Contact centers are massively unprepared to go digital, despite digital interactions having grown to account for 35% of customer care service, according to a study by ICT services and solutions provider Dimension Data.
Contact centers refusing to adopt digital technology face a slow death, the report warned, adding that “voice is the channel of last resort and this is the real moment of truth for organizations.”
Customers younger than 40 would much rather use social media and web chat than any other mode of communication, the study found.
According to the report, digital interaction – in the form of email, web chat, social media, and self-service channels – has been growing at a rapid pace. Should the evolution continue at its current pace, digital will overtake voice-based contact within two years.
Adam Foster of Dimension Data says customer demand is forcing organizations to go digital. “The digital revolution is real, and represents the most radical change in the contact centre business in the last 30 years,” he noted.
However, he also acknowledged that the telephone channel will in no way become obsolete. In reality, he said, the interactions handled by phone have become far more complex and critical. The telephone will remain important, but as part of a much broader mix of options.
Dimension Data – whose report was based on responses from 901 participants, covering 12 sectors in 72 countries – said it found that many contact centers are neglecting analytics and their information systems are not fully integrated.
Only four in 10 contact centers have the capacity to interact with customers on social media, while 40% of service providers also seemed to have no analytics capability.
“The message is clear: incorporate digital channels into your overall engagement strategy as soon as possible. Evolving engagement models are forcing them to go digital or die,” stated Andrew McNair, Head of Global Benchmarking.