Giving Machines a Voice' Seen as Critical Step in Delivering Exceptional Customer Service
OTTAWA, Ontario, Dec. 5, 2017
Eighty-five percent of respondents believe machine-to-people interactions will positively transform the customer experience.
Three out of four have a projected timeline to allow machines to interact with people in two years or less.
Close to 40 percent expect a correlation between improving customer experience and increasing revenue.
New research from Mitel® (NASDAQ:MITL) (TSX:MNW), a global leader in business communications, reveals a vast majority of IT decision-makers surveyed agree on the value machine-to-people interactions hold for unlocking the secret to improving customer experience. More than 75 percent also say they plan on tying together devices, emerging technologies, and communications and collaboration capabilities within two years to enable such interactions. Four out of 10 expect an increase in revenue by doing so.
The findings are the result of a survey administered by Opinium Research in August 2017 to over 2,500 senior IT decision-makers across North America, the UK, France, Germany and Australia. Respondents represented businesses ranging in size from 250 to 10,000+ employees and a broad range of industries including finance, hospitality, healthcare, professional services, government, education, retail and manufacturing.
Additional data highlights based on participant responses:
Seven in 10 see machine-to-people interactions in which devices and machines directly contact assigned staff, route information to the right individual across a whole organization, or directly contact a customer when a threshold is triggered, as key to increasing customer responsiveness and issue resolution. Businesses looking to take advantage of technology to improve customer experience should consider moving to the cloud to keep pace with evolving customer expectations and combine contact center applications with emerging technologies like chat bots, the Internet of Things (IoT) and omni-channel communications.
More than 95 percent of respondents view accelerating workflows as a business imperative for improving customer experience. Increasing the speed with which tasks are completed ranked highest among those in finance, retail and manufacturing. Organizations in these and other highly competitive industries should focus on automating business processes and leverage collaboration and productivity tools to reduce communications latency. This will enable them to better manage workflows and deliver a truly differentiated experience for customers through real-time support.
Companies in North America have a clear lead in embracing technology to better serve customers. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed reported having made over 50 percent progress in improving customer experience as part of their digital transformation initiatives, yet barriers remain. Business and IT misalignment were identified as chief among them in using digital transformation to advance customer experience. Legacy infrastructure and systems were cited as the second most common obstacle, indicating the need for breaking through organizational silos and finding ways to modernize existing infrastructure.
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"Customer experience is an active, strategic discussion across industries as organizations look to leverage new technologies associated with IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning," said Wes Durow, Chief Marketing Officer, Mitel. "Giving machines a voice in machine-to-people interactions can be a powerful differentiator as the relationship between businesses and consumers shifts from transactional to more experiential, and customer experience becomes just as important as the product or service a company provides."
"Every day, new types of digital communication are being launched - from social networks to bots to augmented reality - and consumers are adopting them in their daily lives. The days when a great customer experience was based solely on face-to-face or voice-to-voice interactions are long gone," said Kate Jalie, Partner, Opinium Research. "Now, exceptional customer service is multi-channel, bringing together voice, video, mobile and online in a seamless and highly personalized experience. Businesses that successfully implement new technologies for transforming the customer experience today, will be tomorrow's winners."
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