As smartphone usage, social media and Wi-Fi coverage continue to grow, half of consumers are constantly changing the way they contact organizations. Eighty two percent say they need a range of channels to meet their needs. But many are frustrated with the experience of switching channels as it exposes huge gaps in customer service. In fact, just 17 percent think swapping between channels is easy and gives them a seamless experience and 69 percent of consumers say they're often asked to repeat their account details on the same call.
Andrew Small, vice president BT Contact, BT Global Services, said: "Consumers are more connected and better informed than ever before, so when they do call — or use another channel such as webchat or video — they expect to deal with someone who knows what they're talking about. When organizations fail to connect their customers to the right agent, it's not only frustrating for the consumer but also for the staff involved. The solution is for organizations to use technology to ensure their customers' calls go to the right agent first time and to connect contact center staff using collaboration tools to create networked experts who can share their knowledge when needed. This new BT and Avaya research highlights not only that many organizations are failing to do this but also the danger of poor service in a world where consumer loyalty is a thing of the past."
Mark de la Vega, vice president and general manager, contact center applications at Avaya, said: "The new challenge for contact center operators is to build the infrastructure that enables consumers to seamlessly switch between all of the channels they provide to give a truly cohesive and satisfying customer experience. The most significant factor, regardless of channel used, is that consumers reach the right agent equipped with the right knowledge and tools to resolve their issues in a timely and efficient manner."
Many well-known contact center gripes remain with 54 percent of people saying the music and messages on hold often don't provide a good impression of the organization they're calling and 93 percent say that organizations should phone them back when they said they would.
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