What do contact centre pros really want?

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We at Aspect recently took part in the annual CC Expo event at London’s Olympia convention centre. This is something we do every year, and it’s a great chance for us to connect with other professionals in our industry, do a bit of networking, and find out what people are really talking about.

That’s why in between hobnobbing and listening to industry experts delivering their keynote speeches, we always try to find time to get a flavour of the big issues concerning contact centre professionals. One of the ways we do this is by running a short survey of those who come up to our stand.

This year, we asked 100 professionals for their thoughts on the contact centre environment and where they see their company going in 2017. And a couple of key themes emerged from the results which I think give a fascinating – if not entirely surprising – insight into where the priorities will lie in the near future.

Seamless experiences the key

One of the standout findings of our survey was that improving customer experience and making the process of interacting with a contact centre as easy as possible is a top priority for the industry.

Some 63 per cent of respondents agreed that creating a seamless experience across multiple channels was a goal for their business. This compared with 43 per cent who named improving first contact resolution rates, and 34 per cent who were interested in delivering better routing of interactions to the most relevant agent.

In many ways, this demand for a better experience isn’t surprising, but it’s still pleasing to see that so many professionals are recognising the impact today’s omni-channel environment is having in the contact centre market.

After all, in a world where switching between smartphone apps, laptops and phone conversations is as natural as breathing for many people, it’s vital that companies provide the same high level of service across all these options – and, perhaps more crucially, allow them to move from one to the other without any interruption or repetition of details.

Good solutions lead to better productivity

Of course, while being able to offer a seamless experience is great for customers, it also makes processes within the organisation work better, which was also something that was reflected within our survey.

A staggering 94 per cent of respondents agreed that improving the integration of customer contact channels leads to better agent productivity. If an agent has the right information at their fingertips gathered from a customer’s previous actions on another channel, they won’t have to repeat questions, leading to faster resolutions, happier customers and, by extension, happier staff.

Businesses still uncertain over cloud

Elsewhere, we also wanted to get a feel for what contact centres are thinking about cloud solutions, and on the whole, there’s still some uncertainty surrounding on the topic. While 26 per cent of respondents said they were planning to adopt new cloud-based solutions in the next 12 months, 43 per cent were still undecided on the technology.

This suggests many professionals are still unsure about the benefits of the cloud, and may be delaying decisions until they have a better understanding of what it can do for them. On the bright side, it seems many of the initial concerns surrounding security and privacy are on the wane, as less than ten per cent of people said these worries were putting them off cloud.

However, once businesses do start using the cloud, they tend to embrace it fully. Nearly one in five respondents said they expect between 91 per cent and 100 per cent of their contact centre to be based in the cloud next year.

What our survey showed is there’s great demand for solutions that are easy-to-use and offer a better experience to customers – and with more people looking to get in touch through a variety of different channels, addressing this is something that’s going to be more important than ever in 2017, so you’d better be ready.

Find out more about cloud contact centre solutions and how they could transform your business