Thursday, 18 February 2016 15:37

Omni-channel engagement for the best returns

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In this increasingly customer-centric world companies turning to omnichannel engagement are reaping huge benefits in both return on investment (ROI) and total economic impact (TEI).

A study conducted by Forrester, a global, independent and objective research-based consultancy, on behalf of Genesys, a leader in customer experience and contact centre technology showed some amazing outcomes.

Its customers achieved a 158% return on investment over five years along with business improvements including e-commerce sales conversions, increased customer engagement and agent productivity – most saw an ROI in less than 13 months.

The key findings include:

  • 50% reduction in customer abandonment at key points in the customer journey
  • Over 1 million in increased revenue through increased e-commerce and voice conversions
  • 50% cost reduction to integrate new contact centre agents
  • 12.5% improvement in agent handle time
  • 12.8-month payback period

“The study demonstrates the value of a modernised customer engagement strategy using an omnichannel engagement centre to improve revenue, lower operational costs and increase employee satisfaction,” said Reed Henry, Chief Marketing Officer at Genesys. “The Genesys Customer Experience Platform powers this next generation customer engagement solution, acting as the system of engagement across the journeys in the customer lifecycle to deliver personalised, omnichannel experiences.”

Read on for more about omnichannel engagement centres.

Customers are increasingly technology-empowered

Customers are increasingly digitally savvy, social media-minded, mobile-first, and demand an intuitive and seamless customer experience. As the number of channels and customer touchpoints have skyrocketed and customer expectations for simplicity and personalised service have expanded, companies need a system of engagement that offers a unified and consistent approach to engage with their customers.

Organisations are now building the next generation of customer engagement that takes the perspective of customers over time, across journeys and the entire customer lifecycle, spanning contact centres, websites, mobile apps and social networks.

Forrester identifies the need to engage customers across all technology touchpoints as a necessity in the “Age of the Customer.” Technology-empowered customers now know more about products and services, pricing, and reputation than ever before. The only way to win, serve and retain customers is to become customer-obsessed.

“Using the Genesys solution, enterprises can improve customer experience, agent productivity, and efficiency of customer service across all digital and voice touchpoints, channels and journeys. They accomplish this while significantly reducing technology and personnel costs,” according to the lead author of the study Liz Witherspoon, Senior Consultant, Total Economic Impact, Forrester Consulting.

Benefits for the organisation as well

Forrester showed that organisations would benefit from moving from a traditional call centre approach.

  • 40% improved agent handling time
  • 38% reduced infrastructure costs
  • 17% reduced headcount (mainly due to self-service channels)
  • 3% increased revenue through improved conversion rates
  • 2% reduced the cost to integrate new call centres

But as iTWire discovered in an interview http://www.itwire.com/business-it-news/business-technology/71502-omni-channel-contact-is-a-paradigm-shift.html yesterday with Genesys’s ‘Chief Product Geek’ Merijn te Booij, there are a lot of ‘first concepts’ out there especially in the finance sector where service becomes a differentiator. Growth areas like online banking and e-commerce are rapidly implementing omnichannel as it has become a customer expectation here.

It appears that one key advantage is moving to industry standard hardware and software. A quote from an SVP of a global contact centre sums it up. “We wanted to lighten up all of the physical forms of connectivity from a hardware perspective and virtualize as much as we could. So that was when we made the leap from a truly physical infrastructure-heavy environment to a lighter and more virtualized [one]; over half of our servers are virtualized, which helped from a cost savings perspective. And that was a huge win from a Genesys perspective because it got us away from all the proprietary hardware. And the maintenance fees were also extremely expensive on the infrastructure we had ― it was just inefficient. We wanted to gain efficiencies in how we deliver the calls to the agents, making sure that we had the best call agents to handle the call without having several calls all over the place.”

Comment

Omni-channel is the buzz word for any customer facing business. It is clear that call centres are moving away from the old ‘computer telephony interface’ to fully integrated digital e-contact environments where customers can use the channel of their choice to engage with a company.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw [email protected]  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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