On the heels of massive digital disruption and now, a year into the global pandemic, only 50 percent of business leaders say they are well prepared to support customer engagement priorities moving forward, and 82 percent say the challenges of managing customer engagement will only increase in 2021. What's more, only 54 percent of leaders consider their organizations well prepared to enable a remote workforce to effectively serve customers.
These are just a few of the key findings of new global research conducted by Verint® (NASDAQ: VRNT), the Customer Engagement Company™. The conclusions are based on a survey of more than 2,000 global business leaders across 12 countries on key priorities, trends and challenges associated with customer engagement, COVID-19 pandemic impacts, perceived organizational preparedness, and future plans.
The research quantifies and illuminates a widening Engagement Capacity Gap™ brought about by new workforce dynamics, ever-expanding customer engagement channels, and exponentially more consumer interactions - all which must be managed with limited budget and resources.
"Our new research reveals that organizations have experienced the perfect storm of digital disruption converging with pandemic-related impacts," says Verint (News - Alert) CMO, Celia Fleischaker. "At the start of 2020, companies were already struggling to handle the increasing complexity of customer engagement. COVID served to further impact companies' preparedness levels and derail planned investments, putting them in a more vulnerable state or leaving them even further behind. It's urgent for organizations to close this Engagement Capacity Gap as it threatens top business initiatives such as acquiring new customers and evolving customer engagement strategies to drive revenue growth, which survey respondents named their number one business priority."
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents were forced to put off hiring in 2020 due to COVID-19 and related economic considerations, and only 51 percent say they intend to increase staffing in 2021. Thirty percent reduced or eliminated planned investments in 2020 designated for new systems/technologies associated with workforce management, customer communities and speech/text analytics.
Respondents expressed a wide range of key concerns; 94 percent cited "understanding and acting on rapidly changing customer behaviors," while 88 percent said "managing the growth in volume of customer interactions" were the two most pressing issues. Other top concerns voiced by respondents were having a unified view of customer engagement and overcoming data silos (79%); using customer feedback to improve experiences (78%); and building enuring customer relationships (77%).
When it comes to the customer engagement technologies organizations considered most critical in 2020, 85 percent agreed that cloud-based solutions helped in managing shifts in channel usage and interaction volumes to a moderate or high degree. Moving forward, 88 percent of respondents say they expect to invest to a high or moderate degree in cloud-based customer engagement and experience solutions to close the Engagement Capacity Gap. Leaders expect to invest most in customer engagement solutions, such as workforce management, and chatbots or intelligent virtual assistants, as well as those to support compliance.
Eighty-six percent of respondents had a moderate to high investment in analytics prior to the COVID outbreak, but only 38 percent found those analytics useful to help manage shifts in channel usage and interaction volume. An overwhelming 90 percent cited difficulty in unifying data across silos as a deterrent to driving analytical insights.
Verint is responding to help customers address these urgent challenges with a new website including dedicated information regarding vital technologies to support the future of work, experience management and engagement data management.
Download The Engagement Capacity Gap Study and register for the webinar, "New Global Research: The Engagement Capacity Gap and How to Close It," on Feb. 25, at 1:00 pm ET." Visit verint.com/boundless to learn more.
About the Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted Nov. 26 - Dec. 11, 2020 through independent research firm REVELOCITY Group via a customized web-based survey. The survey group consisted of 2,281 individuals who are decision-makers/recommenders/influencers for customer engagement and experience solutions for their companies operating across 12 different countries and regions worldwide.
Verint® (Nasdaq: VRNT) helps the world's most iconic brands - including over 85 of the Fortune 100 companies - build enduring customer relationships by connecting work, data and experiences across the enterprise. The Verint Customer Engagement portfolio draws on the latest advancements in AI and analytics, an open cloud architecture, and The Science of Customer Engagement™ to help customers close the engagement capacity gap.
Verint. The Customer Engagement Company™. Learn more at Verint.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including statements regarding expectations, predictions, views, opportunities, plans, strategies, beliefs, and statements of similar effect relating to Verint Systems Inc. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and they are based on management's expectations that involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements. For a detailed discussion of these risk factors, see our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2020, our Quarterly Report on Form 10Q for the quarter ended October 31, 2020, and other filings we make with the SEC (News - Alert). The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release and, except as required by law, Verint assumes no obligation to update or revise them or to provide reasons why actual results may differ.
VERINT, THE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT COMPANY, BOUNDLESS CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT, THE ENGAGEMENT CAPACITY GAP and THE SCIENCE OF CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT are trademarks of Verint Systems Inc. or its subsidiaries. Verint and other parties may also have trademark rights in other terms used herein.
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