Half of UK contact centres are planning to support mobile technology for customer contact within the next 12 to 18 months, according to a new study. Surveying 100 UK organisations in a range of industries, the research also found that a large majority of these organisations (86 per cent) already claim to have either the technical infrastructure in place, or are planning to do so, in order to support mobile technology for customer service.
The influence of mobility on people’s lives, their attitudes and choices, and the way they now communicate with each other, have revolutionised brand marketing. According to Gartner, tablet computers will outsell desktop and laptop sales by 60 per cent by 2015, and Ofcom reports that the majority of the UK population now own at least one mobile device.
However, organisations have been slow to embrace this change for customer care due to bandwidth limitations as well as capital investment in technology, although some companies such as Air France KLM have already seen success with it.
The research clearly shows that contact centres are investing in support for mobile technologies, which offer both the consumer and the supplier a convenient communications channel. Perhaps crucially for many organisations, mobile provides a self-service first-point-of-contact that may reduce the need to interact with an organisation all together and help drive call avoidance strategies.
Development in enterprise networking, data centre capability and better bandwidth, as well as the proliferation of unified communications (UC) enablers such as Microsoft Lync, have re-affirmed the benefits of mobile communications in business, and now it is stretching to customer engagement.
Other key findings:
- Just over a third (37 per cent) of those surveyed said that they weren’t considering supporting mobile technology for customer engagement at the moment
- Over half of the organisations surveyed said that they already had the technical infrastructure to support mobile customer engagement
- Inbound customer service was considered the most useful application for mobile customer contact technology, cited by four in 10 organisations (42 per cent)
- Cost (capital and on-going), as well as legacy systems, proved to be the biggest barriers to adoption, with 18 per cent and 17 per cent of respondents citing these factors, respectively.