Genesys Study Indicates Growing Popularity of Self-Service Applications Among Call Center Executives and Consumers
A recent study commissioned by Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories revealed that self-service customer interaction systems are quickly becoming a standard method of communication between organizations and customers, and consumers are demanding and expecting easy-to-use, sophisticated technology to expedite their customer service inquiries.
More than 200 North American customer service executives and 300 consumers participated in the self-service study, lending insight into how leading contact centers are using self-service technologies to help organizations maintain relationships with customers. Key findings from the study, along with anecdotal insight from both management and consumers, are available in the report, "Contact Center Realities: Industry Insights for Success with Self-Service."
"This industry study confirms that self-service is a valuable tool for call center management and also indicates that consumers are growing used to - and preferring - self-service applications for getting questions answered and issues solved," said Wes Hayden, CEO, Genesys. "The study provides valuable insight about customer expectations for self-service via the telephone and Web, providing a useful tool for contact center manager to identify how to reduce costs and better serve their customer base."
Hayden noted that call center managers are continually looking for ways to improve customer service metrics and build brand loyalty. As technologies, such as advanced call-routing and virtual contact centers, help contact centers lower operational costs, the savings often are reinvested into better servicing customer inquiries.
The study's key findings include:
- Customer Experience a Top Priority - 60 percent of executives say meeting customer expectations and improving the customer experience is a greater priority than reducing costs. According to the study, executives rated self-service as the most important business priority, with most indicating that the greatest value of self-service is its ability to make an organization more accessible to the customer. Seventy-three percent of executives rated self-service a high or very high priority for their business.
- Speech Applications Increase Customer Satisfaction - Automated voice self-service has become a key tool for meeting customer service demands and reducing costs. The study revealed that 42 percent of organizations already have deployed speech recognition, or are developing their first application. A notable 85 percent of consumers think speech recognition works satisfactorily or very well, and 65 percent prefer voice self-service to touchtone self-service. As a result, 62 percent of organizations using speech recognition have seen an increase in customer satisfaction.
- Consumers Prefer Self Service for Routine Requests - There is a growing comfort and preference of self-service capabilities with consumers. Consumers polled in the study indicated a preference for self-service systems, particularly for routine customer service activities (such as checking an account balance). With increased use of the Web and other self-service technologies, consumers now expect quality self-service as a standard customer service offering.
The research study also reports on other areas of call center usage, such as customer experiences with contact centers and self-service applications, company inhibitors to self-service investments and the use of the Internet to meet customer service demands.