The Aspect Advantage
Addressing shifts in demographic preferences
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
Aspect Software, a leading provider of fully-integrated customer interaction management, workforce organization, back office and award-winning cloud solutions, recently released a study examining the generational and tehnological convergence between consumer groups and their perceptions as well as preferences towards customer service approaches. In view of this paradigm shift, companies may need to quickly address their customer engagment preferences of the vastly-increasing millennial sector or risk going out of business.
“The average consumer interacts with customer service agents 65 times a year, yet they are increasingly underwhelmed with an experience that does not reflect consumers' digital and mobile preference nor their desire to resolve issues on their own. This represents a tremendous missed opportunity for companies to build business and secure customer loyalty. As millennials are more experience-loyal than brand-loyal, consumer engagement is quickly becoming a far more influential factor in building positive brand perception. It's imperative that businesses tweak their customer service strategies to deliver an interaction strategy that addresses millennial engagement preferences,” elucidated Aspect's SVP and chief marketing officer Jim Freeze.
“Ease of capability led Uber to be worth more than most of existing airline companies in just a span of five years. The strategy is for them to be so cost-effective that people don't have to buy cars anymore,” he added. Should this ever transpire in the Philippines, we will have a better carbon footprint, lesser smog, and an eased traffic flow in major Metro Manila thouroughfares.
The Aspect consumer experience index, Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations, provided analysis on how companies can adapt to this shifting consumer challenge. The new survey developed with millennial expert Jason Dorsey (The Gen Y Guy) was designed to help businesses identify key characteristics of an increasingly influential millenial population, comprised of consumers aged 18 to 34. Insights in this study will help companies address evolving needs and expectations when engaging with brands.
Known as The Gen Y Guy, Jason is the best-selling author featured on programs such as 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show, The View, The Early Show, and dozens more as an expert in millennial research. He serves as CSO of the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research organization that uncovers new generational trends and truths through original research, speaking sessions and strategy.
The Millennial Report is a US national online study conducted by Conversion Research on behalf of Aspect Software and The Center for Generational Kinetics in Feb 2015. There was a sample size of 1050 Americans, aged 18-65, regionally represented and divided by gender as in most recent census projection, with 25 per cent oversampling of those aged 18-34.
“Aspect's software offer solution capabilities like interaction management for contact center software having a broader porfolio to optimize operations by using the right skills set.
“Three to five years from now, the software of all enterprises will be operating through the cloud. We foresaw this huge shift using the cloud. Two and a half years ago, we had no cloud infrastructure to speak of. Today, we have six data centers working through our deployment partners. The Philippines is a key market; being the digital testing ground of the world. Not to mention, the Facebook capital of the world. Social media is helping in the response chain as the new channel of intercourse. 72 per cent of the buying public would prefer text over picking up a phone in completing transactions and 91 per cent would use self service if it were available.
“The Philippines uses software in delivering retail, banking and BPO services. The latter sector is going through a phase of transformation because of changes in consumer profiles. In today's evolving marketplace, especially those on e-commerce platforms, experience is more important than features of the product. User interface (UI) is browser-based and very intuitive using widgets. BPOs no longer play on functions but on roles.
“Consumers re-imagine customer service, especially the yuppies, on how services are to be delivered. They want to do things their way. Millennials don't want agents as UI in transacting business. Hand-held devices now have more computing power than Apollo 11. An example would be on how people get money. It's no longer with tellers but through ATM machines. So consumers go for businesses that allow them to do things on their own,” Freeze continued.
Aspect's fully integrated solution unifies the three most important facets of modern consumer engagement strategy: customer interaction management, workforce optimization, and back office. Through a full suite of cloud, hosted and hybrid deployment options, the company helps the world's most demanding contact centers and back offices seamlessly align their people, processes, and touch points to deliver remarkable customer experiences.
“80 million millennials will outpace baby boomers by 2017, outspending all other consumer demographics. Aspect's significant investment portfolio, advertising, and value proposition raises awareness based on customer service. When people see our technology, they're excited about the future. Philippine banks are now asking for more discovery sessions.
“As everything moves to the cloud, agents become independent, autonomous, and with a new sense of belonging. Consumers, on the other hand, go from dependent to self-service. Transactions will be based on outlook, delivery of outcome, and superior agent handling.
“And for companies to elevate, expand and extend their business grasp on the emerging young market, they need to know them, make operations mobile, allow them to transact on their own, make their services readily available on social media, fit into this market's lifestyle, is time-saving, will make consumers smarter, and help them discover new things and ways to do business effortlessly,” Freeze concluded.
For more information on the millennial study, simply visit the company Web site, www.aspect.com.