Every company says it cares about customer service – what company wouldn’t? Of course, in many cases this is simply a marketing tactic designed to make the company look good. How can we really tell if a business places high value on the customer experience?
One good indicator is the amount of attention a company pays to its contact center technology. Companies that regularly monitor, test, and improve their contact center platform and services are clearly taking the extra steps to ensure a quality customer experience. A recent LinkedIn (News - Alert) survey by Empirix, however, suggests that most companies are, in fact, not taking these steps. TMCnet sat down with Empirix Director of Marketing Tim Moynihan at SpeechTek in New York to discuss the results of the survey and the why companies need to do more.
Responses from more than 1,000 international technical professionals suggest that many companies just sit back and hope their contact center technology works. As Empirix (News - Alert) describes it, “Most companies do nothing, pray, or ‘dial for dollars’ (call manually) to discover whether their customer service systems are delivering superior service.” For example, 20 percent of companies wait for customers to complain before reassessing new customer service technology, while 62 percent only test their upgrades manually, choosing random aspects to evaluate.
Moynihan explained that automated testing offers far more insight and is both a consistent and reliable way to proactively indentify problems with customer service systems. Regardless, only 18 percent of survey respondents use it. What’s worse, less than a third test voice quality in their contact centers, automatically or otherwise. Insofar as contact center performance monitoring is concerned, a slightly higher 31 percent utilize automatic solutions, while a full 45 percent only do so manually.
Having agents or customers repeat themselves or be forced to call back in response to service issues is a major contributor to a negative customer experience. Recent studies have shown that 34 percent of callers who hang up do not call back, and 83 percent of customers have not completed an intended purchase because of a poor customer service experience in the past year. Moreover, poor contact center systems lead to more dropped calls, misrouted calls, and inaccurate information gathering. This frustrates both customers and agents alike, leading to wasted time and resources.
This underscores the need for comprehensive contact center quality monitoring and analysis. Pre-deployment testing allows companies to validate each network and system component from end to end in preparation for real-world traffic loads. Real-time performance monitoring, meanwhile, can ensure that contact centers stay proactive with voice quality issues and provide them with a complete view of system performance at any given time.
“The survey identified a huge disconnect between investing in customer service technology and knowing how to realize the maximum return on that investment,” said Moynihan. “Companies are committing significant sums to purchasing the hardware and software, but they’re not viewing quality assurance as part of the equation. There seems to be a lot of talk about superior customer service, but this survey shows an inconsistent approach to testing and monitoring these systems.”
Empirix hopes to help companies lacking in this area by providing end-to-end network performance visibility through testing, monitoring, analytics and intelligence solutions. With such solutions in place, businesses can indeed follow through on their proclaimed commitment to customer service.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson