Messaging is Leading Contact Center Investments in 2018, Finds Research Survey by Sparkcentral

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New research reveals digital-first customer service barriers for brands and what contact center leaders are doing to prepare for the digital future

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We want to reduce phone call volumes in our contact centers by giving our customers access to the service channels they prefer. Through implementing social media, web messaging, and mobile support, we aim to provide as many options and the best experiences possible for our customers.

Sparkcentral, the leading digital customer service and engagement platform, today announced its new report highlighting digital-first customer service in contact centers. The report, entitled, “The State of Digital Customer Service in 2018” describes the current adoption trends, challenges and opportunities cited by over 200 enterprise contact center leaders surveyed by Sparkcentral.

The majority of brands have rapidly elevated their strategies to deliver personalized marketing messages through the digital channels their target customers use most frequently. However, contact centers are struggling to keep pace with customer expectations for convenient, digital-first communications. In fact, only 21.5 percent of contact center leaders surveyed by Sparkcentral fully support SMS currently, while 90 percent continue to fully support phone and email channels for service.

“We want to reduce phone call volumes in our contact centers by giving our customers access to the service channels they prefer. Through implementing social media, web messaging, and mobile support, we aim to provide as many options and the best experiences possible for our customers,” says one respondent, who is also the Head of Customer Experience at a financial services organization.

According to survey responses, contact center leaders are embracing the digital-first transformation and preparing to improve customer service delivery across online channels. Trends highlighted within the report include:

  •     57 percent want to enhance personalization in customer service interactions
  •     80 percent have agents that support multiple communication channels
  •     56.5 percent plan to add more digital channels by 2019

Industry research showing how quickly an increasing number of consumers are using digital messaging channels in their everyday lives, including Facebook Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp and in-app messaging, confirms the digital transformation in customer communications. Customer-centric brands like Zappos, Delta Air Lines and Western Union use Sparkcentral to deliver convenient, personalized customer experiences within channels like Messenger, WeChat, and in-app messaging, as well as text-based social media messaging on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“Brands must deliver the convenient service experiences that consumers expect today, whether it’s a personal and proactive recommendation or a resolution for a unique issue,” said Davy Kestens, founder and CEO at Sparkcentral. “Since contact centers have largely fallen behind the digital-first transformation, we decided to uncover the barriers to adoption that are keeping contact center leaders up at night – as well as their plans for future improvements. The State of Digital Customer Service in 2018 report highlights the current landscape to help close this gap in delivering convenient, online experiences consumers expect.”

Click to download the full report The State of Digital Customer Service in 2018.

About Sparkcentral
Customer-obsessed companies use Sparkcentral’s leading mobile and social customer engagement platform to manage and resolve customer service interactions over social and mobile channels in a simple, streamlined and fun way. With the fastest customer routing and prioritization technology in the business and innovative workflow optimization and reporting tools, Sparkcentral helps global brands like Delta Air Lines, Uber, Nordstrom, JetBlue, Western Union, Zappos and more deliver effortless customer service experiences and drive brand loyalty. A two-time CODiE Award winner for Best Customer Service Solution, Sparkcentral is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and has its EMEA headquarters in Hasselt, Belgium. To learn more, visit http://www.sparkcentral.com and follow @Sparkcentral on Twitter.

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Jennifer Blackburn
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