Contact centres fail to satisfy

Friday, 25 June, 2010

Avaya has revealed that the likelihood of businesses in Asia-Pacific to lose customers who are dissatisfied with their contact centre interaction to the competition in 2010 is as high as 47%. 10% of dissatisfied respondents said that they had already switched their business elsewhere. These figures come from the annual Avaya Contact Centre Consumer Index 2010 report generated by and commissioned by Avaya. It surveyed 1797 consumers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Japan.

Respondents were asked about their overall satisfaction with their last call to a contact centre. A good 69% said they were satisfied while18% said that they were dissatisfied. Australia topped that list with close to a quarter (24%) of dissatisfied respondents. Across the region, respondents who did not feel strongly happy with their last interaction with a contact centre blamed the inability to resolve their problem or because it took too long to resolve their call. Singapore was the only market where respondents felt that a long holding time was the primary reason why they were unhappy. 36% of all respondents regard poor customer service as a key factor in switching to a competitor.

“We have conducted this survey with Avaya for three years and the trend is clear,” said Dr Catriona Wallace, Director, “There is a strong and growing correlation between a customer’s contact centre experience and their loyalty. Indeed, in Asia-Pacific, a customer having a single poor contact centre experience results in a 47% chance that the customer will move his or her business to a competitor. These are compelling results confirming the strategic importance of the contact centre,” she added.

A quarter of all respondents (24%) believed that a quick response time is what a company’s contact centre should offer to them to be rated truly excellent. This is an increase from 21% a year ago. Other determining factors are politeness (13% of respondents vs 10% a year ago) and having access to a knowledgeable customer service representative (10% of respondents vs 14% a year ago). The most significant driver of customer engagement in Asia-Pacific is the ability for the contact centre to resolve the customer’s enquiry during the first call or contact, which is technically known as first call or first contact resolution.

“The 2010 Contact Centre Consumer Index shows what consumers want when they call into a Contact Centre,” said Chong Win Lee, Avaya APAC Contact Centre Solutions Leader at Avaya. “Organisations must tailor customer service strategies to meet the requirements of an increasingly demanding customer base. If a company understands the level of service its customers expect and enables this through the channels and technology the consumer wants to use, the business can truly differentiate itself by being a customer service leader - meaning better retention and new customer acquisition.”

Avaya 's share of the contact centre applications in Asia Pacific is 23.6% as reported by Frost & Sullivan in its Asia Pacific Contact Centre Applications Market CY2009 report.

General improvement from the 2009 index

Regionally, 41% of respondents felt that there was an improvement in contact centre service since the previous 2009 index was calculated. However, 28% did not agree that it was the case, with South Pacific markets surveyed tending to be negative. 54% of respondents in Australia did not think that there was an improvement against 13% who agreed that there was. It was the same observation in New Zealand with 43% against 25%. On the other hand, the survey showed that there was a marked improvement in contact centre service in India and Malaysia with 77% and 62% of respondents respectively agreeing.

It is alarming to note that 44% or close to half the respondents regionally thought that interacting with contact centres is always problematic. Over half in Australia (61%) and Singapore (55%) thought so. Japan bucked the trend with only 18% sharing that perception.

Consumers in Asia-Pacific are receptive to view information about their enquiry by using video streaming, but less inclined to speak with a customer service representative via video streaming. 58% of respondents would be happy to view information via video streaming while only 29% would likely engage in a video conversation with a customer service representative.

SMS, on the other hand, is far more acceptable to consumers in the region. 73% of respondents would be happy for companies to proactively contact them via SMS for updates on essential information. 51% of respondents also said that they would be happy to interact with an organisation through a social networking site to receive customer service and product information.

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