Dave Vernon of Aspect Software discusses the digital journey that we are all part of and how it is influencing our communication preferences.
The humble telephone has been a fixture of the customer engagement experience for many decades. It’s still a hugely important piece of the puzzle, but the evolution in mindset of the younger generation means that it’s now becoming a last resort rather than a first port of call, with newer channels like webchat or other self-service options taking the lead.
Take the Dimension Data Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report findings as a case in point. 64% of baby boomers might consider phone as their preferred channel of choice, but this plummets to 29% for Generation X and just 12% for millennials.
Instead, younger, more tech-native consumers like the idea of using social media or other online or mobile-based services to get their basic queries answered.
So, what does all this mean for the future of customer service? It points to a clear need for businesses to think long and hard about the choice they offer their customers when it comes to interaction, and how you need to provide a cohesive, unified service across a range of different channels.
Telephone certainly still has its place, but it’s not the be-all and end-all any more. It’s crucial that organisations are adaptable and ready to do things a little differently.
Instead, your focus as a customer-centric business should be on building and maintaining a successful omni-channel customer experience. This demand for new channels is part of what the modern consumer wants more than anything else: efficiency, but not to the detriment of quality of service.
With all of this in mind, simply introducing new channels and leaving them to operate completely independently of one another won’t work.
This much-coveted efficiency can only be guaranteed if organisations have the technology in place that enables all interactions, across all channels, to be managed and administered from a single location – which can be achieved with an omni-channel customer engagement platform.
In this way, the customer experience becomes truly omni-channel, where a query could for example be made through a webchat service, before then being seamlessly transferred to telephone as and when required.
If you’re willing to be adaptable in the face of these changing consumer habits, you’ll be in a position to thrive.