Call Centers in OTC/Consumer Companies Adopting New Channels & Tools

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Consumer Health call centers – and contact centers across various industries – are finding it increasingly challenging to deliver exceptional services. As technology continues to change, leaders must find ways to satisfy customer inquiries and keep up-to-date on customer interaction channel s, all while holding down costs.

Companies are investigating new tools they could adopt in the near future to facilitate agent’s jobs, expand access for social and mobile customers and to increase automation.  Call centers must fully understand the benefits and challenges associated with various technologies in order to meet the needs of customers who are increasingly mobile, increasingly connected, and increasingly impatient with slow service.

From our recent primary research, we found that the following technologies & systems will have a large impact on the way that call centers do business within the next two years:

  1. Social Media: 43% of the OTC segment realize how significant the impact of social media on call center business will be. While social media is gaining traction, benchmark participants see benefits as well as the challenges that these channels pose. The top issues identified by 63% of participants included regulations, privacy, and lack of knowledge on usability.
  2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: A shift to new CRM technology is underway. Our benchmarking study evidenced a trend of companies moving to adopt new CRM technology, in particular, Salesforce.com.
  3. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems:  IVR technologies are drawing interest – with 86% of the OTC segment having reported using IVR to interact with customers. However, only 50% of the calls are directed to IVR systems, while the remaining go to live agents, indicating the under utilization of the systems.

Call center trends in OTC/Consumer companies continue to change, forcing leaders to find the means to modernize their technologies & expand connectivity options. While participating call centers generally agree that social media represents an important customer access channel in the near future, the current rate of adoption widely varies. Understanding which tools and technologies other organizations are implementing can help leaders to better determine which technologies are worth adopting.

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