Business Technology

“The digital customer engagement revolution is here – adapt or die”

3 min read

25 February 2015

Former deputy editor

Companies that ignore digital customer engagement including web chat, social media, text, smartphones, apps and video within the next two years risk losing customers to tech-savvy rivals.

The report from IT services firm Dimension Data covered 72 countries globally and produced this stark warning: “The digital customer engagement revolution is here, and is forcing organisations to adapt their customer service strategies, or die.”

It urges businesses that are slack in digital communications to embrace the miscellaneous platforms to engage consumers or risk losing customers to competitors.

The data found that digital (non-voice) traffic is set to rise in 87 per cent of contact centres over the next two years, while voice-based telephone communications with agents will decline 42 per cent in the same time. 

In addition to the telephone, customers are set to commonly embrace up to seven different digital channels.

Adam Foster, Dimension Data’s group executive of communications, said: “This represents the biggest change in the contact centre business in 30 years, and has profound implications for the way organisations deploy technology to deliver and manage customer service.

“That’s not to say that contact centres are dead, and customer service agents will become redundant. That’s definitely not the case. The reality is that their scope has been broadened, and the types of interactions that are happening via the telephone where an agent is required, are becoming more complex and more critical.”

However, it seems there’s still a lot of work to be done from the businesses – 74 per cent of contact centres expect the total number of transactions to spike, with digital largely fuelling the growth, and though 75 per cent of companies recognise digital is a game-changer, customer satisfaction has fallen for the fourth year running, according to the study.

Read more on the adoption of digital services:

Foster added: “Organisations will need to focus on getting their staff highly skilled and putting systems in place to enable them to answer customer enquiries immediately. 

“Because voice is often the channel of last resort, this is where the moment of truth really happens. If agents can’t resolve the customer’s call, it will reflect badly on the organisation, and could lead to the search for an alternative supplier.”

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