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Survey sheds light on contact center deployments

Next two years expected to bring strong growth in non-voice interaction vectors with e-mail, Web self-service, and Web chat expected to lead the way

Convergence & VoIP Alert By , Network World
July 30, 2010 02:46 PM ET
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Network World - In concert with Avaya's recent launch of new and enhanced products and services based on Avaya Aura designed to improve real-time, multi-media communications, Webtorials released some survey results about user requirements for contact center deployments based on research made possible by Avaya. The survey responses were collected this summer from individuals who rely on, or support the contact center, or exert purchasing influence over contact center operations -- representing a variety of deployments, company sizes and industries.

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Among the key findings: Contact center professionals expect the next two years to bring strong growth in non-voice interaction vectors with e-mail, Web self-service, and Web chat expected to lead the way. However, respondents expressed strong uncertainty about the exact contours of future methods for communication in contact centers. Perceptions of current contact center service quality vary dramatically between operators and users of contact centers. Contact center operators believe they deliver superior care and that their end customers are mostly happy with their care; however, those who use contact centers disagree. The perceived capability to provide customer satisfaction and experience management in real-time dramatically lags their perceived importance.

Not surprisingly, voice conversations continue to dominate as the most common media for external customer interactions, although respondent data suggests that multimedia formats ranging from e-mail to SMS to chat and even to video will grow in importance as communications media over the next two years. While 14% of voice agents also "extensively" handle multimedia communications today, that percentage is expected to grow to 22% of agents in two years who will extensively also offer e-mail, Web service, Web chat, SMS, IM and social media communications to external clients.

Perhaps the most startling finding of the survey: 60% of contact center professionals thought their clients would rate their communications experience as "good" but only 20% of real clients agreed that they received a "good" experience. Some 55% of customers found their Contact Center experience had been "adequate."

To download the research for free or to add comments on the survey to the Webtorials blog, please click here. Our thanks to Webtorials and to Avaya for sharing these results.

Read more about voip & convergence in Network World's VoIP & Convergence section.

Steve Taylor is president of Distributed Networking Associates and publisher/editor-in-chief of Webtorials. Larry Hettick, an independent analyst and consultant, is a 30-year industry veteran. He has covered VoIP and UC at Network World for 12 years.

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