By Barton Goldenberg, ISM Founder & President
The millennials are the “Always on, Always connected” generation who basically feel that it is an organization’s responsibility to communicate with them via the right channels and with the right responses through a variety of channels in a Contact Center. All organizations will have to figure out a way to meet this expectation as the millennial generation becomes the dominant group within the worldwide workforce and marketplace.
Here are some key statistics concerning Contact Centers:
- 77% of Contact Centers are expected to grow in size within the next 12 – 24 months (Deloitte).
- By 2016, cloud-based Contacts Centers will grow to 20 million seats (DMG Consulting).
- Since 2008, organizations adopting multi-channel Contact Center solutions grew from 52% to 64% in 2013.
At present, the growing trend is for organizations to have their clients communicate via multiple channels. Thus, it is imperative that organizations modify their Contact Center approach to meet this need. A 2013 Deloitte survey of 35K IT decision makers further bolsters the need of organizations to provide multi-channel Contact Centers as demonstrated by these statistics:
- 92% of organizations focusing on customer experience offer multiple contact channels.
- 85% of respondent organizations support multi-channel customer interactions.
- 33% of Contact Centers provide social media contact channels.
I predict that the percentage of Contact Centers providing social media contact channels will grow to over 80% within the next few years.
This concept of multiple channels comes together through a Social CRM framework in which data from public (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and private social communities (Lithium, Jive, Mzinga, etc.) can be filtered to understand what social community participants are saying about an organization (e.g., likes, dislikes, etc.) for social insight. With such social insight, organizations have access to the emotional or sentimental views of a constituent towards the organization’s product/services. Organizations can then use the social insight for customer engagement in multi-channel Contact Centers.
As Contact Center agents are the front line of an organization, the right processes and tools for these agents will be crucial for an organization to succeed in its Contact Center efforts. The integration between multi-channel Contact Centers and CRM is now a ‘must-have’ for organizations as a means to compete successfully in today’s marketplace. To tie these two together, leveraging social insight into an integrated Contact Center and a CRM system as a means of harnessing the sentimental/emotional thoughts of customers/prospects concerning the organization will be the next wave for the CRM industry. Gone will be the days that organizations will simply react to their customers’ actions. Rather, as organizations will be more knowledgeable about their customers’ actions and sentiments toward their products/services, they will be proactively driving the dialogue with them – a win-win scenario.