Why the Phone is Losing the Customer Service-based Call Center Battle
Eventus Marketing Team
According to a very interesting article on DestinationCRM.com, author Leonard Klie outlines how the customer service call center has been losing ground to web self-service. Just like how in decades past most Americans preferred to pull up to a full-service gas station as opposed to filling their own tanks, the times have changes. People now prefer to handle it themselves when possible. The same thing goes for customer service. We live in a digital age where most of the information in the world is readily accessible online. This perpetual availability of information has minimized the acceptable wait-time for responses. People want answers immediately, thus many people prefer to find their own answers. That means companies should be adapting with these changes in order to keep their customers as satisfied as possible.
The beauty of online customer self-service portals is the constant access. Customers are not forced to revolve around the schedules of your call center-based service locations. Instead, they can attempt to find the information they are looking for right away. Now, it may seem like only the young and rising generation feel comfortable enough trying to answer their own questions online, but research indicates that simply isn’t the case. “Contrary to popular belief, interest in Web self-service technologies is… changing the behavior of consumers of all generations. In fact, a recent study by Forrester Research found that 7 percent of consumers – regardless of age – prefer self-service to picking up the phone or sending email when it comes to resolving support issues.” We all lead busy lives, and many of us have gotten so used to instant gratification that we have come to expect it. And if your customers expect a certain level of service, then it is wildly important that you deliver, as nothing will drive a customer away faster than not meeting their expectations.
While it is becoming the industry standard to offer online self-service portals, you probably shouldn’t altogether abandon your customer service call center. There is still a sizeable portion of the public that prefers to call in for help. Also, the percentage of those people who first attempt to use your self-service portal but failed to resolve their issue will need a more personal and ideally effective secondary solution available to them.
Remember, simplicity is the name of the game. You don’t want a customer to have to spend ten minutes digging through an automated telephone menu before they are able to get ahold of a customer service representative, and you don’t want it to be difficult for a customer to find your self-service portal and access the information they are looking for. Keep it basic, keep it clear, and keep your customers happy.
It can be hard to fathom a life without customer service in it. Before remote desktop support, live chat and other contact center solutions, there were complex phone trees and outsourced call centers and before that there were buggy IVR systems and telephone switchboards connecting you to the store you purchased the product from.
The past few decades have seen the business world sway multiple times between call center outsourcing and internal call center operations.