First, let’s not deny that COVID’s changed just about everything. Next, let’s look at what that means in terms of how customers are reaching out to customer service agents.
In this COVID world, organizations have struggled mightily to serve customers over the phone. In large part, this had to do with businesses trying to figure out how to meet call volumes while also keeping call center workers safe. This caused numerous frustrations for customers (myself included). I alone can count three organizations that left me on hold for 45 minutes before I got through confirming that the appropriateness of this Washington Post headline:
“Press 1 for frustration: Customers run into record phone waits as companies grapple with worker safety.”
However, now that call centers have their work-from-home feet under them, we’ve noticed that the companies supporting them are stepping out of the call bank and looking for additional, more convenient, less costly ways to service their customers.
According to recent Salesforce statistics, 82% of customers use knowledge base articles and 81% use live chat. If your customers are meeting you in e-channel spaces, are they facing an empty room or are you there greeting them with real-time help?
Although we help companies provide multilingual customer support across all e-channels, we’re certainly not anti-phone. We found this New York Times article about how phone conversations among loved ones increased during the height of COVID, endearing. While we hope people keep connecting to family and friends over voice, the trends that we saw pre, during and post COVID regarding how much customers love voice support, suggest that trying or enhancing an eChannel might not be a bad idea.