February 05, 2013
Well-Designed Mobile Apps, Self-Service Can Limit Demands on Contact Centers
By Tracey E. Schelmetic
Despite the boom in multichannel choices customers have today for contact the companies with which they do business, they generally still prefer a voice call with a live agent. This doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t highly value well-designed self-service channels, or that they don’t welcome proactive outbound contacts from service providers.
These options are likely to boost the customer experience. In fact, majority of customers would recommend their service provider to family and friends relevant, proactive notifications from their provider and had simple self-service apps on their mobile device, according to a new study.
An extra bonus is that they may reduce call center traffic.
Customer experience solutions provider, Amdocs (News - Alert), announced this finding and others from a global consumer survey that explores the link between proactive care tools, customer satisfaction and call center traffic.
The study, conducted by analyst firm Coleman Parkes, attempted to find the link between proactive care tools, customer satisfaction and call center traffic.
According to Amdocs and Coleman Parkes, the ready availability of simple self-service apps and proactive notifications boosts the Net Promoter Score, a standard measure of customers’ willingness to recommend service providers to family and friends. The higher a customer’s NPS, the more satisfied s/he is, and the more likely that customer is to act as a brand advocate for a given company.
“The Net Promoter Score…is directly correlated to customer satisfaction, retention and service provider profitability," said Ian Parkes, director and cofounder of Coleman Parkes, in a statement. "The survey shows that the provision of proactive care and self-service apps would be a highly effective strategy for helping service providers to increase their NPS and reduce the burden on the call center. But, according to our study, consumers feel that service providers need to improve the online experience with a more consistent and personal service.”
The study found that 84 percent of consumers surveyed said they would be more likely to recommend their service provider if the provider was able to identify and preemptively resolve potential issues affecting them; 83 percent said they would be more likely to recommend their provider if they were offered easy-to-use and consistent self-service via their mobile device.
Of course all proactive notification systems are not created equal, and a poorly-designed one can do more harm than good. The study found that 73 percent of consumers said proactive notifications at present were not useful; and 24 percent of all notifications resulted in a call to the contact center, adding to costs instead of reducing them.
Of the consumers who use mobile self-service apps, 78 percent said they are hard to use.
The right types of solutions should be easy to use, personalized and consistent with other customer service channels so they decrease the demands on call centers rather than increase them, said the companies.
Edited by Braden Becker