Landmark study into the growing need for omni-channel contact strategies.

Prior to COVID, digital interactions were already establishing a foothold as an alternative to voice. However, since the pandemic there has been a surge in the use of digital. This was in part down to increases in customer demand but also constraints on offline availability as physical premises closed and contact centres migrated advisors to work remotely. At the same time average handling time increased as both customers and colleagues dealt with the challenges that the coronavirus brought.

Voice is here to stay. Customers will always prefer the telephone channel for time-sensitive and complex interactions. What is clear however is that customers want alternatives.

In this report we have explored who customers are interacting with and why; serving vulnerable customers; the need for businesses to provide true omni-channel and self-serve options, noting that the best approach for customers and contact centres varies by sector and by customer journey.

The research, supported by Odigo, uncovered five discoveries for contact centre leaders:

1. Deliver on your omni-channel strategy

Contact centres overall still have a way to go to meet customers’ omni-channel expectations

2. Customer take-up of digital and self-serve will continue to accelerate

Ramp up digital self-serve for simpler transactions and reserve the telephone only for more complex, urgent and emotional interactions and product categories

3. Support vulnerable customers anonymously

For vulnerable customers, channels that offer a degree of anonymity (while still being assisted) can be preferable.

4. WhatsApp will become even more of a priority

WhatsApp and other private-messaging platforms are growing quickly in popularity with customers and providers. They offer the feeling of a personal service and deliver responsiveness.

5. Channel offerings will be increasingly linked to journey and customer segmentation

Customer segmentation, well established in the marketing function, is starting to appear in contact centres as a means of matching channel o customer preference and interaction type.

For the full story, statistics and verbatim comments from contact centre leaders that have discussed the research at length, please download the report.

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