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Communications and financial services companies lead other industries in type and depth of contact center technologies implemented


Genesys Contact Center Realities study provides insights into technology adoption across vertical industries

San Francisco, July 2008 – Most companies claim to put a lot of emphasis on quality customer service and maintaining customer loyalty. Currently, communication and financial services companies are doing a better job than other industries at using customer service as a strategic differentiator because they are most sophisticated and proactive in terms of the type and depth of contact center technologies implemented.

A study commissioned among US companies by Genesys Communications Laboratories, Inc., an Alcatel-Lucent company (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), has shed new light on which industries are leading the charge in customer service offerings, and which are lagging behind. The study polled 385 contact center managers from communication, financial services, insurance, government, utilities and healthcare organizations to determine what business practices and technologies were being deployed or planned for improving the customer experience.

One common characteristic – a strong likelihood that companies not currently using an IP-based contact center will implement one in the next two to three years. In fact, 66 percent of financial services companies, 45 percent of communications companies, 58 percent of utilities and 83 percent of healthcare companies not using the technology are moving toward IP installations.

“Consumers often have intuition about which industries offer the best customer service experience, and which ones use more dynamic customer service technologies,” said Paul Segre, CEO, Genesys. “This research gives us insight into where each vertical segment is in the adoption continuum.”

The research also indicates that government organizations have more clearly defined measurements for contact center performance, agreed upon by both contact center managers and executive management. However, they still lag behind other industries, having fewer installations of dynamic contact center technologies, such as outbound calling, customer-to-agent e-mail, instant messaging or Web callback.

Utilities also fared well for an internal agreement of contact center measurement, while the other industries examined showed a significant disconnect between the goals and objectives of the contact center manager and that of senior management.

* Additional key industry findings from the research included:
* Although almost two-thirds of the Financial Services companies are not currently using an IP-based contact center, over half of them are likely to implement one in the next two to three years, enabling them to integrate multiple channels of customer contact.
* Insurance companies are the highest users of touchtone IVR as 92 percent of those surveyed are using the technology.
* Communication companies are leading in use of SMS/text messaging and Web chat, significantly higher than any other industry.
* Only 23 percent of healthcare contact centers are likely to attempt up- or cross selling because they view the practice as “not appropriate” or because it would involve time-consuming training requirements.
* Customer satisfaction measures are least important to government agencies when judging the success of the contact center.
* Utilities have the highest levels of outsourced staff – 31 percent. An additional 30 percent are considering outsourcing in the future.


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