Dimension Data says digital customer experience needs more development

CAF imageA graph showing what services contact centres can provide help with to customers presently and in the future. (Image source: Business Wire)According to research published by Dimension Data, in the 19th edition of its annual Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, organisations are unclear about who owns, oversees, and manages the digital channels in their contact centres

That’s because there’s a lack of management focus which impacts the effectiveness of the design of their digital solutions, and by consequence, how customers engage with their businesses. This year, 1,320 organisations across 14 industry verticals in 81 countries in Asia Pacific, Australia, the Americas, Middle East & Africa, and Europe contributed to the research.

“While telephone interactions in the contact centre are managed, tracked, and quality controlled, the same performance rigour isn’t always applied to digital channels,” explained Rob Allman, Dimension Data’s group principal director, customer experience and collaboration. “This can lead to an inconsistent and degraded customer experience across a brand or services company.”

Half (50 per cent) of the benchmarking report respondents said they track quality on digital channels compared to 89 per cent on phone. Some 82 per cent reported that they have processes to identify sales opportunities on phone compared with 60 per cent on digital. Measurement of cost and time per interaction is also missing on the majority of digitally assisted-service channels, which suggests an absence of consistency in management approach.

Allman stated new contact channels are being designed in isolation, and often without any involvement from the contact centre.

“Our research reveals that almost half (47 per cent) are excluded from, or are partially involved in the design phase of new technology solutions in contact centres, while 55 per cent have little, or no involvement in solution approvals. In fact, 2 in 5 (40 per cent) organisations said that their digital channel systems don’t meet existing business needs, and 19 per cent are confident that their future requirements will be met.”

Digital is driving business transformation and reshaping the way companies do business, which means that the role of the contact centre will become even more crucial to achieving an integrated customer experience strategy. It’s therefore important that IT and business function teams collaborate more closely and more strategically.

“New digital technologies must be designed with how they’ll be consumed in mind. Organisations also need to understand the user experience and customers’ expectations if they want successful adoption of the technology and achievement of the desired business outcomes,” added Joe Manuele, group executive of Dimension Data’s Customer Experience and Collaboration Business Unit. “The complexity of providing customers with a connected experience frequently spans multiple channels including Internet, web chat, social media, and phone. This requires greater capability and understanding of the customer journey when engaging with an organisation’s contact centre. To be effective, the technology solutions need design, ownership, and especially a human touch.”

While telephone interactions in the contact centre are managed, tracked, and quality controlled, the same performance rigour isn't always applied to digital channels. 

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