CFOtech Australia logo
Technology news for Australian CFOs and financial decision-makers
Story image

Customer service agents don't want to return to contact centres

By Shannon Williams
Wed 22 Jun 2022

A new report has revealed that 85% of customer service agents want to work full-time at home and not return to contact centre offices.

According to AI cloud company ASAPP's CX Report: Is the Future of Service at Home?, contact centre operations are rethinking how to make their agents more successful, which requires a whole new way of thinking and operating. 

"This will need a new investment in technologies that transform contact centre agents productivity beyond the constraints of incremental technology. Appealing to the 85% of agents that want to work from home could stave off competition for employees from other industries and help reduce recruitment costs and attrition rates," says Macario Namie ASAPP chief strategy officer.

Contact centers have the biggest opportunity in decades to advance agent productivity with artificial intelligence technology, new automation processes and workflows, which can also support CX workforce demands wherever they work. With an estimated $15 billion spent in the United States annually for contact centre real estate - that is unwanted, and unused - monies could be repurposed into new technology investments.

"According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people working in customer service has increased 53% over the last 20 years to approximately 3 million people, with 15M estimated globally. Legacy contact centre technology has over-promised and under-delivered in providing effective automation, cost savings and productivity over the last 20 years," says Namie.

"According to the latest ASAPP CX report almost nine out of ten agents want to see more aspects of customer interactions automated.

"Now with AI Native technology, automation is becoming easier to build and integrate with company systems. Automation should not be viewed as exclusively the domain of containment and deflection. In fact, automation can be fused to the live agent interaction to make the experience for companies, employees and customers significantly better," he says.

What do Agents Want Automated in Their Customer Interactions?

  • Conversation Summarisation/ Disposition Notes 41%
  • Knowledge Search 38%
  • Address Change 32%
  • Bill Payment 30%

Telephone support is the costliest channel for contact centre operations, and it limits agents to handling one customer at a time. Over the last two decades deflection technologies such as virtual assistants and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems have helped redirect customers to chat and messaging channels that increase the number of customers an agent can handle at one time, yet only half of agents believe chat and messaging has improved their jobs.

To help increase agent usage of chat and messaging, and therefore increase the numbers of customers an agent can handle at one time, companies should consider messaging that automates message crafting, routine tasks and summary notes along with improved training and automation that increases usage and performance metrics.

How agents interact with customers

  • 93% of agents use the telephone
  • 60% of agents use email
  • 43% use chat or messaging
  • 29% use video conferencing

"While legacy vendors focus on containing and deflecting customer interactions, better designed technology and more training will be required to increase adoption of non-voice channels if companies want to scale customer support more affordably," says Namie.
 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Digital wallets
NFTs are ready to disrupt the ticketing world
The last few months have seen NFTs wielded by digital creators to take ownership over their craft and content. Now other industries are beginning to understand the real-world value that these nifty decentralised tokens can provide.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
Infrastructure
New VMware offerings improve cloud infrastructure management
VMware has unveiled VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ to help organisations bring benefits of the cloud to existing on-prem infrastructure.
Story image
Accounting
One in five Aussies never reimbursed for work expenses
A new survey has exposed Australian employee job dissatisfaction, with many being left out of pocket for work expenses. 
Story image
DNS
DigiCert acquires DNS Made Easy and affiliated brands
Greg Clark comments, says, "This combination enhances the security of certificate validation and enables the automation of future validations."
Story image
Shouta
The rise of digital gifting in the workplace
The name itself does most of the explaining; it’s a gift you receive virtually. But a misconception about digital gifts is that they need to be redeemed virtually as well. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Vulnerable APIs costing businesses billions every year
Large companies are particularly vulnerable to the security risks associated with exposed or unprotected APIs as they accelerate digital transformation.  
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Story image
Civil Defence
OutSystems platform chosen as part of ADF contract
"To be included in this project is a reflection of our ability to deliver secure, modern digital outcomes for defence at an incredible pace."
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
Public Cloud
Public cloud services revenues top $400 billion in 2021
"For the next several years, leading cloud providers will play a critical role in helping enterprises navigate the current storms of disruption."
Story image
Infrastructure
Global investment in data centers more than doubled in 2021
DLA Piper's latest global survey finds the total investment in data center infrastructure worldwide rose from USD $24.4 billion in 2020 to USD $53.8 billion in 2021.
The Access Group
Health and social care organisations are currently under significant financial pressure. Find out how financial transformation can help provide an effective route forward.
Link image
Story image
Cloudera
Overcoming hybrid and multi-cloud challenges to drive innovation
Driven by improvements in technology, financial services companies have advanced both internal and external systems and processes, with the likes of digitisation, personalisation and risk management redefining the industry.
The Access Group
Increasing headcount isn't always the best way to grow. A good financial strategy can help solve many issues, and The Access Group shares the secret to success.
Link image
Story image
Contact Centre
Customer service agents don't want to return to contact centres
A new report has revealed that 85% of customer service agents want to work full-time at home and not return to contact centre offices.
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why its time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
BitTitan
How to achieve your monthly recurring revenue goals
Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the ultimate goal, the most important issue on which anyone in the IT channel should focus.
Story image
Payroll
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Accounting
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
Consumer
Adobe survey reveals link between brand trust and consumer buy-in
Adobe has announced results from a study, which finds a strong correlation between brand trust and consumer behaviour.
Story image
Fintech
Corpay announces new collaboration with Triterras
Corpay and fintech firm Triterras have announced a new collaboration between Corpay’s Cross-Border business and Triterras Inc.    
The Access Group
Struggling to understand which transformative technologies will help your business? The Access Group provides a look into key opportunities and impacts for finance.
Link image
Story image
Gartner
Gartner's top recommendations for security leaders
"Leaders now recognise that major disruption is only one crisis away. We can’t control it, but we can evolve our thinking, philosophy, program and architecture.”
Story image
Microsoft
TO THE NEW unveils A/NZ Managed Services for Microsoft Azure
TO THE NEW has released Managed Services for Microsoft Azure to meet the growing demand in the A/NZ market and globally.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
How organisations can prepare for a post-pandemic workforce
The so-called 'new normal' office looks different to how it did pre-pandemic, and organisations need to take steps to better manage their post-pandemic workforce. 
Story image
MSP
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CyberArk
Olly Stimpson joins us today to discuss the importance of MSP programmes and how MSP partners are experiencing success with CyberArk.
Story image
Samsung
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
Manufacturing
Sutton Tools deploys Infor M3 CloudSuite for manufacturing
Sutton Tools has also implemented the Infor OS cloud operating platform, including Infor Intelligent Open Network and Mongoose.
Story image
Sustainability
Honeywell launches new carbon energy management software for buildings
The new Carbon & Energy Management service allows building owners to track and optimise energy performance against carbon reduction goals, down to a device or asset level.
Story image
Citrix
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Macquarie Data Centres
Macquarie deal to pioneer CO2-cutting data centre tech in Australia
Macquarie Data Centres has signed a multi-year deal with ResetData, an Australian first provider using Submer data centre technology. 
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Dicker Data
EXCLUSIVE: Why women in IT makes good business sense - Dicker Data
The Federal government wants to bolster female participation in the tech industry to at least 40% by 2030. Here's how one homegrown Australian company has already reached that goal.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Productivity
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Wiise
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
SaaS
Sealord partners with Infor to improve sustainability
Sealord has chosen Infor as a strategic partner to implement an operational cloud-based platform that provides day-one functionality and sustainability gains.