SOURCE: Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc., an Alcatel-Lucent company

October 31, 2007 06:00 ET

Genesys' Global Research Survey Reveals Optimized Customer Service Is Becoming a Key Priority to Improve the Customer Experience

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 31, 2007) - Nearly three quarters of customer service organizations have begun adopting strategies to optimize the value of every customer interaction, but less than twenty five percent have fully implemented them in key areas, according to a new survey of customer service organizations. The business goals of creating and operating contact centers at maximum efficiency remain a top priority for a large number of businesses, especially in highly dynamic environments, but the goals of complete optimization remain largely unmet. The most critical areas for improvement are in such areas as the ability to effectively cross sell, prioritizing customers according to their status, and matching customers with the best agent.

The global survey, sponsored by Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel-Lucent company (PARIS: ALU) (NYSE: ALU), included 1,390 contact center managers and customer service executives from 19 different industries and 76 different countries and is available at http://genesyslabs-registration.com?p=OPGL000001. Results reveal some of the most advanced strategies companies are deploying to optimize effectiveness and efficiency in customer service.

"While great leaps in efficiency and quality have been made over the past decade, contact centers are still in the early stages of evolution," said Arnaud Kraaijvanger, vice president of marketing programs, Genesys. "The purpose of this survey was to investigate how contact centers around the world optimize customer interactions and more proactively manage customer relationships. We found that many contact centers are employing innovative strategies, but there are substantial untapped opportunities for contact centers to evolve even further."

Key findings include:

Dynamic Contact Center Strategies

--  An increasing number of organizations implement contact center
    management strategies that simultaneously address effectiveness and
    efficiency of customer interaction
--  28 percent of contact centers manage Average Handle Time by actively
    directing agents to spend longer on interactions during troughs and the
    reverse during peaks
--  Only 11 percent of contact centers actively manage cross-selling
    opportunities
--  17 percent of contact centers use voice call-back
--  26 percent expand the agents' roles to include managing interactions
    through other channels such as e-mail and SMS
--  Contact center management are integrating all available technology and
    business process to manage agent productivity, prioritize business
    objectives and respond to changes in customer demand
    

Identifying, Segmenting and Prioritizing Customers

--  The most effective and successful contact centers seek to identify the
    customers at the first available opportunity -- 78% of call centers are
    identifying customers before connecting them to agents
--  Contact centers are also assessing the value of the customer
    interaction, determining the level of service to provide and how to match
    the customer with the right agent
--  22 percent of contact centers still do not identify customers before
    matching them with the appropriate resource
--  Only 21 percent of contact centers use advanced analytics to
    prioritize incoming calls based on the value of the customer
--  Only 35% match their top-value customers to their best agents --
    instead using an isolated group of high-performing agents
    

Segmenting Agents and Matching Customers

--  An increasing number of contact centers have started to consider
    demographic matching, matching customers and agents by age and gender
--  The vast majority of contact centers segment agents by the most basic
    needs -- 22 percent groups agents by quality or performance outcomes; 22
    percent uses sales results and fewer than 20 percent uses soft skills
--  Contact centers are beginning to use newer methods of segmenting
    agents and matching customers including demographic matching
    

For the global summary and reports covering the Asia/Pacific, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa visit http://genesyslabs-registration.com?p=OPGL000001.

About Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.

Genesys, an Alcatel-Lucent company, is the only company that focuses 100% on software to manage customer interactions over the phone, web and in e-mail. The Genesys software suite dynamically connects customers with the right resources -- self-service or assisted-service -- to fulfill customer requests, optimize customer care goals and efficiently use resources. Genesys software directs more than 100 million customer interactions every day for 4,000 companies and government agencies in 80 countries. These companies and agencies can leverage their entire organization, from the contact center to the back office, to improve the overall customer experience. As a result, Genesys helps stop customer frustration, drive efficiency, and accelerate business innovation. For more information, go to http://www.genesyslab.com or visit the industry blog at http://www.betterinteractions.com

About Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent (PARIS: ALU) (NYSE: ALU) provides solutions that enable service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide, to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end users. As a leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications, and services, Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end solutions that enable compelling communications services for people at home, at work and on the move. With operations in more than 130 countries, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The company has the most experienced global services team in the industry, and one of the largest research, technology and innovation organizations in the telecommunications industry. Alcatel-Lucent achieved adjusted proforma revenues of Euro 18.3 billion in 2006 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. [All figures exclude impact of activities to be transferred to Thales]. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent at http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

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