Multichannel Customer Engagement: Best Practices and Research Report 2013

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The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) has released its 2013 research report, Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center: Leveraging the Emerging Channels Research Report and Best Practices Guide, including key findings, study results, and guidance on implementing and optimizing multichannel support.

The study results were collected, compiled and analyzed from a 2013 second quarter poll with over 300 respondents – a mixture of call center executives, directors and managers. Their input painted a compelling picture of how channels such as social media, mobile, and advanced self-service help shape and improve the customer experience, first contact resolution, and customer engagement.  While interpreting the data, ICMI realized an often overlooked component in the agent and customer lifecycle; that of customer engagement. ICMI shows contact centers where customer engagement fits in the chain of agent experience impacting agent happiness which impacts customer experience which ultimately impacts the customer’s lifetime value.

“Happy and engaged agents don’t just create happy and satisfied customers; they can create extremely engaged customers”, says Sarah Stealey Reed, the Content Director for ICMI. “And everyone should be striving for that level! Our research shows that only 25% of companies feel their customers are extremely engaged with their brand. How can you fix that?” Stealey Reed suggests starting back at the beginning with the agent.  “Arm the agent with the knowledge, channels, and tools they require to best service customers. And take advantage of the emerging channels! Mobile, social, and self-service are the perfect vessels to fulfill the higher needs of today’s agents and the greater demands of the connected customers.”

Seventy-two percent (72%) consider Mobile a necessary channel; although only thirty-nine percent (39%) of companies support it as a channel.

A few key findings from the research study include:

  • Only 25% of companies feel their customers are extremely engaged in their brand
  • 90% of customers find the features of social customer service extremely useful or somewhat useful
  • 93% of customers would be MORE satisfied with customer service if they were offered their channel choice
  • Self-service is said to increase deflection rate or lower volume to other channels by 57% of study participants
  • Agents use social media personally, but don’t feel comfortable doing so in the contact center

A complete review of the study’s final results can be found within the research report, Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center: Leveraging the Emerging Channels Research Report and Best Practices Guide.

In addition, ICMI offers a free whitepaper featuring a portion of the study results and presents commentary and related research findings through a recorded webinar and educast.

Source: The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) – www.icmi.com

 

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