Australian contact centres are becoming increasingly complex with responsibilities ranging from being the first point of call for consumers, driving sales and embedding marketing strategies. A progressively consumer-centric marketplace places greater pressure on contact centres to implement innovative solutions and achieve greater market share at a lower cost. Research has indicated the biggest challenges facing today’s Australian contact centres:
Engaging the workforce and lowering turnover
Contact centres have one of the highest workforce turnovers of any industry with a full-time agent turnover of 19%. This is not only a drain on resources through recruitment and training, but likely to result in poor customer service. Frontline agents are a company’s brand ambassadors. Disengaged staff or even new recruits are less likely to deliver the customer experience required to remain sustainable in this competitive landscape.
The Australian Contact Centre Benchmark Report revealed optimising agent performance to be a strategic objective of 41% of contact centres, while 24% were focused on improving agent engagement. Centres are seeking workforce management (WFM) and optimisation solutions to facilitate forecasting, scheduling, intraday management, and business continuity planning.
Integrating technology between the contact centre and wider organisation
Among the top challenges cited in delivering excellent customer experience is the lack of cooperation between departments and inflexibility of current processes and systems and a lack of integrated IT systems and forward planning.
Technology upgrade and implementation is a strategic objective for 48% of centres, and a main strategic objective of 17%, placing a huge demand on technology consultants and integration services.
Breaking down data silos and leveraging the potential of analytics
Most contact centres operate as a silo from the rest of the business, and sometimes are comprised of silos themselves. Silos encourage behaviours that are of benefit to the silo itself, rarely the business as a whole. Just as silos affect people negatively, so too do they compromise the opportunity offered by data. Contact centres are hubs of customer information, yet this data often remains segregated without being used to inform the wider organisational strategy.
Centres are embedding solid foundations of data management, storage software and security measures to equip agents with real time data and feed back big data to the wider organisation.
Enabling mobility and agility through cloud technology
If contact centres have not already moved to the cloud, it is now a priority given the advantages offered by removing the need for users to be connected to the same network. Cloud-based solutions have the capability to deliver business value faster. Without incurring significant development costs.
Cloud implementation, however, is not without its challenges. Training programs, communication and shifting the focus of IT resources require dedicated strategies. To combat these, centres are investing in mobile solutions and credible cloud providers to assist them on their journey.
Attracting and retaining consumers through a seamless omni-channel experience
As consumers, we now expect to be able to connect with businesses through the medium of our choice- face to face, phone call, SMS, live chat, email, social media and website. While these channels are relatively simple to set up, the challenge lies in ensuring information is consistent across channels and that the data received through one medium is available through all. However 55% of Australian contact centres have not implemented social media tools, 49% don’t have an email management system and 31% are still planning to implement a web chat application.
Improving customer experience is a strategic objective of 73% of contact centres. Centres are seeking personalisation solutions, multi-channel vendors and strategic consultants.
The Delivering Customer-Centric Contact Centres conference, draws together contact centre leaders to discuss key themes including:
- Leveraging analytics to get insights that drive strategies to provide optimal customer services
- Positioning your contact centre in the centre of your customer-centric culture program
- Optimising omnichannel strategies to provide consistent services
- Enhancing workforce engagement to increase productivity and efficiency
- Balancing in-house and outsourcing to drive down costs while keeping service quality high
Running in Sydney from 27 – 29 November, don’t miss the opportunity to be position as a leading solution provider in this dynamic marketplace.