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Survey data shows that how global businesses are assessing and tackling customer support challenges from contact volumes to channel management.

Creative Virtual, a leader in customer experience self-service solutions for global enterprises, today released the findings of its first survey on customer support challenges in the global market. The survey posed questions related to customer support goals, current practices, future intentions and technology usage in the customer service market.

The report is titled “2013 Global Customer Support Outlook Survey,” as it reflects global views on how companies are tackling the customer support experience. This includes present challenges, budget allocations, contact volumes, and current/planned usage of technology to augment their customer support efforts between 2012 and 2013.

“It’s important to gain perspective on how companies are assessing the customer experience by taking a look at where they are dedicating time and resources,” says Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO of Creative Virtual. “The data starts an intriguing dialogue amongst organisations if they can identify gaps and opportunities in their customer playbook and act accordingly.”

TOP GOALS FOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT

With contact volumes increasing across channels, companies worldwide put customer experience at the top of their list rating several key goals as extremely important. The top five goals for EMEA are:

1. Improve customer experience (68%)
2. Resolve customer inquiries faster (55%)
3. Increase usage of self-service tools (40%)
4. Increase customer engagement (40%)
5. Reduce call and chat volumes to live agents (38%)

Results in North America were similar except obtaining better data replaced contact volume reduction as part of the top five goals.

1. Improve customer experience (79%)
2. Resolve customer inquiries faster (60%)
3. Obtain better data for measuring customer satisfaction (55%)
4. Increase usage of self-service tools (49%)
5. Increase customer engagement (40%)

“These sentiments provide insight as to how businesses are executing against their key goals as it relates to specific challenges within the customer support channel,” says Chris. “The survey explores how companies are responding by revealing how increased contact volumes fuel the need for a multichannel strategy, budget allocations, and newer technologies such as virtual assistants to manage the customer experience.”

BARRIERS TO ACHIEVING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE GOALS

• In EMEA, 45% said that communicating the strategic importance and managing content were their biggest challenges in building a strong customer experience programme.
• In North America, 58% said a lack of budget was their biggest challenge in developing a strong customer experience programme.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT BUDGETS WILL LARGELY STAY THE SAME; SOME WILL INCREASE

• In EMEA, 38% will maintain the same budget while 30% planned to increase their customer support budgets.
• In North America, 44% will maintain the same budget while 29% planned to increase their customer support budgets.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT VOLUMES ARE INCREASING IN MOBILE, SOCIAL AND IVR CHANNELS

• In EMEA, 42% saw an increase in volumes in their mobile channel. While 48% currently use mobile as a customer support channel, 19% said they had no plans to use it in the next 12 months.
• In EMEA, 36% noticed an increase in the IVR channel. 52% are currently using IVR and 32% have no plans to use IVR in the next 12 months.
• In North America, 29% saw an increase in mobile and IVR channels, but 21% and 18% respectively said they had no plans to use these channels in 2013.

VIRTUAL ASSISTANT TECHNOLOGY IS ON THE RISE

• In EMEA and North America, 1/3 of the respondents said they currently use or plan to use virtual assistants as part of their customer support strategy.
• In EMEA, 70% currently use virtual assistants on their home page and in their customer service section.
• In North America, 81% planned to use virtual agents on their website in their customer service section while another 38% plan to use virtual agents with live chat.

To determine the customer support outlook for 2013, Creative Virtual surveyed 176 respondents via an online questionnaire fielded from April 2013 through May 2013 representing companies worldwide. The complete results can be downloaded here: http://info.creativevirtual.com/UKcustomersupportsurvey

About Creative Virtual

Creative Virtual is a leader in self-service customer experience management solutions for enterprises. Global organisations like HSBC, Verizon, CA Technologies, E*TRADE, Lloyds Banking Group, Renault and National Rail Enquiries rely on our technology to optimise their customer support, sales, marketing and call centre teams, reduce costs, increase online sales, and achieve operational excellence across mobile, web, and social media channels. Since 2004, Creative Virtual has built the most advanced technologies in knowledge management, natural language processing, and virtual assistants to help businesses deliver intelligent, personalised customer experiences that reduces email and call volume, builds brand loyalty, and increases customer engagement at a lower cost per conversation. Delivering accuracy of over 90% and call deflection of up to 50%, our platform is the most compelling self-service product in the world today.

For more information about Creative Virtual solutions, products and software, please visit our website at http://www.creativevirtual.com.

Contact:
Mandy Reed
Email: press@creativevirtual.com

Published on: 10:30AM on 6th November 2013