Growing Number of Businesses in EMEA Moving to Omni-Channel Customer Care
September 28, 2015
According to research recently conducted by Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert), the Europe, Middle East, and African (EMEA) business market is moving towards omni-channel customer care. On-premises solutions are still popular and growing, but the report suggests businesses should be open to customer care solutions in the cloud.
Frost & Sullivan surveyed 408 respondents from the EMEA region. The question as it relates to customer care channels the question was: “What proportion of your customer interactions currently take place in each of the following channels?”
The available options were:
- Live agent-voice
- Web self-service portal
- Social media
- Mobile app
While phone calls with an agent are still popular, they are not the most popular communications method in the EMEA region overall. A plurality of 28 percent of interactions with customers occurs through e-mail. In Russia, the plurality is stronger as it approaches majority territory at 44 percent. Email is also common in the Nordic sub-region, at 31 percent.
The second most popular method of customer interaction in EMEA, coming in at 23 percent, was by voice call with a live agent. This is the most popular interaction method in the Nordic sub-region, at 33 percent. In the U.K., this was also the most popular interaction type, at 25 percent.
A global economy that has been relatively slow to recover has caused many businesses to hold off on major investments in contact center technology. As a result, on-premises systems continue to be a strong market. Solutions providers continue to support installed systems, allowing their customers to wring out as much value from the investment as possible.
Frost & Sullivan advises such companies tied to older systems to at least be open to the idea of a cloud-hosted contact center. They could save money on maintenance costs. The firm also suggests that while vendors are willing to support older systems right now, the influence of the cloud is so strong globally, that they will eventually have to move to that environment.
The report from Frost & Sullivan really makes two strong suggestions. In addition to being open to cloud technology, it also serves as a reminder that customer culture has changed and if the only way you support customers is over the phone, these customers will feel inclined to walk away and go with a competitor. This is especially true if there is little perceived difference in the quality of your products and/or services.
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Edited by Peter Bernstein