Businesses have spoken. Telephone call support is being deprioritized and digital service modalities are in high demand. Gartner’s October 2021 report titled ‘Advance an All-Digital Customer Service Initiative by De-emphasizing Telephone Calls’ gives customer-minded businesses the lowdown on telephony vs digital. In it, Analyst Steve Blood summarizes that there are two main reasons that calls are out and digital is in:
- Phone call center support is costly at 2 cents to more than 10 cents per minute for inbound calls.
- Digital channels encourage further engagement while call center support ends simply in problem resolution.
From a business perspective, it seems obvious. But consumer trends haven’t caught up with business trends.
From Calls to Chats
According to a recent Dixa survey, 84% of customers still choose phone support as their most preferred channel. So how can leaders guide their customers to use digital channels without disappointing them? It comes down to investing in the right technology and making a conscious switch. By de-emphasizing telephone communication, and enhancing digital capabilities, customers will slowly but surely be won over by the superior digital experience.
The Digital Takeover is Imminent
One key for determining a successful customer transfer to digital is to predict your customer behavior in terms of their attitude towards digital service and then provide the best technology to serve their needs. Gartner research shows that there are generational differences in attitudes towards digital service. Older generations for example, like Baby Boomers, prefer telephone over digital options. Generation X has a slight preference for telephone but are willing to choose digital channels instead, if it will save them 10 minutes or more. Finally, Millennials and Generation Z are the most digitally savvy and would rather save time than have a phone call interaction. This breakdown of generational trends is a clear indication of where service is going. As the generations continue to age, the majority of customers will become the younger generations, and the demand for time-saving service will far outweigh the demand for phone call support.
Choose Engagement to Capitalize on Customer Service Interactions
If companies wish to transition their customers from telephone to digital they can start by de-emphasizing phone number and telephone information on the website, and start to put digital communication front and center. Instead of a “Call Now” button on the homepage, businesses should provide a “Chat Now” button that’s integrated with a seamless automated chatbot. This is the opportunity to utilize the array of cutting edge customer experience technology hitting the market.
Gartner’s analysis of top technology to enable this important and inevitable switch, ends four categories of vendors that can support digital-first engagement.
- Customer Engagement Center vendors
- Contact Center as a Service vendors
- Digital Customer Service Specialists
If the first two first categories sound interesting to you, we highly recommend that you download the report. But we’re going to focus on the last one. Gartner lists Dixa as a DCSS – the category of software that promotes self-service and provides a multichannel solution that challenges traditional ticketing systems. This category enables remote customer service, allowing companies to employ remote customer service representatives, and to communicate with customers with equal ease across all channels. This “channel equality” is also known as ‘multiexperience’. We’re proud to see Dixa listed as a top vendor in this category.
Get the facts about customer service from both consumers and service agents, and catapult your customer experience, starting right now.