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Press Release

Ventana Research Launches Research into the Next-Generation Contact Center in the Cloud

25th February 2015

Reading, UK

Benchmark research will investigate the use of customer self-service and channels of engagement

Ventana Research today launched its latest in a series of new benchmark research studies examining the use of customer self-service to help improve both efficiency and the customer experience. This research will identify, explore and quantify the ways in which organizations use people, processes, information and technology to manage contact centers and customer interactions. The research will investigate organizations' plans to deploy additional communication channels and improve customer engagement, why they are interested in doing so, what approaches they are likely to pursue, who will make purchase decisions in what time frame and what selection criteria they will use.

The research will assess organizations' understanding of the need to map the customer journey to assist them in optimizing their use of different channels to resolve issues and their approaches to doing so. NGCCC BR Graphic It also will quantify customers' proclivity to switch from one channel to another to resolve issues and the impact this has on the customer experience and the business outcomes of interactions. It will assess companies' satisfaction with their current approaches to customer service and their requirements for a business case to justify change. The research will compare the benefits and perceived value of on-premises, cloud-based and hybrid deployment solutions and examine what buyers expect from new investments.

For many years companies invested in stand-alone, proprietary systems installed on-premises to manage their communication channels. In particular, companies invested in private branch exchange (PBX) and automatic call distribution (ACD) systems that handled inbound and outbound phone calls, and many integrated these with call routing and computer/telephony integration (CTI) software in an attempt to manage who handled calls. As their customers began to utilize additional channels, companies typically acquired other stand-alone systems such as email servers, Web servers and interactive voice response (IVR) systems. Also, business units other than the contact center began increasingly to handle these interactions, each using its own stand-alone systems. Because each system stored its own information, customers might receive different information depending on which channel they used. Those not satisfied with the response they got in one channel might go to another channel, but because a different group was responsible for it, they were forced to start the interaction over from the beginning ­- an experience that was not likely to increase their satisfaction.

"Consumers have changed the ways in which they expect to engage with companies," said Mark Smith, CEO and chief research officer at Ventana Research. "While long-established channels such as the telephone, email and company websites are still the most used, many consumers now prefer to use text messages, online chat, social media and applications on their mobile devices. As a result, companies have had to add support for the many (and increasing) channels of engagement; ignoring this exposes them to the risk that some customers will choose not to do business with them."

This benchmark research will examine the use of technologies and best practices to improve the ways companies handle both assisted (involving a live employee) and self-service customer interactions. One major aim will be to provide a better understanding of organizations' requirements and thus improve their ability to formulate a successful internal business case for investing in contact center in the cloud technologies. The research will also look at how the increased use of mobile technologies is impacting how consumers engage with companies and how employees carry out their daily tasks in serving customers.

Those interested in learning more about or participating in this benchmark research - Click here to complete. The research is being sponsored by Enghouse Interactive . Ventana Research, a leading business technology research and advisory services firm, provides qualified research participants with an incentive and complimentary report of the research findings as well as access to a free educational webcast on best practices from the benchmark research.

About Ventana Research

Ventana Research is the most authoritative and respected benchmark business technology research and advisory services firm. We provide insight and expert guidance on mainstream and disruptive technologies through a unique set of research-based offerings including benchmark research and technology evaluation assessments, education workshops and our research and advisory services, Ventana On-Demand. Our unparalleled understanding of the role of technology in optimizing business processes and performance and our best practices guidance are rooted in our rigorous research-based benchmarking of people, processes, information and technology across business and IT functions in every industry. This benchmark research plus our market coverage and in-depth knowledge of hundreds of technology providers means we can deliver education and expertise to our clients to increase the value they derive from technology investments while reducing time, cost and risk.

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