Replicant, the leader in the Contact Center Automation market, today released a benchmark report on The Impact of Economic Uncertainty on Contact Centers. The research, conducted in partnership with global research and advisory firm Demand Metric, explores how contact centers are planning for and responding to an economic downturn. More than 150 primary contact center decision-makers were surveyed, lending powerful insights into how the industry is leaning on technology, making staffing changes and budgeting strategically to navigate the current landscape.
“Contact Center leaders are under enormous pressure today. They are tasked with improving customer service even while working with flat or declining budgets,” says Gadi Shamia, co-founder and chief executive officer of Replicant. “In this environment, more and more companies are turning to Contact Center Automation to help address these challenges. This benchmark survey shows clearly that companies are investing in automation to lower costs and improve efficiency, even while maintaining or improving customer satisfaction.”
Technology Investments & Automation are Top Priorities
The benchmark survey included 150 contact center leaders and primary decision makers across industries. The results included these important findings:
- 68% of respondents report that “automating customer service” is the #1 priority for new technology investments
- 93% report that they are preparing for an economic downturn in some way
- 61% believe that technology investments are a hedge against an economic downturn this year
- Customer satisfaction continues to be the #1 KPI for contact center leaders, with 81% ranking it first
- For contact centers that expect to reduce headcount this year, agents will be the primary target for layoffs and hiring freezes
Despite Pressures, Most Leaders Remain Optimistic
There is still a strong level of optimism among contact center leaders, with 74% reporting that they are either slightly or very optimistic for this year. But if they’re forced to perform layoffs, 81% of study participants expect a “slight” to “significant” impairment of their center’s ability to perform its core mission.
Improving Efficiency & Performance
In a time of economic uncertainty, efficiency has become the gold standard in contact centers. Fortunately, 70% of contact center leaders and strategists in the study report “slight” to “significant” efficiency level improvements taking place this year. The top three drivers for improving efficiency will be a combination of investments in automation (57%), better agent training (58%) and improved agent productivity (60%).
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