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Contact Centers Must Go Digital or Die – The benefits of virtual agent models | Forrester & Kelly Services Research

Oracle Service Cloud

Consumer preference for customer service channels is changing across all ages and demographics.

Adoption of digital customer service channels, with an emphasis on self-service channels such as web and mobile, is exploding as consumers expect relevant and seamless omnichannel customer service.

However, firms’ technology and staffing plans are not keeping up with consumer demand for digital customer service.

 Professionals supporting customer service organizations 
must strive to support the delivery of effortless or pain-free service 
and streamline processes to deliver the right answer to a customer question.

This is a win-win for customers and companies alike.

Delivering service efficiently and in line with expectations satisfies customers. Companies are satisfied because costs are contained as this type of service minimizes handle times and customer re-contacts and maximizes first-contact resolutions.

This report outlines communication channel customer use and major gaps in contact center technology and operations. It also provides data that will help application development and delivery (AD&D) pros align operations with customer expectations to garner their satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

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Making Virtual Contact

Virtual Contact 180x180

Virtual contact center agents – and the processes, management style and technology that support them – should not be seen as cost-cutting measures per se. Instead, they are a tool to improve business reaction times and access on-demand capabilities that can, and should, improve service quality.

For some businesses, which are accustomed to the peaks and troughs of seasonal demand, the issue of scalability has been a long-running concern. For other businesses, the productivity and cost-efficiencies of virtual environments are taking on new relevance as economic imperatives apply continued pressure. The benefits of virtual agent models are clear:

  1. Businesses are not required to carry large, extra headcount volumes at the enterprise level
  2. The utilization of each agent is maximized and agents are given the right amount of work
  3. Delivery of quick response times to call volume fluctuations to avert service level crises

In fact, virtual agents in a well-managed technical environment can reduce costs, lower enterprise risk and raise the bar on service quality.

About Karly A.

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