It might seem hard to get excited about Benchmarking, but it’s surprising how often it’s a catalyst for positive change. We’ve been doing Contact Centre Benchmarking for our clients for 16 years. The 2013/14 version of the Report is a behemoth: 817 organisations from 79 countries participated and the results are intriguing.
- The days of the phone as the principle mechanism for getting customer service are over: it’s the forth choice channel behind the web, email and web chat.
- Customer preferences are changing so fast, organisations are struggling to keep up: their staff are getting more stressed, leading to higher absence and higher staff churn.
- Legacy technology can’t handle the new ways of working customers are asking for: 80% of our audience think they need to change.
- The new digital channels are proving very popular: but customer feedback is only being captured and acted on by 20%, whereas in the voice channel this figure is nearer 95%.
The report this year is probably the loudest call to action in the history of the contact centre industry, but is anyone listening? Traditionally the contact centre has been viewed as a cost centre, not a revenue or value generator. That view still exists in 50% of centres. This has to change if contact centres are to avoid being marginalised or abandoned.
There seem to be two really critical take-ways from the Report which need to be acted on:
One, the skills and competences needed to operate the multi- or Omni- channel contact centres of the future are profoundly different to traditional agents. So now is the time to review those job profiles and training plans.
Two, the technology in contact centres isn’t up to scratch and there needs to be a review of the vision and roadmap for change. Which of these actions would you prioritise?