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BT Research Finds Webchat Increasingly Effective Contact Center Communication Channel

IRVING, Texas, Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BT today announced the key lessons from research it has conducted into the latest communication channels being used by contact centers. One of the most significant developments BT has seen is the increasing use of webchat as a channel for advisors to talk to customers. The research acknowledges the growing contribution of webchat to customer satisfaction, employee productivity and cost reduction for contact center operators.

Among its key findings the research, conducted on six contact centers in the UK and India, three of which are operated by BT serving enterprise customers and three run by other large corporations, found that webchat creates a highly positive experience for both customers and advisors.

With many customers starting their journey online, it is now often as convenient for them to initiate a webchat session as to pick up the phone. Further benefits include a calmer and quieter working environment for advisors and fewer challenges due to regional accents and background noise. Webchat also provides a clear audit trail of customer conversations.

Nicola Millard, Customer Experience Futurologist at BT Global Services, said: "Due to an increasing number of companies offering webchat to their customers, we decided to conduct research with contact centers that have deployed it and investigate the effects on both customers and advisors.

"We found that webchat is considered to be an equivalent and often superior method of working compared to calls. Webchat also sits comfortably alongside social media, as it allows organizations to draw customers into a more private dialogue, where they can discuss personal details and specific issues in a one-to-one channel. Webchat is also perceived as providing an effective stepping stone, moving customer contacts towards web-based self-service interactions. Our research identifies a double bonus: both advisors and customers like using it and it leads to cost savings for contact center operators.  For these reasons, we expect webchat to continue to grow as a channel."

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