Social media will have a deeper role in damage control to raise customer satisfaction, and probably recommendations, as call centers shift into contact centers that integrate email, the Internet, and other sources, according to the Call Center Satisfaction Index (CCSI) of customer satisfaction analytics firm CFI Group.
Released at this year’s IQPC Call Center Summit, the latest CCSI marks the sixth straight year that CFI Group surveyed customer service users to study factors that affect satisfaction in call centers.
More than 2,300 people participated in the 2012 survey, which found that non-call service methods – email, Web self-service, chat, and online techniques – now account for almost one-third of customer service engagements.
Terry Redding, director of development and deliver for CFI Group, said call centers now cover all grounds online to be contact centers.
While email and Web self-service account for most of non-call channels to customers, social media now play a key role in contact centers – thanks to Facebook’s more than one billion members.
The firm said the valuable role of social media is its focus on damage control, instead of acting as a primary service channel.
According to the study, customers who engaged with and received follow-up from a contact center through social media about their experience had final satisfaction rates almost 20 percent higher than those who did not receive a follow-up, and thus the chance of consumers recommending the company who followed up rose by almost 15 percent.
With the continuous evolution of human communication, the social media movement will have a deeper role in customer engagement.
The 2012 CCSI sample showed that 91 percent of people who shared their experience with others – now 47 percent of the time, up from 45 percent in 2011 – used social media in various forms to share, and Facebook accounted for 33 percent of the shares among social media channels.
The study also covers the drop in offshoring: only 9 percent of call centers offshored in 2012, compared to its heyday at 15 percent in 2008.
While the offshoring percentage fell, the CFI Group noted that satisfaction with offshore centers rose by 20 percent.
Two actions explain the increase in satisfaction ratings: the proper relegation of calls to offshore locations, and an approval for the enhanced training demanded by offshore centers.
The rise in satisfaction scores during the past year follows a slim drop in 2011, as key drivers extensively helped push satisfaction levels to 77 points (100-point scale), and no driver accounted for a disproportionate increase.
Redding said the improvement is partly due to the continuous growth and adoption of progressive technologies, such as advanced call handling, knowledge management, scheduling, and voice/text analytics.
The CFI Group believes that companies are raising the bar to hire or keep competent managers and professionals who handle the service function, Redding added.
Banking, casualty insurance, property, and retail companies – all coming from a drop in 2011, had the most improved satisfaction index scores last year.
Personal computer companies had the only drop – a decline of one point – in satisfaction ratings among the sectors that the firm studied.