Web chat tops customer service technology wish list

27th Jan 2015

While some have prophesised the widespread introduction of video support, wearables and drones to the customer service ecosystem this year, it seems professionals in the sector are more pragmatic in their tech investment aspirations for the coming 12(ish) months.

According to Business System’s Customer Service in 2015 report, web chat tools are now top of the support professional’s technology wish list, with 32% of customer service professionals ranking live chat as the most desirable solution requirement for their contact centre this year.

Customer feedback and web self-service solutions also rank highly, with 26.9% of the study’s 1,000 respondents desiring more feedback tools to aid their job and 26% self-service.

Interestingly, more traditional solutions such as quality monitoring tools were still rated as desirable for 25% of respondents, despite the perceived widespread adoption.

Steve Morrell, Founder and Principal Analyst at ContactBabel commented on the results, stating: "the most popular technologies on people’s wish list for 2015 are not all new. Agent coaching, quality and performance tools have been around for a long time, but the changing nature of contact centre work - more complex, longer calls as well as increasing multichannel work - means traditional ways of measuring success and quality are changing.

“There are some newer technologies as well - notably web chat, which is rapidly growing in popularity with customers, although it as yet only accounts for less than 3% of inbound interactions. It does offer a somewhat cheaper alternative to telephony, especially if it can mix virtual (automated) and live web chat, and is a quicker option than email.”

Despite currently accounting for a relatively low intake of inbound interactions, data from ContactBabel in October highlighted that web chat was in the midst of a period of exponential growth in terms of usage, with an increase in live chats of 60% through 2013/14, a total of 250 million chats being conducted and a rise of 300% since 2011.

Business System’s respondents placed voice biometrics and gamification as the least desirable technology for current investment, despite the publicity both technology types have attracted in recent months.  

However, voice biometrics solutions are still relatively new to the contact centre environment, having seen much of the early uptake in the financial sector, while gamification technology has experienced more of a rocky road in its journey into the contact centre.

Last year Gartner predicted that 80% of gamified applications would fail to meet business objectives by 2014.

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