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New Research from Five9, West Monroe, Equisoft, TechSee, and UJET

Topics Include New Contact Center Emphasis, Life Insurers and Manual Processes, and More

Customer experience research studies

Five9: Contact Centers Are Putting Greater Importance on Employee Experience

Nine out of 10 contact centers are increasing their focus on agent and employee experience (EX) because the role of the customer service representative has changed significantly, reveals a new report from Five9, the San Ramon, California-based provider of an intelligent cloud contact center platform.

In the report, entitled 2022 International Customer Service Index (CSI) Business Decision Makers Survey, the findings show the change in service roles underscored by a number of factors, including a massive increase in customer call volumes, a recognition in the business that more emotional intelligence and empathy are now called for in customer interactions, and a concurrence that agent calls have become longer and more complex. As a result, 50% of contact centers are focused on reducing agent or employee turnover, while 44% are focused on implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to assist agents, the report notes.

The report had additional findings that shone a light on new customer engagement and contact center workplace trends. The trends include the changing nature of the workplace, with the vast majority of employees unwilling to return to full-time work at the office, the growth in use of digital and non-voice channels in customer interactions, and the emerging importance of AI for contact center use.

Conducted every year since 2017, the report surveys business leaders across 17 different industries to assess their views on the state of customer and agent experience. And for the first time, the report this year expanded internationally into Europe and Canada to identify global attitudes and trends. Zogby Analytics partnered with Five9 to produce this year’s report.

Related Article: New Research from Podium, Talkdesk, Smartly.io, SimplicityDX, and Influence Mobile

West Monroe: Further Opportunities Exist for Companies to Fully Align Goals

A new survey finds that while organizations in general are working to secure their digital futures, plenty of opportunities remain for the companies to achieve greater alignment in various aspects of their transformation, including vision, data and technology, and customer engagement. Polling 700 C-Suite executives across seven industries and more than 5,000 consumers, the survey is part of the Be Digital research initiative of West Monroe, the Chicago-based provider of digital transformation and consulting services.

The results of the survey reveal gaps between lofty-minded goals and hard-nosed realities.

In terms of vision, for instance, a whopping 95% have a clear sense of how digital fuels growth, yet only 47% say they possess an effective digital mindset. In the area of data and technology, all organizations give themselves a passing grade for data maturity, but just over half have cloud-based infrastructure, and only 50% use data as a catalyst for change. And in customer engagement, only 37% grade their CX services as an A, but consumers have made it clear that anything less than an A is a failure, with nearly two-thirds of consumers saying that a poor CX would make them jump to another seller.

The survey also published its findings in the areas of products and experience, business operations, and organization and people.

Equisoft: Manual Processes Continue to Hobble Life Insurance Companies

Life insurance companies are in the midst of significant digitalization efforts to meet skyrocketing customer expectations and cultivate business growth, but too many manual processes slow workflows, introduce human error, and degrade CX, according to a new study from Equisoft, the global provider of advanced insurance and digital investment  solutions headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

The study of US and Canadian life insurance providers says the market remains heavily reliant on people to support manual processes, wasting time and often requiring paperwork to be corrected. But while insurers say they are modernizing back-end processes to optimize digital front-end experiences within the next six to 12 months, there are other variables that life insurers must consider as their companies automate underwriting.

“True digital transformation of an insurer’s CX cannot be accomplished just by implementing an eApp solution or self-service portal. Those things are important, but it is critical that old core systems that do not support APIs and struggle to deliver data in real-time are replaced with more modern platforms,” says Brian Carey, senior director at Equisoft. “To catch up to elevated CX expectations, we have to get paper and multiday batch processes out of the system.”

TechSee: Poor CX Makes Customer Churn More Likely

Data from a new report reveals that customers have little tolerance for poor CX, and companies that fail to deliver will struggle to retain customers as markets shift to experience-led growth.

The report from TechSee, a specialist in visual technology and augmented reality based in Tel Aviv, Israel, shows that 80% of customers opted to churn because of dissatisfaction with the quality of service. And while 59% identified ongoing dissatisfaction with service quality as a reason to switch companies, for 21% a single negative experience was enough reason to bail on sellers. A majority of customers would only change their mind about leaving if a company offered a discount (36%) or an upgrade at no extra cost (40%). Such a tactic, however, can make reactive retention strategies costly, the report points out.

The principal driver of poor service is broken cross-channel flows, the report says. Customers churn after having to repeat themselves multiple times when speaking with multiple representatives (31%), or when moving between service channels (14%).

UJET: Businesses Must First Fulfill CX Before Innovating

The most common barriers to CX innovation stem from a fundamental failure to recruit the right people, establish appropriate metrics, and design effective systems and processes, suggests new research from UJET, the San Francisco-based provider of a call center application that integrates with customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. The new research also says that before pursuing transformation, a business must first be able to deliver on basic customer expectations. Only then can it expand to provide the personalized, successful experiences that differentiate a brand from its competition.

The research points out that successful companies seek to hone their core products and processes to reduce the need for customers to make contact in the first place. As a result, innovation in the contact center today is primarily aimed at achieving easier, quicker, and cheaper ways for colleagues to help customers, including better training for agents or improved self-service options for customers.

And although it can be difficult for contact centers to look beyond immediate challenges because of its firefighting focus on day-to-day crisis resolution, failing to evolve and modernize alongside changing market conditions and consumer preferences is a recipe for CX disaster, the report notes.

Related Article: New Harvard Publications Report: Effective Customer Engagement is Critical

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.

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