Every business today, the pundits tell us, must undergo a digital transformation to survive and prosper in the future.
This means embracing and exploiting digital technologies to the full in every aspect of the business. Including, of course, customer service and cloud contact centres.
Delivering a good digital experience has become a mantra for businesses in almost every industry. Trouble is, it seems customers are not impressed.
Not all digital experiences are created equal
IT industry research firm Gartner surveyed 4,000 consumers in the UK and USA “to understand consumer adoption, value realisation and attitudes toward technology-enabled (ie digital) services.”
Gartner says its survey sought to gauge consumers’ engagement with and reactions to common digital use cases across 11 industries.
These digital use cases included actions such as placing a retail order, submitting a service request to a bank, purchasing life insurance, paying a government bill, and checking the status of healthcare benefits.
The specific elements of total digital experience probed were consumers’ level of trust, perceived ease of use, and benefits received, such as saving time or money.
Gartner’s conclusions were not encouraging.
“Across all industries, at least 84 percent of consumers say their experiences with using digital tools and services fall short of expectations,” Gartner reported.
Banking was the industry that fared best, but even then only 16 percent of respondents rated their digital experiences in the top quartile of Gartner’s rankings.
Room for much-needed improvement
Gartner reported: “Among consumers who have used the digital services we asked about, 26 percent (banking) to 49 percent (government) rate their perceptions in the lower two quartiles of our index, leaving a lot of room for improvement.”
Brad Holmes, Managing Vice President at Gartner, said the results were a wake-up call for Chief Information Officers. “CIOs must get together with their CMO, customer experience, business unit and product leaders to revisit and reset the current digital experience priorities and projects in light of these insights.”
Not surprisingly, Gartner found millennials to be the most enthusiastic users of digital services, but they were also the least happy with their experiences.
Holmes suggested this might be because baby boomers’ and other older generations’ longer experience with digital services has made them more immune to poor ease of use, “Or they have become resigned to doing what it takes to get value one way or another.”
Avoid digital for digital’s sake
It’s true that organisations need to adapt to the way their customers prefer to interact with them, but not simply by jumping on the latest fad. Your customers are restless and so are the technologies they use; and the organisations who are most successful in customer service and transforming customer experience look deeper. They focus on core business objectives which go beyond just Customer Experience. They also address other traditional objectives such as cost savings, agent productivity or perhaps security and compliance.
At Premier, we support these technologies, and our platform supports most channels across text and voice. But we’ve gone one step further and asked the question, WHY? Why are consumers engaging through so many channels? What’s driving that change? We believe that the simple answer is the adoption of the smartphone. Most calls coming into call centres now come from a smartphone. And that’s just calls. These devices are also used to browse your websites, to chat, to text, to email, to post, tweet, snap, crackle and pop! At Premier, we’ve reimagined the customer contact experience for customers who call from their smartphone. We’ve done this by introducing a series of integrated channel agnostic workflows:
- that deliver a better customer experience using the unique capabilities of smartphones; these devices can serve up rich content beyond just voice such as text, images, video and websites
- that are more engaging for customers and easier to understand when dealing with complex matters; and
- are innovative in that they are not being used in this way by most contact centres.