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A new White Paper charting current Contact Centre progress in dealing with new media from Genesys finds that while UK contact centres recognise the inevitable rise of multichannel communication, just 27 per cent feel that their agents could process enquiries seamlessly between channels.

The White Paper is based on an independent study carried out in conjunction with call centre specialists ProtoCall One. It involved some 218 respondents in managerial positions and above, from contact centres covering the complete spectrum of UK vertical markets. It looks at multichannel usage by UK contact centres and examines the progress of their customers in moving to use new media channels.

  • The phone is still the main point of contact but the report details the extent to which alternate channels are on the rise – 17 per cent of the respondents were already using mobile apps – but interestingly the White Paper highlights the fact that customers’ use of Web enquiry forms (21 per cent) and more visual media such as Web chat (12 per cent) are also rising. In the current report, social media makes an appearance being used as a secondary channel by 9 per cent.

  • While Twitter rates highly among users of social media, the study found that contact centres still have a long way to go in embracing social media as a customer service channel. 37 per cent of respondents felt that social media is intended for PR purposes, but the majority, over 60 per cent in fact, either did not view it as a viable channel, or were not confident enough to use it as they lacked the expertise.

  • Interestingly, a massive 70 per cent of respondents felt that using the same staff across more than one channel reduced staff attrition.

Keith Wilkinson, Vice President, UK, Ireland & South East Africa at Genesys commented: "Important new developments in communications technology are already available to easily allow contact centres to process their customer enquiries seamlessly, but time spent on workforce management and skills assessing is equally important – dealing with social media and webchat are very different skills from talking on the phone."

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