Customers Are Calling: Help Them!
Customers aren’t shifting away from voice channels any time soon. Businesses must bring self-service to the channels they’re using for AI and automation to bring any benefit.
By Yossi Abraham
Today’s business leaders recognize the value of automation and self-service, but modern digital solutions must be added to voice channels first if they want to truly benefit.
Customers see value in self-service. They love getting customer service solutions quickly and easily, and modern callers expect an automated CX. According to Microsoft, an overwhelming 88% of customers in the US expect brands to deliver self-service solutions. The study also found the phone & voice channel is by far the most preferred channel for customer service today (almost twice as preferred as live chat, the second most popular channel for US consumers). Customers are — quite literally — calling for contact center managers to add digital self-service to the customer experience. Current voice-channel IVR isn’t satisfying customer self-service needs, but there is a modern alternative.
“Current voice-channel IVR isn’t satisfying customer self-service needs, but there is a modern alternative.”
As businesses begin implementing AI and automation, they must focus on delivering the technology and self-service customers crave to the channels they’re actually using. When today’s contact centers and customer service leaders prioritize helping customers calling into voice channels, they will see the most return and biggest benefits from a pivotal new solution.
Today’s CX pioneers have leaned into online chatbots, rolled out social media customer service teams, and pushed channels like SMS and texting. Customers are still waiting on hold. Only 6% of customers cite online self-service features like chatbots as they’re preferred method of customer service, and things are even worse for social media and SMS. Just 4% said texting or social media were their preferred channel while 44% of customers in the US chose the voice channel. With calling customer service on the phone still 11 times more preferred than channels like social media, bringing automation to voice channels stands out as the best first step for companies looking to add self-service.
Well integrated, easy to access digital self-service allows businesses to improve KPIs and realize impressive ROI. Solutions like Visual IVR that overlay on top of existing IVR allow today’s businesses to capitalize on improved voice-channel automation without losing profits to cumbersome implementation processes or sky-high maintenance fees.
Process automation like RPA provides faster service for customers — enhancing CX and improving agent productivity. Automated digital self-service channels greatly reduce AHT (average handle time) per interaction and let agents focus on complex interactions where their expertise and human empathy create valuable relationships instead of being bogged down with tedious calls about simple solutions. These digitally-empowered agents make real connections with customers and have the energy and information necessary to provide premium customer service.
Digital self-service solutions give another advantage as well: actionable customer intelligence. With interaction tracking and big data analysis, modern digital solutions provide a better view of customer preferences and more in-depth customer journey mapping (the number 3 most important priority for the contact center industry, according to a CCW study).
This critical analysis helps identify customer pain points allowing companies to better hone their new digital solutions and provide the best experience possible for customers. As more actionable intelligence is gathered on what customers are asking and which solutions they prefer, organizations can empower their live contact center agents to more meaningfully interact with customers calling in.
All together, self-service digital solutions delivered to customers through the voice channel they prefer using achieve benefit businesses while increasing customer convenience and boosting agent productivity.