4 Contact Center Reports Worth Your Time

Now that Game of Thrones has ended, you’re probably thinking, “What should I do with all of the extra time I have now?” Allow me to suggest something: It’s a great time to catch up on industry reading. There’s a large (metaphorical) stack of reports to go through here at Fonolo HQ, so let’s dive in!

Below are four reports that we think are really worth your time. We are grateful, as always, to the companies that sponsor these reports and make them available to the public. Having this info out there helps the industry engage in better conversations and, ultimately, bring better products to market.

If you haven’t read the reports from our last round-up (in February) you can find the list here. In addition to today’s batch of four reports, please check out our new re-issued report on managing call spikes in the contact center.

Ventana’s Value Index for Cloud Contact Centers (2018)

Who wrote it: Ventana Research

Where to get it: Here.

About: This report stands out because it is not sponsored in any way. The authors write in their intro that the goal is to evaluate “maturity” and “appropriateness to deploy, manage and maintain” cloud-based contact centers. It’s interesting that they differentiate themselves from other analyst firms in this way: “Unlike IT analyst firm reports that use subjective influences to score vendors, our research is based on thorough analysis of customer assurance and product categories that best represent how an organization should evaluate its technology supplier.”

Read more about the migration of call centers to cloud here: “Data Dump: Update on Call Center Cloud Migration”

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CCaaS (2018)

Who wrote it: Gartner

Where to get it: Here. (Sponsored by Talkdesk)

About: Vendors eagerly await every release of Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant” for their industry segment. Gartner evaluated 10 companies this year and placed them on its famous grid of “Completeness of Vision” vs. “Ability to Execute”, which you can see below.

For the first time, Gartner is including AI as part of their assessment although, it seems, somewhat reluctantly. They state, “AI is currently a hot topic … [but] for contact centers is not new. Conversational speech … has been used successfully for some 11 years … conversational AI or chatbots are still at a reasonably early adoption stage … However, we see many more examples of automated voice and digital conversations than we did a year ago … [so] we are now considering this technology as a key aspect of CCaaS applications.”

Read more about keeping AI in perspective here: “New York Times Op-Ed Mentions Containment Rate”

CCW’s Future of the Call Center (2019)

Who wrote it: Brian Cantor, CCW Digital

Where to get it: Here.

About: The team at CCW Digital turns out some great reports. They are part of the same organization that puts on the Customer Contact Week conference in Vegas. (If you’re going this June, find us at the Fonolo booth!).

They had some tough words to say about chatbots in this report. First, in their “Principal Findings” they wrote that “Despite the hype surrounding self-service technology, 64% of organizations believe customers should have easy access to a live agent.” Then, in a section titled “Bots without clear concern for the customer,” they wrote: “Bots are supposed to represent the customer-centric alternative to the anti-customer self-service platforms of the past. Unfortunately, the misguided approach to bot investment has undermined that objective. By chasing the technology rather than the outcome, organizations have implemented bots that either come across as shiny but hollow toys or actually harm the customer experience.”

We were also thrilled to see “Virtual Queue/Callback” the fourth highest priority under “Contact Channel Investment Priorities”!

Our favorite chart:

Read more about assessing chatbots here: “How to Think about Chatbots in a Big Picture Kinda Way”

Read more about virtual queuing and call-backs here: “Survey Shows Call-Back Deployments Have Doubled in Some Regions”

Aberdeen’s The Intelligent Contact Center

Who wrote it: Omer Minkara, Aberdeen

Where to get it: Here. (Sponsored by Talkdesk)

About: The subtitle of this report is “Outpace competitors by continuously enriching your contact center platform”; this describes the author’s focus well. 445 businesses were surveyed and assessed based on five performance measures: Customer retention, customer satisfaction rate (CSat), first contact resolution (FCR), agent utilization rate, and average handle time (AHT). When businesses are ranked based on these measures, the top performers use more than twice the number of technology providers compared to their peers.

The study concludes that an aggressive approach to new technology pays off in better overall business performance. (Although, one has to allow that this is may show correlation rather than causation.)

For more about empowering agents see: “Calling all Call Centers: Confessions of a Tech Support Agent”

 

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