7 Reasons Why CX Can’t Hang Up on the Voice Channel

Five retro microphones

EvaluAgent’s CCO James Marscheider teamed up with Director of Product Marketing and GTM Nadine Edmondson to explain why customers need not overinvest in digital channels.

There were tons of great insights, but we’ve whittled down the masterclass into seven great takeaways that might have you reconsidering your channel mix.

1. Customers Still Love the Phone for Specific Issues

Customers love digital for quick, straightforward queries, where self-service excels. But when it comes to high-complexity, high-emotion interactions, evaluagent and Contact Babel’s research shows there’s just no beating picking up the phone.

It’s in these ‘moments of truth’ that agents have the opportunity to make a real difference for the customer.

From showing empathy on emotional calls, to solving a bugbear for a customer in quick time, the voice channel means agents can leave a long-lasting impression on customers that can lead to long-term loyalty.

2. Customers Are Tired of ‘Digital Fobbing Off’

The allure of digital is generally due to its reputation for being lower cost and lower effort – particularly where businesses have employed  chatbots to reduce human interaction altogether. In relation to this trend, a recent article in The Financial Times suggests things are not looking good for customers:

“Data from multiple consumer and regulatory bodies shows that this digital fobbing-off on a grand scale has coincided with rising complaints and plunging levels of customer satisfaction.”

All of this has led to a nine-year low in customer satisfaction in the UK. So, the question is: are you using digital channels to make it easier for your customers, or your business?

3. Poor Customer Experience Is Rife on Digital

Even James and Nadine’s own poll of webinar attendants shows the overwhelming majority of poor CX seems to happen on digital.

Sharing her own recent anecdote of her customer experience going awry, Nadine highlighted the need to offer a personal approach to solving an issue – and sometimes, no matter how digitally savvy the customer, digital just won’t do.

Note: hiding your phone channel, or not offering one, is not a mistake you want to make when customers are impatient for an answer. Which leads on to our next takeaway…

4. The EU Will Mandate the Right to Talk to a Human by 2028

While AI may have dominated headlines for its ability to potentially reduce human interaction (find out why we don’t think this is the case), Gartner predicts that eventually the EU will mandate the right to talk to a human in customer service.

Where others go, more typically follow. That means now is definitely not the time to scale back your voice channels!

5. For Super CX, You Need Super Agents

…and super agents are hard to find and train when 51% of call centre agents consider themselves to be ‘disengaged’ from their work (Gitnux).

For this, James recommends an ‘Enablement, empowerment and engagement’ approach. Enable them by ensuring QA is tracking meaningful metrics that help them improve, empower them with coaching programs that help identify any gaps, and engage them with rewards and mechanisms that motivate and invigorate your team.

6. 83% of Agents Don’t Think QA Helps Improve FCR or CSAT

A telling stat from SQM research, an overwhelming majority of agents don’t see QA activity as meaningfully impacting the customer’s experience. This could be internal perception, or a real problem with more deeply embedding QA in contact centres.

In either case, your agents are your brand ambassadors – perceptions like this are in danger of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. If agents aren’t engaged and believe they’re part of making a difference, your customer is unlikely to benefit from a positive experience with those agents.

7. Complex Voice-Based Interactions Can Take Their Toll on Agents

A very worthy highlight, Nadine and James note how while digital can do its fair share of heavy lifting in resolving ‘easier’ queries, it’s of less help to those more emotionally charged, difficult interactions.

That means agents are more at risk of burnout, since they’ll be pulling on more advanced skills and potentially fielding demanding customers, with little respite in between.

James’ advice? Ensure your team leaders are well equipped to spot signs of stressed agents, keep up on coaching to ensure agents feel heard and guided, and build in decompression time.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of EvaluAgent – View the Original Article

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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: EvaluAgent

Published On: 23rd May 2024 - Last modified: 28th May 2024
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Old orange telephone with handset off.
Why CX Can't Afford to Hang Up on the Voice Channel