Contact Center Software can Balance Agent-Assisted and Self-Service Channels

Omnichannel is hot. Artificial intelligence (AI) is hot. Both are hot topics when it comes to contact centers and customer experience. They introduce new channels and vehicles to interact with customers. The reality is that in order to deliver exceptional customer experiences, you need your contact center software to balance the need for agent-assisted and self-service channels.

In our new 2018 Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark, the insights were clear on the importance of both.

Omnichannel Service and Satisfaction

Consumers want true omnichannel customer service, and service that’s seamless, convenient and quick. But, only 35% are highly satisfied with their experience.

  • 9 in 10 consumers want true omnichannel service — they expect a seamless experience when moving from one communication method to another, such as phone to text or chat to phone
  • Only 35% of consumers are highly satisfied* with their experience, regardless of channel and country surveyed

Usage of Agent-Assisted, Self-Service Channels

Customer service agents remain vital to delivering exceptional experiences, with phone comprising 49% of all interactions. Consumers across all regions use agent-assisted channels twice as often as self-service.

  • 68% of all interactions were agent-assisted
  • 49% of all consumers surveyed used phone in their most recent interaction**
  • 83% of customers that used self-service channels, also, separately, used gent-assisted channels
  • 61% of customers that used agent-assisted channels, did not use any self-service methods in the last 3 months

Our research was conducted in the US, Australia and the UK, with regional insights showing:

  • In the US, self-service use almost doubled from 17% in 2017 to 31% in 2018
  • 32% and 34% of all interactions, in the UK and Australia respectively, were via self-service channels
  • Phone and chat are used more frequently in the US than in UK and Australia; email is more utilized in UK, and company website is more utilized in Australia

As you venture into support omnichannel interactions and leveraging the latest in AI, it’s important to take such insights into account to ensure that you are delivering the types of channels, interactions and experiences your customers expect. Your contact center software should be able to support the combinations your business requires and help you ensure that you’re meeting customer expectations both in terms of how to interact and in the experiences they expect.

For more insights, download the full 2018 Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark.

** Respondents reported channel used for their two most recent service experiences