An Empirix (News - Alert)-sponsored LinkedIn survey, conducted in early summer, featured a commissioned research “Ensuring Quality Customer Service: To 'Pray' is Not the Way.” The study had more than 1,000 international technology and contact center professionals provide feedback on whether their customer service systems are delivering superior service or not.
According to the assessment, most contact centers don't do enough to prevent the technology failures that degrade customer interactions. The study reveals how, rather than using automated tools, some would go as far as “dial for dollars” (call manually) to discover if their own customer service systems are providing top-quality services as they incorporate telephony, information systems and interactive voice response (IVR) systems.
For those that may not already know, an IVR unit uses a software application that accepts a combination of voice telephone input and touch-tone dial selections, via computer telephony integration (CTI (News - Alert)), which can provide pre-recorded voice responses without human intervention. It has been used in contact centers when agents have to handle high loads of calls. Such a system allows service providers able to access the recorded messages when ready to serve those callers too. In short, it is the customer service technology solution that has helped a company’s call center be successful and provide an approach in making sure that they are keeping their customers happy.
The survey also shows how many managers and executives across multiple industries have invested in technology to proactively identify and resolve problems with customer service systems (e.g., dropped calls and disconnections, poor voice quality or broken conversations, incorrect call route transfers), or do nothing and pray everything works fine. In many cases, it was evident how many companies don’t know how to realize the maximum return on the investments they made, according to Tim Moynihan (News - Alert), vice president of marketing at Empirix.
He also mentioned that such technology (IVR systems) for the call center is of no concern for some businesses, as such operations are being outsourced.
Nonetheless, in spite of his statement, the study recorded that 20 percent of companies adding new technology to their customer contact centers simply wait for customers to complain or only test the effectiveness after following up on a major upgrade rather than proactively carrying out a test and check for quality of services.
Moynihan, in fact, believes that companies do have the habit to invest in customer service technology (i.e., purchasing the needed hardware and software), but are not viewing quality assurance as part of the equation. Furthermore, they lack of pre-deployment testing and ongoing monitoring; this can reduce the returns on companies' investments in customer service technology, Moynihan said.
Other notable findings uncovered from the business managers and executives report an inconsistent approach to testing and monitoring of the systems in contact centers. It unveiled that 18 percent do not bother with monitoring or will occasionally do it only to check for voice quality. The majority (68 percent) never test the voice quality in their contact centers with only 14 percent reporting they do it continuously.
The research mentioned that as much as 31 percent of companies are investing in monitoring technology to keep their customer service systems running smoothly; 45 percent rely on manual methods.
As for contact center testing, as many as 62 percent of the contact center professionals declared they would conduct testing on upgrades manually by having employees randomly evaluate different aspects of performance; on the contrary, only 18 percent use automated testing which provides the most consistent and reliable intelligence, Moynihan said. “Automated testing can validate the system thoroughly, from end to end, but few companies use it,” he added.
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