In addition to the traditional voice call, customers now have a range of ways to engage with contact centres, such as email, instant messaging, apps, and social media.
Despite having so many choices, customers still find it easier to talk.
Surveys consistently find that customers are content to use automated systems or chat for simple interactions, but when they have a problem or a complex question, they prefer to talk.
Alternative communication channels are growing in popularity, but customers still call more than they use any other channel, and it is likely to remain so in the future.
This is good news for contact centres.
Person-to-person interactions are a real opportunity to provide great customer experience and build confidence in your brand. Research by BearingPoint found that out of the various communication channels, “voice calls have the strongest impact on sales and customer satisfaction.”
Why is it easier to talk?
The average typing speed is about 40 words per minute, while the average conversation rate for English speakers in the United States is about 150 words per minute.
So, when time is short, it makes more sense to talk than type. Of course, there is much more to communication than words.
With video calls, we have facial expressions and gestures, and with audio calls, we have tone, intonation, rate, and pauses, which all contribute to a much richer interaction.
Text messages can be misinterpreted or cause confusion. This can lead to frustration and even irritation on both sides of the interaction.
When two people are talking, misunderstandings are less common, and if they do happen, they become apparent quickly and are easier to resolve.
When customers have more complex questions or a problem they feel anxious about, it’s simply easier to explain the context in a call and have a two-way conversation.
The future of customer interactions
The best contact centres offer a range of communication methods to suit personal preferences and the purpose of the interaction.
Automated systems, chatbots, and interactive voice response (IVR) are ideally suited to simple interactions and increase customer satisfaction by resolving minor queries quickly and efficiently.
IVR systems are becoming more sophisticated, and some systems can even replicate human-like conversations between a voice bot and a customer.
Soon, customer interactions may begin with a voice bot and then be smoothly transferred to a real agent when necessary.
Certain types of customer interactions will always require the type of assistance that can only be given through a conversation with another human.
To function properly, IVR systems, voice bots, voice user interfaces (VUI), and person-to-person conversations all rely on good audio quality.
The voice channel, in one form or another, is here to stay, so it’s critical to consider it in your overall customer engagement strategy.
Ensuring your customers have an excellent call experience
The Spearline platform tests call routes in real time, as your customer experiences them.
In addition to testing that calls connect, Spearline also tests the call quality using industry-standard measures.
You may be surprised to learn that at least 1 in 25 calls fails to connect or has customer-impacting quality issues.
Spearline can help you to manage your brand reputation by ensuring that your customers always have an excellent call experience.
If there’s a problem with your call, you’ll be the first to know. Not only can you identify impending issues, but you can also receive the insights you need to optimize and drive improvements in your customer interactions.
For further information, visit www.spearline.com