Customer Contact Center Trends for 2014
1. Customer Contact Center Trends for 2014 White Paper December 2013 www.datamark.net 2. 10 Customer Contact Center Trends to Watch For in 2014 Take a look at other contact center/call center trend lists for 2014, and youll invariably find mentions of The Cloud, Big Data and Social Media. However, that is nothing newsworthy. Nearly everyone is in the cloud and using data analytics and social media to some extent. We created a list that dives deeper to see how customer contact will evolve over the next year, now that cloud, data analytics and social media are part of the DNA of consumer interaction. Check out the following trends, presented in no particular order, and use them as a resource to shape your customer contact strategies for 2014. 1. Improved self-help resources across all channels. To reduce the number of phone calls and requests through other channels, companies will assess their customer-service presence on their web sites and social media to make self-help pages easier to find and use. For example, a customer visiting a companys Facebook page will quickly spot a link to FAQs or Customer Service and follow that path instead of posting a complaint on the companys news feed for all the world to see. On self- serve pages, customers will also find instructional videos, as well as downloadable customer service apps for smartphones and tablets. 2. Video chat with an expert. When self-help is no longer an option, well see more live video support, using services such as Google Helpouts. The best companies will encourage their engineers and executives to take some time away from labs and boardrooms to video chat with customers and learn what issues are giving them trouble. Some companies will turn these video chats into events that will generate positive publicity by surprising customers with celebrity experts. Imagine getting help with your Dyson vacuum from inventor James Dyson himself; or being greeted on video chat by guest customer service rep Sir Richard Branson, who cheerfully resolves your Virgin Mobile billing issue and then shows you a couple of cool tips for your new iPhone 5s. 3. Mobile apps for customer service. As mentioned above, companies will work to keep complaints and drama off of social media news feeds by steering consumers toward mobile customer-service apps. Instead of posting a message on Facebook or Twitter and waiting for a response, a customer can open their app and get the help they need. FAQs, downloads of instructional manuals, how-to videos and schedule- a-callback are useful app features that can save a customer from having to wait on the phone to speak to a real person. 4. Look onshore or nearshore for outsourced customer contact. As the delivery of customer service become more sophisticated, companies that outsource their customer contact will shift their focus from cost savings to higher quality of care. This means they will be willing to pay a little more to have their outsourced customer contact centers onshore--within the U.S.--or at nearshore locations, such as cities in Mexico close to the U.S. border, where there is a young, educated, bilingual workforce fluent in English and Spanish. 2 2013 DATAMARK, Inc. www.datamark.net Customer Service Mobile Apps will be home to FAQs, downloads of instructional manuals, how-to videos and schedule-a-callback features that can save a customer from having to wait on the phone to speak to a real person. 3. 5. The growing Hispanic market will drive more outsourced customer contact. U.S. Hispanic purchasing power was $1.2 trillion in 2012 and is expected to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2015, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth. Hispanics are one of the most active demographics on social media, and Facebook recently announced it is opening an office in Miami, Fla. to reach out to companies and advertisers that focus on the Hispanic market. Companies in need of Spanish- speaking customer service reps will turn to contact center service providers in the U.S. Southwest, northern Mexico, and to other Latin American countries that have large bilingual workforces. 6. Outsourced contact centers will deliver more value to clients. Some outsourcing relationships will begin with the handling of inbound phone calls to resolve simple issues for clients customers. As trust builds between the outsourcer and client, the sophistication and complexity of delivered services will grow. Outsourcers will respond to email and social media in English, Spanish and other languages. And as they develop thorough knowledge of the clients product, service and company culture, they will be tapped to be expert company representatives on video chats. 7. Voice of the Customer. The outsourced value chain will grow as contact center service providers conduct Voice of the Customer surveys using voice, social media and other channels. Service providers will deliver raw data and data analytics to their clients, and work as strategic partners with them to make significant improvements in first call resolution and other enhancements to contact center processes. 8. Finding new revenue streams through customer interaction. Whether customer contact is handled in-house or outsourced to service providers, companies will analyze their Big Data to identify opportunities to cross-sell and upsell to customers. Also, because multi-channel customer contact is expensive (bandwidth needed for video chat, training to develop expert customer service agents, the addition of high- end self-serve content), companies will test whether consumers will be willing to pay extra for premium customer service. Google Helpouts business model allows experts to charge for their time and services, for example. 9. Its biometrics time. Consumers will begin to see identity-verification alternatives to What was the name of your first pet? There are now voice biometric technologies available to assure customer service agents that they are sharing information with the right person. Also, the thumbprint biometric on new iPhones and other devices can help ensure identity for mobile app use. And perhaps sooner than later, we wont need a separate device for fingerprint biometricsthe computer screen itself will be able to recognize finger prints. 3 2013 DATAMARK, Inc. www.datamark.net Outsourcing delivers more value in 2014. As the relationship between the outsourcer and client grows, so will the sophistication and complexity of delivered services. 4. 10. Customer contact as a profession, and not just a job. The duties of a customer service agent will expand beyond resolving simple issues on an inbound call. Nearly all agents will be high-tier, in the sense that they will handle calls, respond to emails and social media messages, and conduct video chats, often in more than one language. In addition, they will conduct and interpret Voice of the Customer surveys. On the contact center management side, metrics priorities will shift toward quality of the customer experience and first call resolution, and away from average call times and average speed of answer. This environment will reward agents who have expert- level knowledge in their field, and high-skill customer service will be appreciated as a profession rather than just a job. The hope is that these expert agents who handle complex issues will receive higher compensation and experience higher levels of career satisfaction. A shift to higher-skill customer service may help reduce employee turnover rates, which have historically ranged from 5 percent to 20 percent or more in the contact center industry. About DATAMARK DATAMARK is a leading provider of multichannel customer contact center services, digital mailroom and mail center management, data entry, document processing services and business process re-engineering services for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and other large enterprises. Founded in 1989, the company is the strategic business process outsourcing (BPO) partner for companies across numerous industry sectors, including healthcare, insurance, banking and financial services, and transportation and logistics. DATAMARK offers on-site, onshore and offshore processing facilities, delivering enterprise content management (ECM) and process-automation technologies and solutions to help organizations improve efficiency and profitability in all business functions. To learn more, visit www.datamark.net. 3 2013 DATAMARK, Inc. www.datamark.net Multichannel customer service representatives will continue to shift to higher skill sets, handling calls, responding to emails, interacting on social media and conducting video chats in more than one language.