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Phone - fourth choice for Generation Y

Manama, November 6, 2013

The phone is the fourth choice of engagement for Generation Y, individuals born between 1980 and 2000, after electronic messaging, social media and smartphone applications, said a study.

The new contact centre research conducted by Merchants UK in collaboration with Silah Gulf, also revealed that the preference gaps for Generation X (individuals born between 1961 and 1989) between phone, messaging, and social media is narrowing.

Dimension Data’s 2013/14 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report surveyed 817 organisations covering 11 business sectors in 79 countries across Asia Pacific, Australia, the Middle East and Africa, the Americas and Europe.  

Andrew McNair, Dimension Data’s head of global benchmarking, said: “While the Silent Generation (born before 1944) and the Baby Boomers (born between 1945 and 1960) prefer the phone as their most popular channel of engagement with a contact centre (55.6 per cent and 59.6 per cent respectively), the pace of decline in ‘voice only’ contact centres – now down to 59.2 per cent overall compared with 67.9 per cent 12 months ago - demonstrates the continuing trend to multiskill telephone agents across emerging ‘non-voice’ contact channels.”

“Generation Y is the biggest demographic group since the Baby Boomers. Its members are highly demanding, vigorously social, constantly connected, and blithely channel-agnostic, so for them, any conversation about channels is meaningless. Generation Y simply want to get things done, and will use a variety of electronic devices they have at their disposal to fulfil that need,” said McNair.

“It’s surprising that almost one-third of the organisations we polled have not analysed their customers’ channel preferences by age.  While age is not the only indicator of likely customer behaviour, it is a strong one, as it provides an indicator for which channels should merit the greatest attention and investment.  The fact that so many organisations are ignoring the age factor suggests that they may be failing to measure or evaluate customer behaviour effectively.”

Another concerning discovery in this year’s report is how little organisations know about how their customers respond to their contact centre self-service offerings, said McNair.  

A significant number of research participants have made no attempt to gather customer feedback - 74.9 per cent in the case of smartphone applications and 69.1 per cent in the case of web chat.

“With the majority of customer interactions in the contact centre now being handled via a plethora of self-service channels, enterprise leaders need to raise their game and address omni-channel customer journeys rather than isolated phone calls and even emails,” he added.

Omnichannel environments enable customers to move effortlessly from one channel to another using a range of devices: from mobiles and smartphones to tablets and TV.  The channels are connected in such a way that conversations and transactions that are started on one channel can be continued on another.  

The good news is that Generation Y consumers are happy to make those journeys, and skip between channels easily, he said.

“But when organisations don’t keep up with Generation Y,   frustration quickly sets in, loyalty dwindles, and they move to competitors.  So, for organisations that rely on their contact centre to achieve their bottom line, the move to omnichannel environments isn’t a choice, but a necessity,” added McNair. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: phone | Report | generation | Dimension Data |

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