What Contact Centres are Doing in 2018

Those very clever people at Call Centre Helper have just produced a fascinating report following a survey amongst 350 contact centre professionals – the aim is to capture a snapshot of exactly what contact centres are doing right now!

Some of the stats that intrigued us the most included;

  • The NPS fad is fading! Down from 36.1% to 32.8% since 2017 as an important metric
  • AHT isn’t an overly important measure anymore – down 6% from last year, with just 27.3% rating it as an important metric
  • Average contact centre spends over two-fifths of its time on administrative tasks (41%)
  • 93.1% of contact centres rate Csat as THE most important metric
  • 69.8% rate First Contact Resolution (FCR) as 2nd most important metric
  • Livechat contacts are on the increase – yet very little focus on quality of customer experience through this channel
  • 74.3% of contact centres expect Speech Analytics technology to increase in next 5-10 years
  • Multi-skilling agents is still key to employee engagement, rising from 80.7% in 2017 to 84.5% in 2018
  • There are fewer initiatives being offered to engage and empower agents this year (like investing in them through training!), down from 61% in 2017 to 48.8% this year
  • Self help videos are growing in popularity – since 2016 there’s been a 24.3% increase in no of organisations creating self help videos for customers
  • Rest of the business still has a poor perception of their contact centre, seeing them as a cost centre rather than an investment centre, with a drop from 64.5% to 53.7% seeing them as a ‘source of customer insight’ and an increase in seeing them as ‘a nuisance’ up from 7.4% to 9.4%
  • VoC / Csat technology is on the decrease from 59.8% to 58.5% in last year and fewer contact centres are surveying Voc, down from 66.6% to 58.5%
  • 4 out of 5 contact centres see cost as the biggest barrier to crating a world class customer service centre (80.6%) an increase of 3.8% since 2017
  • Other barriers include staff shortages (up from 24.5% to 35.3%) broken processes; the need for new technology and conflicting business priorities
  • Only 11.2% of contact centres rate ‘lack of agent engagement’ as a barrier to creating a world class customer service centre – so clearly, frontline staff WANT to be empowered to deliver better customer experiences!
  • 46.2% of contact centres said that call lengths have risen this year, compared to 17.9% saying they’d got shorter in call duration
  • 77% of contact centres blend their channels, with inbound voice, email and outbound voice being the 3 most commonly blended channels
  • Messaging is the new kid on the block – a rise to 15.7% using it as a blended channel
  • If contact centres had a magic wand to improve ONE thing in their centres, highest ranking improvements are around:
    • 1. ‘Refining customer serve’ including removing inefficient processes & unnecessary customer calls caused by Failure Demand, soft skills training of frontline staff & training to enhance EQ levels
    • 2. ‘Upgrading technology’
    • 3. ‘Improving company interactions and communication’
    • 4. ‘Assist staff’ with agent skills development and training, providing proper training space and training tools, and opportunity to provide more real-time coaching to frontline staff
  • Livechat is set to be the next mainstream channel say 40.2% of contact centres while email as a channel plummets to just 3.6%
  • Messaging apps are gaining in popularity with 22.5% of contact centres looking to install platforms such as WhatsApp, Messenger and ManyChat over the next year
  • Almost half of contact centres (46.4%) say there have NO plans to operate their contact centres with homeworking in the foreseeable future
  • Interaction (Speech) Analytics is definitely the new-new kid on the block with improvements in FCR being seen as the biggest benefit of Speech Analytics (SA) with 27.5% of votes
  • They also consider Failure Demand (to properly identify Root Cause Analysis) is much easier with SA technology because it’s easier to investigate why certain contact types require multiple contacts
  • 74.3% of contact centres predict that take-up of SA technology will rise over the next year
  • Almost 30% of contact centres DON’T adapt a coaching programme tailored for individual advisors (sheep dip approach)
  • 36.7% of contact centres wish to have automated chat or “Chatbots”, with 24.7% seeing voice recognition / conversational AI as a self -service tool
  • AND self-service AI is set to soar in the coming years, although Self Service is NOT generally integrated…and 2/3rds of contact centres don’t provide an escalation path for self-service when things go wrong….

If you’d like to read the full report with even more findings and insights then you can download a free copy from the Call Centre Helper website HERE!

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

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