Omnichannel Customer Service is Important, But Don’t Hang up the Phone!
Author: Randy Clapp
Source: Customer Think
In this blog we often talk about the innovative omnichannel technology that a modern outsourced call center will bring to your organization, and how those technologies will help your company realize significant benefits to your customer service strategy.
Technologies such as contact center artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots and intelligent virtual agents are all crucial components of creating a superior customer experience (CX) and improving customer satisfaction.
But while these technologies have helped to meet the changing demands of customer expectations, it’s not a choice between these technologies or picking up the phone. High-quality customer service through the phone is no less important than it was five, 10, 20 or 30 years ago.
In fact, according to research from HubSpot, the act of customers contacting your brand’s customer service representatives by phone isn’t the dying contact method that some people may have you believe.
While the study found that a huge 62 percent of customers want to communicate with companies via email for customer service, the phone was the second most common contact method with 48 per cent. Live chat and ‘contact us’ website forms followed, at 42 percent and 36 percent respectively.
Why do customers call?
A 2017 report from Dimension Data found that phone volumes had dropped by 17 percent in the two years from 2015. While this data initially makes it seem like phone calls are less important than they were previously, it’s actually the nature of phone calls that are changing.
Modern outsourced call centers are now well-versed in self-service strategies. By leveraging omnichannel technology, chatbots, blogs, FAQ pages, how-to videos and many other tactics, your organization can reduce customer effort and ensure you provide your customers with instant answers and 24/7 customer support.
What does this mean for your customer service phone lines? Customers are now only phoning your customer service agents in regards to more complex queries that they couldn’t resolve themselves.
As a result, customer support representatives are now able to work on more difficult tasks that offer greater value to your customers – as opposed to spending their time answering questions that could have easily been resolved through a chatbot or webpage.
Technology is improving the quality of phone conversations
To keep up with the more complex tasks associated with customer service phone conversations, to ensure customers are satisfied with each phone call and to improve first-call resolution (FCR), technology has evolved in recent years to significantly enhance the way customer service agents work.
A few key technologies that the best outsourced call centers are using when it comes to phone conversations, include:
Live call guidance – Live call guidance is changing phone conversations for the better. An innovative new AI technology, live call guidance analyzes phone conversations between customer service representatives and customers. The result? The ability to provide instant and real-time feedback that can help call center agents make in-the-moment script changes that ensures they provide a world-class customer experience.
AI connects customers to the right agent – Artificial intelligence is able to connect customers to the right customer service agents that can help them, with minimal hold times. Through complex algorithms that works out exactly what a customer is looking for, AI programs are able to redirect customer queries to the agent that can answer their query in one efficient call – reducing the chance of the customer needing to phone your company again for the same issue.
Operational intelligence – Operational intelligence allows your outsourced call center to transform a large amount of customer data into easily actionable and accessible information that customer service agents can tap into in real-time. By seeing important key performance indicators (KPIs) and crucial customer data in real-time during phone calls, agents are empowered to improve their performance and correct customer service mistakes before they happen.
Want to learn more about the technologies that Advantage Communications uses to revolutionize your organization customer service and customer experience strategy?