Results indicate leading service organizations are building new pathways to better service quality, scalability and cost
NEW YORK, May 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- In its sixth biennial publication, Deloitte Digital announces its release of the "2023 Global Contact Center Survey," which highlights trends that have transformed the landscape of contact center operations. In the past two years, work-from-home programs have become integral, as has the adoption of cloud technologies to support remote work. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics continue to expand the horizons of possibility for intelligent automation, self-service, agent enablement and more. Today, pressures of a slowing global economy and the tight talent market are challenging conventional thinking and rewriting the playbook for effective, efficient customer service.
"The 2023 report was very clear. Post-pandemic impacts on technology enablement, talent acquisition and retention and an enhanced customer experience mean that processes for constant improvement, scalability and change management need to be baked into every aspect of contact center operations," said Timothy E. McDougal, managing director at Deloitte Digital, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "Connected customer experiences across all channels, with the right balance of technology and human solutions will depend on the customers you serve, industry norms and other considerations."
Additionally, the report found that a desire for always-on, instant access self-service options continue to influence how customers want to engage. And the ever-rising expectation for individualized service experiences impacts why — and even if — customers choose to become loyal to a brand.
The biennial survey highlights trends across talent initiatives, cloud-based solutions and channel orchestration. Below are a few key findings on these topics:
- Operations and talent retention
- Sixty-three percent of contact center leaders said they face staffing shortages, forcing contact center leaders to be more creative and proactive in finding and hiring agents and, especially, to retain those they already have.
- Sixty-nine percent of surveyed organizations — compared to 34% in 2018 — still have a work-from-home program in place, with 73% expecting to have a work-from-home program in place within two years.
- Eighty-six percent of leaders said they expect to raise starting wages in the next two years, an approach which has proven to be successful in filling open positions with remote employees.
- Fifty-eight percent of service organizations are currently outsourcing at least some portion of their needed agent capacity; that percentage is slated to grow to 64% in two years.
- Transforming operations through technology
- Even in the face of economic uncertainty, 50% of companies said that modernizing infrastructure is a top investment priority, and 1 in 3 said that deploying agent-enabling technology is a top priority.
- In the past two years alone, the number of organizations that have moved analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), knowledge management, interaction recording and workforce management systems to cloud has increased by approximately 50%.
- Three in 4 companies will have cloud-based interactive voice response (IVR), interaction recording and CRM systems within two years and 2 in 3 will have cloud-based automatic call distribution (ACD).
- Two in 3 companies expect to use an external partner for conversational AI and/or CRM management within the next two years.
- Seventy-four percent of organizations are currently at some stage of testing or deployment of customer-facing chatbots.
- Voice/text analytics usage has increased from 62% in 2020 to 81% today.
- Elevating customer experience
- Channel investment remains a high priority, with 69% now saying they plan to expand (or keep expanding) their service channels in the coming two years.
- Connected, consistent experiences are critical for building trust, according to customers. Only 7% of the contact centers that offer multiple service channels are able to transition customers between channels seamlessly by providing data, history and context to the next agent or system.
- Nine in 10 leaders will invest in additional self-service capabilities in the next two years, with a goal of driving customers to conversational IVRs, interactive FAQs, virtual agents and/or chatbots.
"Customer and talent expectations have shifted greatly thanks to accelerated efforts to modernize contact center technology and deliver more seamless customer experiences," said Dounia Senawi, Deloitte Digital chief commercial officer and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "By adapting to changing circumstances and embracing new technologies such as AI automation and self-service options, businesses enable contact centers to deliver exceptional customer experiences and gain a competitive advantage."
This is the sixth publication of "Deloitte Digital's Global Contact Center Survey." Over the past 12 years, Deloitte Digital has conducted a biennial survey of contact center leaders to better understand their priorities, challenges and opportunities. Deloitte Digital surveyed global contact center executives between November 2022 and February 2023 regarding the current state of their businesses and what they perceive their business will be doing in the next two years. Respondents represented contact center and customer experience executives in service and sales organizations across industries and around the globe, covering B2B, B2C and internal help centers.
For more details on the future of contact centers and customer experience in 2023 and beyond, access the full report here.
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SOURCE Deloitte Consulting LLP