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88% of Callers Who Reach an IVR Still End Up Speaking with a Live Agent

CFI Group’s Contact Center Satisfaction Index (CCSI) 2018 report shows that while the agent has the largest impact on the customer’s experience with customer service, companies must measure agent interactions within the context of the complete customer service journey.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 5, 2018 – Overall Contact Center Satisfaction Index (CCSI) is 70, as measured on a 0-100 scale, up 3% from 68 in 2017. CCSI is a measure of how well contact centers are delivering service to customers.

The CCSI increase is largely attributed to improvements with contact center agents. Agent knowledge, in particular, improved 4% from 2017, demonstrating that customers generally feel agents are more capable than before of understanding the situation and providing accurate information to address the issue.

But companies must do more than measure interactions with agents. A reliable customer service journey measurement approach effectively integrates all three customer touchpoint categories: Digital Properties, Automated Interactions, and Live Agents.

72% visit digital properties to resolve their issue before contacting customer service.

A company’s set of digital properties (websites, mobile apps, devices, etc.) forms a critical component of its overall customer service efforts. Many companies still make the mistake of measuring digital properties separately from the contact center. Instead, companies should view digital properties as part of the customer service journey.

88% who reach an IVR end up needing to talk to a live agent to resolve their issue.

By the time customers call customer service, they are no longer looking to self serve; they want to speak with a live agent who can help them quickly. CCSI is 76 for callers who get connected directly to a live agent, compared to a much lower CCSI at 65 for those who go through an IVR system, due in part to the effort required to get past the IVR and get connected with a live person.

But exciting new technologies are quickly changing how customers self serve via automated interactions (chatbots, IVR, visual IVR, etc.), making it easier, faster, and more intuitive for customers to resolve issues on their own. Companies such as Amazon, IBM, and Radial have developed new innovative chatbot and IVR tools that are already being used by companies to reduce contact center costs while providing enhanced self-serve tools to customers.

79% call on the phone when contacting customer service.

Live agents (voice, chat, email, social media, etc.) are still the key to a great contact center experience.
20% of customers connect with live agents by email (up from 14% in 2017), and 12% use online chat (up from 9%). And even social media use is growing, with 3% of customers engaging live agents via Facebook. However, a voice phone call still dominates as the customer’s channel of choice, and a voice interaction is likely to remain the primary channel for the near future.

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