cloud Computing Stats Say about the Future of Contact Centers

Like many contact center applications, workforce optimization applications including call recording, quality monitoring, performance management and E-learning solutions are now available via leading cloud-based contact center infrastructure providers.

The Statistics Don’t Lie – You’ve Got to be Prepared for Change

You’ve got to love statistics. When carefully compiled and reliably sourced, they provide clarity and perspective, enabling us to make better decisions based on facts as opposed to fear and speculation. In the contact center industry, which can be somewhat tumultuous and unpredictable, it’s crucial to be well prepared and proactive. Overall, these statistics prove that the future of contact centers is changing rapidly. In order to survive and compete, companies must be ready to evolve. Armed with the right processes and workforce optimization tools, this is very doable.

Where do you see the future of customer service going? Where do you want it to go?

Call Center Workforce Optimization Guide

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About the Author

Amanda Marsh
Amanda Marsh+ is a Product Marketing Manager at VPI. She's deeply involved in shaping VPI's performance optimization solution strategy based on what customers really care about, and frequently blogs for the VPI Blog. She's also the owner of Cali Love Wine - a guitar museum wine tasting room which combines her love California, music and wine in the Santa Ynez Valley just northeast of Santa Barbara. Connect with her on Twitter @CaliLoveWine.
  • Meldie Ching

    To get more value from Quality Assurance efforts, it’s important to re-think your approach to Quality Assurance (QA) and this is one thing I agree the most.

    We offer Virtual Reception Services in Australia Wide

  • pbotz

    I couldn’t agree more with you Jessica regarding employee satisfaction. In my experience, there is a direct one-to-one correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction in many organizations.

  • http://www.go4customer.com/ Jessica Olivia

    These are really a beneficial point to take care of while working with a call center.Thanks for the nice article. I think one should also take care of the time and call management because average handling time is one of the important factor. Apart from all this employee satisfaction should be there, then only agents can provide the same satisfaction level to their customers.

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  • steve west

    In such a short article an extremely valuable input into strategy – the key is design acceptance and implementation

  • Paul

    Amanda, this article is likely to set some sort of record for re-tweeted stats, this is a great collection, if rather US centric. The Rest of World differs in some important areas, particularly in social media and self service, which seem to be driven more by culture than technology progress. That said The Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report seems to agree with most of your conclusions.

  • uday

    very well articulated. being a player in this field i can appreciate the points concerning especially to performance metrics. Thanks

  • Kathi Gurin

    Very useful info – and nice to have in one article… thanks!

  • Priscilla Haynes

    Well written and very interesting. Worth reading. Shared with my Contact Call Centers and Staff Development Team members.

  • Angie Adams

    Excellent information!
    Thank you!

  • Dan Meadows

    Well written and interesting. Worth the read. Thank you!

  • ENIGBOKAN ISREAL

    this is a good write up that help us to be informed .thanks and looinkg out for more of this