43% of US contact centers now offer a web chat option to customers

5th June 2013 - New research published by ContactBabel, the contact centre industry analysts, reveals that web chat (or instant messaging) is one of the fastest-growing technologies used by US contact centers. 43% of this year’s survey respondents offer web chat as a customer service channel, compared to only 15% five years ago, with volumes of web chat increasing by 125% over the same timescale.

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Furthermore, 18% of respondents state that they intend to implement web chat over the next 12 months, the highest of any of the 13 contact center technologies surveyed in the report.

"The US Contact Center Decision-Makers' Guide (6th edition - 2013)", is a major study of over 200 US contact center operations, looking at all areas of performance, investment, technology, HR and strategy. It is available entirely free of charge from www.contactbabel.com. 

The report's author, Steve Morrell, commented:

"While web chat has been around for many years, we are seeing a definite increase in the use of this channel, which has huge potential. The real-time nature of web chat means it is akin to a voice conversation in immediacy, giving it an advantage over email. Multiple concurrent web chat sessions can be run, cutting cost per interaction, which means there are sound commercial reasons for businesses to support this channel.

“Survey respondents indicate that the cost of a web chat is roughly equivalent to that of an email – around $3.50 – which is less than half the cost of a typical phone call.

“Web chat is ideally suited to provide assisted service, in case where a customer has tried to use a website but cannot find the information that they are looking for. Customers do not have to break from the website in order to call a business, but can quickly and seamlessly move from self-service to assisted service, improving customer satisfaction, cutting call queues and closing more sales. Furthermore, the rise in smartphone usage means that customers will access websites through mobile devices more often, and will require an assisted service option in case the less feature-rich mobile website does not have what they require.”

About ContactBabel and "The US Contact Center Decision-Maker's Guide (6th edition - 2013)"

The "US Contact Center Decision-Makers' Guide (6th edition - 2013)" is the major annual report studying the performance, operations, technology and HR aspects of 205 US contact center operations across all sectors and size bands. The result is the 6th edition of the largest and most comprehensive study of all aspects of the US contact center industry.

The full report, containing 328 pages and 159 graphs and tables, is available free of charge from the ContactBabel website (www.contactbabel.com/reports.cfm) thanks to the generosity of our Platinum sponsors: Avaya, Calabrio, Communitech Services, Connect First, Enghouse Interactive, Genesys, Interactive Intelligence, OpenSpan, Oracle and SHL.

Category: Market Research

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Added By: Sam Heggie-Collins on 05th Jun 2013 - 12:11
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