2020 is speeding by – and it hasn’t been easy for anyone.
So what does success look like in a year when the rules went out the window?
We’ve assembled a master list of 34 contact center stats to give you a temperature check of the industry.
There are a couple of surprises in there (and a few things that never change…)
In this post:
- Acquisition and loyalty
- Debt Recovery
- The Cloud
- API Integration / Development
- Customer Service / CX
- General Call Center Statistics
Acquisition and loyalty
With almost every business moving their working model online, 2020 has forced a change in the way companies interact with their customers.
A tighter spending culture means fewer customers coming on board; however, it’s strengthened your chances of cashing in on the loyalty of those customers you already have.
Some of the major revelations include:
There is a 14% chance that you could lose customer loyalty because you’re unable to resolve their issues online. Source
84% of loyal customers stay because customer service is just as important as the actual product or service they’re paying for. Source
Companies that increased customer retention by 5% also increased their profits between 25%-95%. Source
It could cost between 5-30 times more to get new customers than retain the ones you already have. Source
69% of US consumers rethink their loyalty to a brand solely on the grounds of how well the customer service department treats them. Source
If you couple the global pandemic with mass job cuts, you get a growing population of people in debt or looking to borrow.
The upshot? More companies creating debt collection strategies through outbound calls.
Here’s what you can learn about debt collection contact centers around the world in 2020:
More than 30 million Americans currently have some form of debt due for collection. Source
33% of people in debt are willing to pay in a timely manner if they get enough support and education about debt recovery. Source
The debt collector role, working remotely, has seen significant increases in popularity. At the time of publishing, the mean salary of a debt collector working remotely was USD $43,000. Source
Customers in debt are more likely to stay on a repayment schedule if they’re using a self-service portal to keep track of their amounts owing. Source
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 25% of consumers in debt generally feel threatened by outbound calls from collection agencies. Source.
Setting up a business in the cloud removes geographic constraints. Your staff can work from anywhere in the world, a trend that’s gaining momentum.
Also, your customers don’t have to worry about downtime or even business working hours to get the support they need.
Contact centers are quickly going into the cloud. Here are a few numbers and resources to help you learn more about this trend:
Customer Think predicts that 66% of contact centers will migrate to the cloud in 2020. Source.
Globally, the cloud-based contact center market is on track to reach USD $24 billion by 2023. Source.
Migrating to the cloud can improve call answer rates by 5%, while the Average Speed of Answer (ASA) drops by as much as 50%. Source
Cloud-based call agents are more secure and less prone to downtime in comparison to on-premise models. 91% of businesses that moved to the cloud confirmed this fact. Source
90% of contact centers that switched to the cloud did so for financial flexibility. Source
Related Resource: Can You Move a Large Contact Center to The Cloud?
With more people working from home in 2020 and beyond, a lot of the support that customers need will be automated. These stats reveal how customers feel about this phenomenon.
Customers don’t like waiting for responses to their queries. Automation drastically cuts wait times to just a few seconds, a feature that 75% of customers say they appreciate. Source
Automation through the use of AI and Bots is set to grow by close to 900% by the year 2026, making it a USD $10 billion industry. Source
44% of consumers prefer interaction with an automated system to human contact. Source
An embarrassing 75% of a typical manual (agent-facing) support call is spent searching for client account information. Source
Gartner predicts that close to 85% of customer support will be automated by the end of 2020. Source
Related Resource: Why Your Contact Center is Crying Out for No-Code Automation
API Integration and Development
New consumer devices and interaction platforms keep shifting the goalposts for companies focused on just one way of supporting clients. However, new technologies are matched by the development of software that spreads support’s reach.
Here are the facts:
66% of customers use multiple platforms to get support from companies. Developing new APIs for various marketing and support channels is making it easier for contact center companies to adopt an omnichannel customer service model. Source
90% of consumers use different types of devices and platforms to access product information on a daily basis. Source
54% of customers trust email as a contact method for effective communication with a brand. Source
Don’t overlook millennials! 79% of them prefer brands that have a mobile-friendly support strategy. Source
Integrated chatbots and support portals have been rated as effective by 30% of consumers in the US. Source
Customer Service and experience
Customer service and experience have not been as smooth sailing in 2020. The Harvard Business Review conducted a study with 20 companies and over a million customer service calls. From that survey, they discovered the following:
The number of calls recorded as “difficult” spiked by more than 100% from the day a pandemic was declared by the WHO back in March of 2020.
Calls related to financial hardship skyrocketed at a scale of 2.5X in the period between Q1 and Q3.
Things can get better fast! In early March, 40% of Covid-related calls conveyed customer frustration. By late march it was just 7%.
Call hold times increased by 34% during the pandemic.
Calls escalated up the chain of command also rose by 68%.
General Contact Center Statistics
On a broad scale, the contact center industry experienced significant changes in 2020. Let’s sum these up with our last four statistics:
The number of messages sent by customers to businesses via Facebook increased by more than 100% between 2019 and 2020. Source
Hubspot Research shows that 90% of customers take almost-immediate responses to their queries very seriously. Source.
Failing to simplify customer service loses companies a total of USD $98 billion every year. Source.
A worldwide drop in patience means 18% of customers expect a response from a human agent within the hour, regardless of their timezone. Source.
The Take-Away For Contact Centers
A quick scan of these stats exposes a thriving market, with a lot of potential for international growth. However, innovation is no longer optional. Turning your contact center into a perfect blend of automated tools (bots and AI), and human agents is the key to (affordable!) customer loyalty.