Changing customer behaviour impacting on contact centres
A contact centre market survey exploring changes in customer behaviours in the past year and to examine the impact of these changes on the industry shows that more than half of respondents have seen significant new demands on their operations, from the method in which customers contact them to when they contact them. The shifting demands have spurred these organisations to adapt their business strategies to support the new customer experience. The five major changes in the Noble Systems survey are:
- Increase in Self-Service
- Shift in Communication Channels
- Changes to Peak Service Times
- Rise in Multi-skilled Advisors
- Modifications in Agent Training Method
One survey respondent shared their experience, saying: “We have been surprised by the unusual times that their customers are communicating. Where our peak traffic used to come between 8am to 8pm, volume has moved to more self-serve behaviour, with more requests received overnight and between 1am and 3am. We have seen a definite shift to more 24/7 demand and on more non-voice channels”.
Contact centres are learning how to navigate the new landscape, such as the increasing desire amongst consumers for omnichannel contact, or using interchangeable channels to communicate, whether for ongoing conversations or a one-off request. Automation such as IVR and chatbots provide benefits to customers and contact centres, speeding service delivery whilst removing routine tasks from agent queues, so they can handle more complex issues. Workforce Management has been key to forecasting for changing traffic peaks and helping centres make sure they have the right people in place at the right time to answer customer enquiries. Employee engagement is a critical need in the shift to remote working, and many centres are showing an increased interest in Gamification tools to keep agents up-to-date on new information and connected with their team and their goals.
Chris Hodges, SVP of sales & marketing at Noble Systems, said “There’s no doubt that 2020 was a difficult year for many organisations, and one of the strangest that we have seen in our 30+ years as a contact centre technology provider. We had to ensure that our solution was agile enough to meet the changing demands of our users, particularly as the pandemic hit. Our current focus is on helping our clients find new ways to improve their customer journey and ensure that they have the tools in place to adapt to the demands of the ever-changing behaviour of their customers”.