Even in a Multichannel Environment, Voice Remains the Preferred Channel for All Complex Queries in the Contact Center

In the increasingly transforming omni channel world, we often take the “voice medium” for granted! Especially, when it comes to customer service, we rely more on chatbots, emails and various messaging apps to deliver the right customer experience, while undermining the need for the “human” connection that comes with a voice call. Contact centers need to realize that despite the presence of various revolutionary digital mediums, customers still prefer the age old method of voice calling to get their queries/complaints resolved.

Several studies have pointed it out that digital channels are only preferred when they work cohesively. A Google study says that almost 60% of the customers want to speak to a human being rather than contact online for quick resolutions. Companies often overlook the fact that voice interactions are faster, easier and more effective.

Why Customers Prefer the “Voice” medium?

While the digital age has facilitated a host of activities online, it is still a fact that customers prefer direct conversations rather than typing emails/messages to a contact center. You might make plans with friends on WhatsApp, order food from Zomato or buy your next smartphone from Amazon, but when confronted with technical issues or a complex purchase from the seller directly, customers wish to speak to a human expert. A good example would be of buying an insurance policy. You may check out policy details on the website or mobile app but you wouldn’t buy it without having a discussion with a service staff.

Voice is pivotal to central communication. Since it is not strictly an online channel, it is challenging for brands that feel digital transformation only encompasses generating clicks and measuring website footfall. With verticals like insurance, travel and healthcare, customers typically reach out to the company’s contact center after conducting a preliminary research themselves online and are thus aware about the product/service offering.

There are certain cases wherein the brand/company makes contact via a digital channel like email or social media. Here the customers don’t know who they are communicating with. Whereas when they receive a voice call from a contact center, they know the name of the agent and by extension they know the company – who (agent) can be held accountable for the information provided.

Besides the accountability factor, another reason why customers prefer the voice medium is familiarity. Even in this digital age, some of the customers are still uncomfortable using technology like email or chat; or in case of senior citizens maybe are wary of it. But the age old telephone is still trusted by one and all.

Certain queries or complaints are better resolved on call rather than backend. For instance handling a billing or payment issue, or making specific changes to a policy amount or gathering information about a newly launched product. Contrariwise, when we talk about giving suggestions or feedback, a customer would seldom make a call to a contact center about it. Filling up a small survey or feedback form over email is far more convenient.

Final Thoughts

The omnichannel environment is naturally gaining ground across businesses in offering superior customer service and making things easier for the company as well as the end customer. However, certain inevitable factors make it difficult for these channels to work smoothly and serve their true purpose. A large chunk of customers tend to prefer voice calling as the most accurate option for gaining truthful answers. Especially in complex situations where articulation of the query via chat/email is difficult. It is important for companies and their contact centres to offer a multi-channel experience while continuing to deploy high end telephonic solutions.

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