A Consumer View of Contact Centres in the Digital Age | DMA

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A Consumer View of Contact Centres in the Digital Age


In April 2016, the DMA Contact Centres Council and Granby Marketing Services collaborated on research to show the similarities and differences between consumer and marketer perceptions of contact centres. Delving deeper into the research with Joanne Kimber, the managing director of Granby Marketing Services, we discovered that with the ever increasing amount of communication channels available to marketers, Contact Centres are still an important and valuable service to consumers.

In 2015, 56% of consumers felt they trusted a brand more if they had the option to talk to somebody over the telephone. 65% liked speaking to a customer representative over the telephone as it provided them with immediate answers to their queries. However, only 27% of marketers have used contact centres in their B2C campaigns.

“There definitely seems to be a high level of distrust from consumers towards brands and companies who fail to publish an option to speak with someone on the telephone with 60% of those surveyed stating they don’t trust brands that fail to offer a customer service number. This comes back to the key message of creating positive experiences and the need to get customer service and experience right first time, with a one-touch resolution process in place if brands want to maintain brand integrity and manage their reputation with amazing customer service.” Joanne Kimber, managing director, Granby Marketing Services

When reviewing how effective contact centres worked within a campaign, the results showed that for both inbound and outbound contact centres there was a positive skew to the results when integrated with other communication channels. 68% agreed that inbound contact centres positively affected their campaigns, with 76% saying outbound contact centres positively affected their campaigns.

“Equally interesting is the positive amplification of results when contact centre activity is integrated with almost any other media channel which makes the phone a perfect partner in most integrated campaigns for B2B & B2C.” Joanne Kimber, managing director, Granby Marketing Services

When contacting a brand or service regarding changing their price plan or tariff, respondents favoured using the telephone over any other communication channel. However, when it came to placing a complaint consumers preferred to use email; using the telephone was their second preferred method of complaining.

“It was great to see that the phone is a preferred communication channel for consumers to interact with brands and businesses for a positive experience. It shows that consumers still prefer human interaction, even as we move further into the digital era, which echoes my personal view that the contact centre is still as relevant in today’s marketing mix as it ever was and shouldn’t be overlooked when planning a campaign.” Joanne Kimber, managing director, Granby Marketing Services.

30% of marketers revealed that, whilst running a campaign, they integrate both inbound and outbound contact centres with other channels, mainly email, marketing mail and the company’s own website. This shows how contact centre use integrates smoothly with other communication channels.

“The research shows that the multichannel communications centre of today and tomorrow is, and will continue to be, a critical touch point for businesses and consumers. Those brands who strategically focus in this area as part of the overall business strategy are sure to reap the loyalty and goodwill of consumers whilst balancing the budget and ROI.” Joanne Kimber, managing director, Granby Marketing Services

70% of consumers expect a brand to know who they are, based on previous communications. However, 57% of marketers use multiple suppliers when executing their campaigns, making this personal connection difficult to achieve.

The research proved that consumers prefer the one-to-one human interaction a contact centre provides when it comes to interacting with brands. However, the results also show the work marketers need to do to repair the distrust that the consumer feels when using a contact centre and to prevent almost half of all consumers having a negative experience when contacting a brand via the telephone.

View the infographic here

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