This is the third in our series of briefings on the USAN-sponsored report, “Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center” by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI). Previously we noted the de facto presence of multichannels in everyone’s business strategies, and we summarized the alternatives – adjuncts really – to the traditional inbound telephone customer contact centers.
The ICMI report goes on to recognize the importance of emerging multichannels, but nevertheless observes:
“While…the customer preference for using the telephone is strong, organizations must still understand how the other channels are perceived and where their evolution is heading.”
The report prioritizes those “other channels” – social, mobile and self-service – as widely recognized by industry as “necessary channels and competitive differentiators.” (Competitive differentiators is jargon for, “They compete, but they offer a different approach to achieving the same or similar results.”)
In its section titled “The Top Three Emerging Channels of 2013,” the report highlighted the three top competing multichannels, based on their research. Their survey asked the question, “Do you feel that [one of the three multichannel resources] as a customer service channel is a competitive differentiator?”
The three channels and the customer responses were:
Highlights of each response:
Finally, what are respondents’ plans for multichannel adoption? When asked, “Do you plan to add [one of the three multichannel resources] within the next 12 months?” here were their responses:
So whatever “sticks” will obviously be part of the multichannel mix, where the traditional telephone contact with a live person will continue to play a prominent, but not exclusive role in call center strategy.
The complete 30-page report is available for purchase at the ICMI website.
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