Mark King, Senior VP, EMEA, Aspect
Consumer expectations of good service are higher than ever; and not just when they pick up the phone or enter a bank. Today’s socially networked consumers expect to be able to make contact with companies when and however it suits them – and have more outlets for voicing opinions about their experiences (and grievances) than ever before.
It’s somewhat surprising, therefore, that according to recent research, banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions are behind the game when it comes to delivering a unified experience for their customers.
Presented with a long list of communications capabilities from E-mail to Mobile Devices, Traditional Voice (PSTN/PBX), Conferencing, VoIP, Instant Messaging (IM), Document Sharing, Presence and Video, 56% of all European organisations responding to the Aspect UC-Trends 2010 survey* said they used 6 or more of them – with 55% stating that they had either integrated or ‘partially integrated’ these capabilities on a unified communications (UC) platform.
When it came to respondents from the finance industry, however, only 53% said that they had fully integrated or partially integrated communications capabilities on a UC platform.
Similarly, while 58% of European organisations said that they will have deployed (or expect to deploy) UC platforms by 2012; just 54% of organisations in the finance industry responded likewise.
Given the commitments to improve accessibility and service quality delivered by European financial institutions, these findings will surprise many people. And especially when one considers that two-thirds of all financial institutions surveyed agreed that the value of UC increases when it is extended to customers.
Of those finance companies who agreed with the statement “the value of UC increases as it’s extended to customers”, 45% recognised that UC enabled ‘Cross-Channel Communications’, 21% that it will ‘Improve Response Rates by Connecting to Knowledge Agents Outside the Contact Centre’, and 24% that it will enable ‘Better Interaction with Field/Mobile Workers’.
Overall, the survey shows that benefits of UC in terms of improving service quality, enhancing employee productivity, creating a mobile office, reducing travel costs, and saving time and resources using presence are well understood and appreciated.
In economically-challenging times, investing in UC is surely not just an opportunity to enhance internal communications and business performance. It is a statement that companies are keen to engage with customers in new and exciting ways; giving them the contact choice and quality of service they so clearly demand.* A total of 237 individuals took part in the 2010 Aspect pan European UC-Trends survey survey. Survey respondents came from a broad spread of industries (from public sector to financial services, healthcare, utilities and telecommunications) and represent a broad spread of different company sizes. To download a complimentary copy of the UC-Trends 2010 Executive Summary, please go to www.UC-trends.com