There’s nothing more frustrating than being placed on hold while waiting to speak with a customer care representative. That’s why many contact centers are moving towards alternative ways, from Facebook to email and text messaging, to keep in touch with their customers.
According to the 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmark Report, completed by Dimension Data, in just two years voice interactions will be eclipsed by contact through “new media” — including social media, texting, and email.
That means major change is on the way for the customer service industry. Right now, only about one in three contact centers use web chat, social media, email, or other new media platforms to keep in touch with their clients.
Right now, it’s not clear how some firms will handle the transition. Dimension Data says that less than half of all the contact centers it polled had any system in place to meet the new media demands of customers. Looking forward, only about one in five of those firms surveyed felt comfortable that their customer service approach would meet the needs of clients in the future.
Overall, the results of Dimension Data’s survey are shocking. For example, only three in five contact centers use social media – even though Facebook and Twitter have been around for years. There’s even less capability when it comes to video chat, with only one in five contact centers having the technology in place to make this kind of platform work effectively.
It’s a situation that will benefit those firms with a forward-looking vision when it comes to new media. Debbie Nolan, business development director at outsourcer Arvato, says meeting customer expectations is crucial.
“Customers increasingly expect brands to be able to answer their queries at the first point of contact, regardless of the channel they use for their query and regardless of the customer journey stage they are in,” Nolan says. “At the same time, they expect a bigger choice of online customer service channels. Contact center providers are having to rethink how they operate to meet this growing demand.”
The solution to this problem isn’t that complicated, Nolan says. Her firm has tried to meet the challenge presented by new media by embracing social media and by introducing a new web chat service. The result: better customer service reviews and annual cost-savings of roughly five per cent.