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10 reasons you need a self-service strategy

by Matt Carracher
29 August 2017
10 reasons you need a self-service strategy
Call centres have evolved into contact centres where customers can interact with their brands across multiple channels. We map this evolution in statistics.

The self-service economy has transformed the contact centre for good. Once a telephony service for queries and complaints, new digital technologies and skyrocketing customer expectations mean it is now tasked to deliver high-quality, 24/7 customer service through multiple self-serve and self-assisted channels. Let’s take a look at its evolution in stats.

70% of customers expect companies to offer website self-service

Before self-service, customers were happy to let businesses answer their questions over the phone via a call centre. But with self-service and its enabling technologies, millennials increasingly expect to be able to do it themselves. In fact, 40% prefer self-service to human contact, and so the traditional call centre has had to evolve.

Source: The self-service economy by Steven Van Belleghem

Approximately 50% of call centres are now multichannel

The call centre is now the contact centre. As well as dealing with customers over the phone, it increasingly offers customer service across a range of digital channels to meet customer self-service demand. The average contact centre now offers at least eight different methods of self-serve and assisted contact, seven of which are digital.

Source: 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report

Digital interactions now account for over 35% of all interactions

Today, 98% of contact centres globally still offer phone support, but 90% also manage email channels, 53% interactive voice response (IVR) touchtone, 45% internet website (including FAQs, customer, and peer-to-peer support), 43% social media (including Facebook and Twitter), 37% SMS, 33% web chat, 25% smartphone apps, 24% IVR speech, and 8% video chat.

Source: 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report

35% of agents are now multi skilled across voice and non-voice channels

With so many more channels to interact with in the new multichannel contact centre, being good on the phone is no longer enough. In between dealing with calls, agents are increasingly expected to multitask, effortlessly switching from social media to live chat to email. Because of this, 37% of companies now say they need to train and 22% hire a new breed of agent – one with wider communication skills and a deeper understanding of the company’s products, services, and customer needs.

Sources: 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report
Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center

Self-service deflects or reduces volume to other channels by 57%

This is not only helping improve satisfaction levels by enabling speedier, more efficient resolution, but it also means fewer of the simpler enquiries are being dealt with by agents. As well as enabling cost savings, it also relieves the pressure on contact centre staff, and allows them to focus their efforts on more complex customer needs,boosting quality.

Source: Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center

60% of contact centres now have data-analysis capability

In order to meet changing customer demands for quality and personalisation, contact centres are turning to big data and analytics to get the information they need – from channel preferences to the intricacies of individual transactions. In fact, analytics is voted the top factor to change the industry in the next five years.

Source: 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report

33% of contact centres are now adopting cloud-based platforms

The multichannel contact centre can lead to fractured customer experiences as each channel – from social media to voice – is delivered in a silo. This makes a consistent level of service hard to achieve. However, new technology is enabling a single customer view for seamless delivery, and thus changing the multichannel contact centre into an omnichannel contact centre.

Source: 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report

7% of Australian contact centres now use AI to interact with customers

Alongside cloud-based technologies enabling the omnichannel contact centre comes the emergence of next-generation self-service technology –from chatbots to virtual assistants to webinars. These will continue to change the contact centre by minimising assisted service for simpler enquiries and, in turn, improving the quality of service.

Source: Artificial Intelligence On The Rise In Australian Contact Centres

85% of companies view contact centre customer service as key

In addition, 50% believe that the contact centre plays a major role in customer retention. Ultimately, self-service and customer centricity have shifted the contact centre from a periphery function focused on cost savings to a core function at the heart of the customer experience.

Source: 2015 Global Contact Center Survey results 

By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with companies without interacting with a human

While agent interaction will still be valued in the contact centre, self-service and automated technologies will make it necessary only for the more complex, higher-value queries, or for escalation. Customer queries will increasingly be digitally self-managed, with empowered customers enjoying the new ‘face’ of customer service.

Source: Gartner Customer 360 Summit 2011

As the contact centre continues to evolve, the trends we are seeing will only intensify. The future contact centre will likely be the fully functioning customer experience hub we are already glimpsing. In addition, thanks to the cloud, the virtual content centre will be a reality, with remote multi skilled agents filling in the gaps.
If you’d like to learn more about Salmat’s contact centre solution, visit our website or call us on 1300 725 628.

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About the author
Matt Carracher
General Manager - Marketing Solutions