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Research

Movers & shakers: Talkwalker’s top 10 brands of 2021

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2021 flashed by, and brands across the globe kept the pedal to the metal to stay one step ahead of a relentless year. COVID restrictions eased and then returned, competition in the digital realm was fiercer than ever, and consumer preferences changed in the blink of an eye.

However, there were several brands that excelled against all odds, and these are the brands to draw inspiration from as we journey through 2022.

Click here to see Talkwalker’s top 10 brands of 2021.

Consumers blame banks, retailers and social media for ‘scamdemic’

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Consumers think banks, retailers and mobile operators need to do more to protect them and their personal information from fraudsters.

That’s according to research conducted by Callsign, which says trust in these organisations is eroding fast because consumers say they are drowning in scam messages from fraudsters spoofing brand names daily.

The problem has become so pervasive that consumers don’t trust the technology, processes designed to protect them from fraudsters, and confirm identities with many adamant that users must prove beyond doubt who they are when logging in to use a platform, and that there should be an online identity system to quell the surge of scams.

Stuart Dobbie, SVP, Innovation at Callsign, said: “Our data demonstrates that consumer trust in our digital world has vanished and – rightly or wrongly brands – are being blamed. Yet the sense is that little is being actually done to purposely re-establish digital trust through complete and accurate digital identities.”

The survey of global consumers revealed that over a third (35%) of UK consumers say their trust in businesses such as banks, retailers, mobile network operators and delivery companies, has decreased due to persistent scams spoofing brand names. With UK consumers (44%) asking mobile network operators to do more to stop scammers using their platforms, and over a third (37%) asking the same of banks.

People claim to have received scams through email (76%), SMS (66%), phone (58%), messaging apps (15%) and social media (12%) in the last year. But two fifths (40%) of UK consumers don’t know where or who to report a scam message to, or simply get too many to bother (36%). Almost two thirds (60%) of UK consumers don’t trust organisations to keep their data safe; 44% of UK scam victims react with suspicion wanting to know where fraudsters got their details.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that consumers are calling on businesses to do more to keep them safe and when it comes to stopping fraud and scammers, consumers know what action they want organisations to take. More than a third (38%) of UK consumers think users should have to prove who they are when logging into a platform.

Dobbie added: “With consumers feeling the brunt of perceived inaction by organisations, it’s no surprise that they are asking for more protection. If we continue to be unable to know and trust that the person is who they say they are online, large parts of our society will stop working. Digital Trust is about the confidence we have in the technology, processes and people to secure our digital world. Digital Trust is underpinned by digital identities, and the fact that scams are running wild proves that our digital identities are well and truly broken.”

Students encouraged to consider a career working with data

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Misperceptions about qualification and skill requirements are hindering UK students from pursuing a career working with data, a new study from Experian has revealed.

The research, which surveyed 2,001 UK adults (16+) in education, found over two thirds of students (68%) believe you require key qualifications in maths and / or science in order to work with data. Almost three quarters (72%) also believe that you need specific data skills in order to apply for a data related job.

However, despite the misperceptions, the research also highlighted that over half (53%) are considering a career working with data, including data analysis (29%), data science (21%) and data engineering roles (16%). Men are considerably more likely to consider a career in a data-related field, with 60% doing so compared to 48% of women.

The study follows on from a recent report published by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) which highlighted the UK faces a data skills shortage, with up to 234,000 job roles requiring data skills currently vacant. A lack of talent in the field would severely dent the Government’s ambition for the UK to become a world leader in data, as outlined in the National Data Strategy, so it’s encouraging that Experian’s research shows a healthy appetite from students.

Jonathan Westley, Chief Data Officer for Experian UK&I and EMEA, comments: “The pandemic has shown the growing importance of data and the role it can play in overcoming some of societies biggest challenges. The National Data Strategy is testament to this view, but achieving the Government’s ambitions will continue to be an uphill struggle if there’s not enough talent working in the data industry.

“While it’s encouraging to see that a growing number of graduates and apprentices are now considering a career in data, we need to do more by working alongside the Government to educate and create awareness around data roles with a broader, more diverse range of students. Those in education today are increasingly being driven by the idea of finding a career in which they can make a real difference, and we need to showcase the power of data for good in sectors from healthcare to education.”

Experian is calling on businesses and government to work together to entice more students from a wide range of backgrounds into careers working with data. And the demand is there – the research found that one in five students (21%) said that businesses needed to showcase how people can make a difference to society by pursuing a career in data, and one in four (25%) thought that a renewed focus on data skills and training was needed in the education system.

With 67% of students wanting companies to do more to promote data roles, Experian believes businesses have an opportunity to raise awareness to the importance of data and its crucial role.

UK ‘the most unforgiving country’ when it comes to customer service

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More than a third of people (38%) in the UK felt that their experience with customer service has got worse over the last 12 months, making it the highest figure out of the US and Europe.

That’s according to the Customer Service Index 2021, produced by Five9, which found nearly half of UK respondents (44%) are very unlikely to be willing to do business after poor customer experience – making it the least forgiving country.

And almost two-fifths (39%) of UK consumers have left a brand they were previously loyal to over the last 12 months, with the biggest losers being retail and consumer products (28%) followed by banking and financial services (15%).

Five9’s Customer Service Index looks at what consumers believe makes good or bad customer service. Other interesting points from the research include:

  • Phone is still king: More than half (51%) of total consumers (US and Europe) still prefer the phone as the best means of communicating with customer services. Yet compared with other countries, the UK is most likely to use webchat (20%)
  • When asked the preferred channel for urgent/sensitive issues, the number for by phone increased to 65%. Note that for the UK respondents, that number increased to 68%
  • Over a quarter (26%) of UK consumers are more willing to use social media platforms for customer service than they were a year ago
  • Virtual agents: Two-fifths (40%) of UK consumers are already using virtual agents where available. Nearly a fifth (18%) haven’t yet used them but would if they were available, showing a huge opportunity for contact centres to capitalise on virtual agents
  • The UK is still not ready for video: Over two-fifths (42%) of consumers would prefer not to use a video call with a customer service agent. Whereas in Spain, less than a third (29%) aren’t comfortable

Brian Atkinson, Vice President and General Manager, EMEA from Five9, said: “Our Customer Service Index suggests some correlation between customer service and brand loyalty. Most businesses have faced unprecedented uncertainty over the last 12 months and simply cannot afford to lose customers. It’s therefore essential to get customer service right – especially for UK consumers. To do this it is ultimately about human connection, which is the underlying theme across the survey results. The phone is still popular because consumers want to feel like they are talking to a real person, and are being understood and listened to. Yet, they still expect the same across chatbots and social media. Human connection needs to therefore be at the heart of every communication – even if an actual person isn’t present.”

You can read the full report here.

Contact & customer service centres: 2021 buying trends revealed

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Agent Coaching & Monitoring, Training & Development and Artificial Intelligence top the list of solutions the UK’s leading contact centre and customer services professionals are sourcing in 2021.

The findings have been revealed in the lead up to the Contact Centre & Customer Services Summit, which takes place on September 13th & 14th at the Queens Hotel in Leeds.

Delegates registering to attend the event have been asked which areas they needed to invest in during 2021 and beyond.

A significant 67.9% are looking to invest in Agent Coaching & Monitoring, with 50% sourcing Training & Development solutions.

Just behind were Artificial Intelligence (46.4%), Business Performance Improvement, Business Performance Improvement and Multi-Channel Comms/Integration (all 46.4%).

% of delegates at the Contact Centre & Customer Services Summit sourcing certain products & solutions (Top 10):

Agent Coaching and Monitoring 67.9%
Training & Development 50.0%
Artificial Intelligence 46.4%
Business Performance Improvement 46.4%
Multi-Channel Comms/Integration 46.4%
Online Live Chat 46.4%
Call Centre Technology 42.9%
Workforce Management/Optimisation 42.9%
Home Working 39.3%
Knowledge Management 39.3%

To find out more about the Contact Centre & Customer Services Summit, visit https://contactcentresummit.co.uk.

80% of global organisations expect breaches of customer records

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Trend Micro and the Ponemon Institute have revealed the findings of a study which discovered that 86% of global organisations expect to suffer a cyber attack in the next 12 months.

The findings come from Trend Micro’s biannual Cyber Risk Index (CRI) report, which measures the gap between respondents’ cybersecurity preparedness versus their likelihood of being attacked. In the first half of 2021 the CRI surveyed more than 3,600 businesses of all sizes and industries across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.

The CRI is based on a numerical scale of -10 to 10, with -10 representing the highest level of risk. The current global index stands at -0.42, a slight increase on last year which indicates an “elevated” risk.

Organizations ranked the top three negative consequences of an attack as customer churn, lost IP and critical infrastructure damage/disruption.

Key findings from the report include:

  • 86% said it was somewhat to very likely that they’d suffer serious cyber-attacks in the next 12 months, compared to 83% last time
  • 24% suffered 7+ cyber attacks that infiltrated networks/systems, versus 23% in the previous report.
  • 21% had 7+ breaches of information assets, versus 19% in the previous report.
  • 20% of respondents said they’d suffered 7+ breaches of customer data over the past year, up from 17% in the last report.

“Once again we’ve found plenty to keep CISOs awake at night, from operational and infrastructure risks to data protection, threat activity and human-shaped challenges,” said Jon Clay, vice president of threat intelligence for Trend Micro. “To lower cyber risk, organizations must be better prepared by going back to basics, identifying the critical data most at risk, focusing on the threats that matter most to their business, and delivering multi-layered protection from comprehensive, connected platforms.”

“Trend Micro’s CRI continues to be a helpful tool to help companies better understand their cyber risk,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, CEO for the Ponemon Institute. “Businesses globally can use this resource to prioritize their security strategy and focus their resources to best manage their cyber risk. This type of resource is increasingly useful as harmful security incidents continue to be a challenge for businesses of all sizes and industries.”

Among the top two infrastructure risks was cloud computing. Global organizations gave it a 6.77, ranking it as an elevated risk on the index’s 10-point scale. Many respondents admitted they spend “considerable resources” managing third party risks like cloud providers.

The top cyber risks highlighted in the report were as follows:

  • Man-in-the-middle attacks
  • Ransomware
  • Phishing and social engineering
  • Fileless attack
  • Botnets

The top security risks to infrastructure remain the same as last year, and include organizational misalignment and complexity, as well as cloud computing infrastructure and providers. In addition, respondents identified customerturnover, lost intellectual property and disruption or damages to critical infrastructure as key operational risks for organizations globally.

The main challenges for cybersecurity preparedness include limitations for security leaders who lack the authority and resources to achieve a strong security posture, as well as organizations struggling to enable security technologies that are sufficient to protect their data assets and IT infrastructure.

Customer experience solutions: 2021 buying trends revealed

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Agent Coaching & Monitoring, Customer Insight and Staff Incentives top the list of solutions the UK’s leading customer experience professionals are sourcing in 2021.

The findings have been revealed following the recent virtual Contact Centre & Customer Experience Summit, which took place on July 6th & 7th.

Delegates registering to attend the event were asked which areas they needed to invest in during 2021 and beyond.

A significant 53.3% are looking to invest in Agent Coaching & Monitoring, with 47% sourcing Customer Insight Collection & Analysis solutions.

Just behind were Staff Incentives & Motivation (46.7%), Staff Wellbeing (43.3%), and Call Centre Technology (40%).

% of delegates at the Contact Centre & Customer Experience Summit sourcing certain products & solutions (Top 10):

Agent Coaching and Monitoring 53.3%
Customer Insight collection & analysis 46.7%
Staff Incentives & Motivation 46.7%
Staff Wellbeing 43.3%
Call Centre Technology 40.0%
CRM 40.0%
Online Live Chat Systems 40.0%
Self Services 40.0%
Workforce Management/Optimisation 40.0%
Artificial Intelligence 36.7%

To find out more about the Contact Centre & Customer Experience Summit, visit https://contactcentresummit.co.uk.

DOWNLOAD: 2021 Talkdesk global contact centre KPI benchmarking report

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By Talkdesk

At Talkdesk, we know the importance of benchmarking in driving strategic business decisions. Featuring our proprietary data, the brand new Talkdesk KPI benchmarking report analyzes the impact of the turbulence of 2020 on contact centre performance across five operational metrics applicable to every industry.

What you will learn:

– The importance and benefits of benchmarking.
– How contact centre metrics changed during 2020 compared to 2019.
– How your contact centre performance stacks up against peers across industries, regions and company sizes.
– Tips to optimize your contact centre and improve CX.

Click here To Download

Mobile Learnings for 2021 to Increase Customer Loyalty

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By Pinder Takhar​, Director of Marketing, mGage

2020 was a significant year for business messaging as we saw an upward trend in its usage. It quickly became an indispensable communication channel for brands to stay connected with their customers, keeping them engaged, informed and updated.

Along with an increase in two-way messaging, more businesses started to deploy mobile chat services and automation in line with consumer demands. It proved vital for enterprises to send key and relevant messages to their audience, enabling them to provide a better customer experience during the pandemic.

Taking our learnings from both business communications and consumer behaviours, we found that there were three significant areas of change that are likely to stick in 2021 and something all organisations need to think about.

  • People shopping online (no surprise here)
  • More cost-conscious consumers
  • Digital product discovery

Thinking about the changes, it raises the question what should brands consider in 2021?

  1. Being multi-channel

We know that the use of mobile messaging for one-way and two-way interaction has increased, however there are many more channels out there like Rich Messaging (RCS), WhatsApp for Business and Apple Business Chat, that brands can adopt to make themselves more available to their customers. Allowing consumers to easily reach them or engage in a two-way dialogue, its increasingly important to be where your customers are. According to Edelman, 65 percent of consumers will base their future purchasing decisions on the ways in which a brand communicates with them at this current time. This highlights that customer needs and requirements are more important than ever before.

  1. Use mobile messaging for customer service

Consumers are looking for convenient ways to engage with brands, as 69 percent[i] of consumers prefer communicating with brands over text messaging rather than traditional phone calls. Many businesses have had to adjust over the last year and adopt mobile chat services, however this is an area that is still largely underutilized for customer support. Enabling mobile messaging channels presents various routes for consumers to effortlessly connect with brands: whether it is to receive product support, request information or to resolve an issue. It empowers mobile users to easily initiate a conversation with businesses and provides a customer first approach.

  1. Consumer reach – best time to send messages

It is important to highlight that people’s routines have changed significantly and they are not the same as they were a year ago. Working patterns have changed considerably, flexible hours are more of a norm, socializing has shifted online and many of us are no longer commuting. Before the pandemic, the best times to engage were typical commuting hours and lunch times. However, recent research has shown that there are now spikes around 9am, after lunch between 2-6pm, with engagement then seeming to decrease until the following day. So, it’s important for businesses to review data and try different times if you have not already done so.

  1. Convenience and transparency

Make it simpler for your customers to engage with you, to navigate and find information. With services such as click and collect provide customers with clear instructions, as to where they can collect this from. Set expectations, if there will be delays, be open and honest and make it effortless to change appointments or delivery times. Customers today expect fast and timely responses to their enquiries and a delayed response can often be the basis for a negative review or cancelled service. A report from Forrester Research found that 63 percent of customers will leave a company after just one poor experience and almost two-thirds will wait no more than two minutes for assistance.

To learn more about the emerging new technologies and use cases for mobile messaging, watch our webinar recording to pick up some key insights.

Watch Recording

To find out more information about mGage’s Mobile Messaging solution please contact us.

[i] consumers-prefer-communicating-brands-over-text

Customer experience management market to hit $21.8bn

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The global customer experience management market is projected to reach revenue of $21.86 billion by 2027, equivalent to a CAGR of 13%.

That’s according to data from Fortune Business Insights, which cites the heightened importance of enhancing customer experience (CX) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report asserts that with millions of people worldwide confined to their homes, brands are aggressively looking for avenues to maintain visibility among their customers and cater to their changing needs.

The unusual circumstances created by the coronavirus have forced companies to engage customers in a more meaningful way. For example, the cable provider Comcast deepened its customer experience management by developing short, topical videos powered by an interactive experience for its Xfinity cable service during the pandemic.

In China, a restaurant chain started delivering ingredients for meals usually enjoyed in communal settings at people’s doorsteps, ensuring no physical contact and strengthening its relationship with loyal customers. The variety of novel ideas triggered amid the COVID-19 pandemic enabled the market to register an impressive CAGR of 11.7% in 2020.

According to the report, the value of the market was estimated to be $8.29 billion in 2019.

Furthermore, the report says the proliferation of smartphones, mobile applications, and other smart devices has triggered a massive digitization trend among businesses. Enhancing CEM through virtual platforms and online portals has become one of the core strategies adopted by companies to foster long-lasting relationships with their customers.

However, with private customer information being available online in most cases, the threat of data breaches has escalated in recent years. Hackers are targeting digital platforms to extract critical data and sell them on the black market. For example, in April 2020, over 500,000 accounts on the teleconferencing platform Zoom were breached and then sold on the dark web by cyber-criminals.

Similarly, in India in January 2020, Unacademy, the popular online education platform, experienced a massive data breach, exposing more than 20 million accounts containing customer information related to email addresses, payment history, passwords, and usernames. The constant exposure of delicate information to cyber-attacks may inhibit the customer experience management market growth.

In 2019, the North America market size stood at $2.81 billion, and the region is expected to lead the market during the forecast period due to the speedy digital transformation of businesses in the region. CXM companies across the US and Canada are actively adopting and deploying customer experience management solutions powered by advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Thus, the market in North America is foreseen to progress at an incredible pace.

Asia Pacific is strengthening its hold on the customer experience management market share as a result of the broadening presence of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) among enterprises in India and China. In Europe, on the other hand, the increasing number of call centers is expected to propel the regional market.