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Research

MULTICHANNEL SERVICE & SUPPORT

2010 State of Multichannel Customer Service 

How are North American enterprises performing in single-channel and multichannel customer service today? What do the latest research studies from Forrester and eGain indicate? How does it compare to 2009? What are the hot trends for 2010 and how can you ride them to out-innovate your competition, while controlling costs. Industry sectors evaluated in the research include Communications, Consumer Goods, Financial Services, Healthcare, Insurance, Pharmaceutical and Retail sectors, among others.

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State of Customer Service in the Communications Sector 

The communications sector has seen a rapid explosion of technologies with convergence and “multiple play” reconfiguring the industry and the competitive landscape. Products and services are getting commoditized at a breakneck pace, while Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and operating margins continue to erode. Macroeconomic volatility makes these challenges even more daunting. Furthermore, the balance of power has shifted to consumers with information ubiquity and reduced switching barriers, and communications companies are struggling to manage business consolidation and customer service quality in an environment of increasing M&A’s.

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State of Customer Service in the Retail Sector 

Online commerce around the world continues to grow at a fast clip. In the US alone, Forrester Research projects that online commerce will grow 21% to $204B in 2008, compared to 2007. European online retail sales increased 58% in 2007, compared to 2006, and the trend is expected to continue in 2008. However, the retail industry is also one of the most competitive sectors, affected by economic cycles and cut-throat competition.

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State of Customer Service in North America 

60% of North American businesses get “below average” or “poor” scores in assessment of single-channel, cross-channel, and cross-agent customer service, as measured by a new holistic metric, Service Quotient™ (SQ).

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An Aberdeen Group report: Industry Best Practices in Service Contact Centers and Support Desks 

As manufacturers in a variety of industries vie for competitive edge, they are placing increasing importance on service and support. The front line of service and support for most organizations is a call center that provides technical support to end users. Support is often provided by phone, but organizations are increasingly using technology solutions, including web based capabilities, to automate the first line of support. This report examines the strategies and approaches businesses in multiple industries are taking to successfully diagnose and resolve issues in the call center.

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Multichannel Service and Support Executive Survey Report 

Supportindustry.com and CRMindustry.com recently conducted a survey focusing on multichannel customer service and support—its importance, the current state of the industry, and challenges in implementing and managing it.

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State of Customer Service Research in the United Kingdom 

Customer emails continue to increase, but 44% of major UK companies simply ignore email customer service and 80% fail to answer questions within 24 hours. Performance shows worsening trend over the last two years.

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EMAIL CUSTOMER SERVICE

Email Customer Service in North American Small and Medium Businesses 

Based on the State of eService Benchmarking Series™ study conducted by BenchmarkPortal, sponsored by eGain.

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Email Customer Service in the United Kingdom 

Email Customer Service in the United Kingdom eGain put the email management of 250 of the UK’s largest retail, financial services, travel and automotive organizations to the test.

Key report findings:

  • Only 48% of companies tested responded to an email within 24 hours
  • 8% – responded to emails within 1 hour
  • Less than 20% of companies sent any form of acknowledgement, a very simple tool used to set customer expectations and maintain interest
  • Retailers take an average of 10 hours longer to respond than the other sectors tested
  • Travel companies were least likely to offer any form of email contact (11% provided no email address or web form)
  • Automotive companies have the worst record for dealing with emails

Travel and financial services are the most likely to reply within 24 hours, with retail most likely to respond overall (only 26% failing to respond).

 


VIRTUAL AGENTS

eGain’s Virtual Assistant Wins High Marks in Usability Study 

Customers of Large European Bank Prefer Internet “Bot” to Live Customer Service Representatives.

The usability study was commissioned jointly by eGain Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: EGAN), a global provider of eService software, and a large European bank. It was conducted by The Usability Company, an independent research firm, with the primary goal of determining how the bank’s customers would react to eGain’s virtual assistant.

The participants in the study, all but one of whom had been using the Internet for at least three years, not only liked the experience, they overwhelmingly preferred the eGain virtual assistant to telephone-based customer service. In contrast to the long periods of time spent waiting on hold and the uneven quality of service the participants associated with call centers, the virtual assistant’s responses were perceived as quick, accurate and

READ TEN TIPS FOR SUCCESS THAT EMERGED
FROM THE STUDY