USAN Sponsors ICMI Research Program on Customer Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center

Atlanta, GA August 12, 2012—United States Advanced Network (USAN) has announced the availability of a research report on how emerging channels can be used to improve the customer experience.  The report, “Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center: Leveraging the Emerging Channels Research Report and Best Practices Guide” was sponsored by USAN.

The research was conducted and the report was prepared by The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) to explore the impact emerging customer communications channels have on customer engagement within multichannel contact centers. Based on key findings and study results, the report also identifies best practices for implementing and optimizing cross-channel customer support.

“We collaborated with ICMI on this research to help contact center executives better understand how emerging channels like mobile and social media are impacting customer service and self-service,” said Loyd Olson, Chief Operating Officer at USAN. “This report provides timely metrics and best practice recommendations that can help organizations develop an optimized multichannel support strategy.”

The study results were analyzed from a 2013 second quarter poll with over 300 participants including call center executives, directors and managers. Their input suggests that channels such as social media, mobile, and advanced self-service help shape and improve the customer experience, first contact resolution and customer engagement.

Findings from the research study include:

  • Only 25% of companies feel their customers are extremely engaged in their brand
  • 90% of customers find the features of social customer service extremely useful or somewhat useful
  • 93% of customers would be MORE satisfied with customer service if they were offered their channel choice
  • Self-service is said to increase deflection rate or lower volume to other channels by 57% of study participants
  • Agents use social media personally, but don’t feel comfortable doing so in the contact center

One important observation about the report from Sarah Stealey Reed, Content Director for ICMI was that agent happiness has a direct impact on the overall customer experience. “Happy and engaged agents don’t just create happy and satisfied customers; they can create extremely engaged customers”, Reed said. “Our research shows that only 25% of companies feel their customers are extremely engaged with their brand.”

The complete report “Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center: Leveraging the Emerging Channels Research Report and Best Practices Guide” is available for purchase at the ICMI website.

In addition, USAN and ICMI offers a free whitepaper featuring a portion of the study results and presents commentary and related research findings through a recorded webinar and webcast.