TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION CONCERNS AND LACK OF RESOURCES HOLDING BACK DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
A lack of co-ordination across departments, low availability of resources and concerns over technology integration are frustrating organisations in their attempts to digitally transform their customer contact experience, according to the latest research from CCA Global in association with KCOM.
The research among CCA members covered not only the potential barriers preventing organisations from being more digitally enabled, but also the current status of digital technology adoption plans. The survey also looked at the importance of digital technologies in supporting improved customer experience and the wider impact on the organisation of becoming more digital.
Respondents identified a number of issues that they felt were significant in relation to their digital transformation efforts. Co-operation between departments was identified as extremely significant or significant by 95% of respondents. Resources (people, technology and expertise) and budget allocation were identified as extremely significant or significant by 91% of respondents.
Worryingly, 45% of respondents reported that digital transformation is likely to require significant cost and effort due to the likely challenges associated with integrating existing systems and infrastructure. Inflexibility of current processes and systems was identified as an extremely significant or significant issue by 89% of respondents. Difficulty in integrating technologies to deliver a unified customer experience was also a significant or extremely significant issue for 83% of respondents.
From a strategic perspective 23% of respondents reported their organisations had implemented digital technologies on a tactical basis without a long-term strategy. A further 13% were in the process of formulating their digital plans. This more tactical approach to deploying digital capabilities may be explained by the fact that less than 1 in 5 (17%) of respondents reported that they have a flexible contact centre platform that allows the easy deployment of new digital functionality.
“Some of these issues may well be diluting the appetite of organisations to take full advantage of the benefits digital transformation can bring to contact centres,” said Anne Marie Forsyth, CEO, CCA. “Despite the fact that 46% of respondents said a digitally transformed customer experience could be a real opportunity to differentiate their organisations and leapfrog the competition, it seems that integration worries across the company are holding back these projects.”
“Organisations that embrace digital technology have the opportunity to innovate and steer their customer service strategy for the future,” said Stephen Long, executive vice president, at KCOM. “And typically contact centres are well placed to capitalise on this opportunity, which makes the fact that just a quarter of contact centres have a strategy for digital transformation surprising.
“Beyond the use of social media integration and virtual web assistants, there appear to be limited signs of ambition. For example, 35% of respondents had no plans to take advantage of cloud technology. Such inaction is a big risk to take, especially when engaging with a partner such as KCOM could help overcome many of these integration challenges.”