Depending on how far forward you’re thinking, this may seem like a moot question to you. After all, the future of customer service is all self-service automation, right?
The short answer is, not yet – and certainly not all. Consider that Microsoft’s 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report found that 74 percent of respondents had contacted customer service by phone, and 43 percent of respondents began their customer service interaction on the phone.
In addition, customers clearly want quicker, higher-quality service when they need it:
- A third of Microsoft’s respondents said the most irritating thing about customer service today is not being able to reach a live agent
- Salesforce found that 75 percent expect a consistent experience no matter what channel they use
- 74 percent of customers say they will engage in repeat business with a company if their experience is easy.
Survey after survey, for the past 20 years, has found that the single most frustrating thing to customers is having to wait on hold; what’s changed over time is customers’ increasing unwillingness to wait even one minute on hold. And just like that, we’re right back where we started: What is the future of callback software solutions?
Considering the Cloud
Since callback software makes things easier for phone contacts, it makes sense to start by considering the future of the contact center as a whole — which is a place of transition at the moment. While many centers aren’t moving to the cloud while their premise centers are still cost-effective, contact center cloud solutions are growing at a compound annual growth rate of 25.2 percent.
The benefits of hosting your contact center in the cloud are widely recognized to include lowered costs and more operational flexibility. A SaaS callback solution like VHT Callback cloud offers callers alternatives to waiting on hold from your IVR, connects with online visitors quickly and effectively, and creates meaningful connections with mobile users via SMS. It also includes the following operational benefits:
- Simple, subscription-based pricing and lightweight, scalable integration
- Cost-efficient improvement of service levels across all channels without overstaffing
- Ability to dynamically expand your staffing pool to include agents in other locations
Quick, Seamless Consistency
Beyond the cloud, experts seem to agree that the future of customer service relies on improving the customer’s overall experience by making it completely effortless. This applies to your service offerings across all channels as well as the accessibility of your agents. However, implementing this consistent, truly omni-channel experience is one of the greatest challenges faced by today’s contact centers. You need a callback solution that works across every hybrid environment and any future omni-channel initiatives.
VHT’s Conversation Bridge, our multichannel callback solution, does just that: It provides a bridge between our callback software and your mobile, web and other digital channels. Specifically:
- It provides your customers an expectation of estimated wait time and enables them to request callbacks.
- It allows them to easily switch channels without encountering any customer service dead-ends.
- It supplies your agents detailed information about each customer and their requests in real time.
What effect can this sort of omni-channel experience really have on customer loyalty? We’ve found that customers whose callbacks originate in mobile apps are 8 percent more likely to become brand promoters.
Proactivity and Personalization
That comment at the beginning about self-service automation is not entirely snark. AI tools like chatbots are already part of the service experience that customers are used to; so what is the best customer service implementation for the rest of their experience?
Customers today want a genuinely productive, almost consultative experience whenever they need to speak to a live agent. Once the basics are handled by the self-service aspects of your omni-channel experience, your agents are freed to focus more on the holy grail of today’s customer service: the proactive intervention and personalization of experience that leads to long-term customer relationships.
As the contact center changes, the metrics by which you evaluate your center must also change. The focus will shift from call quantity to quality, from transactional numbers to determining agents’ productivity and success. Getting issues resolved at the time of the customer’s first interaction, with minimal effort on their part, is a best-practice goal.
The Past Is Future
Finally, those who implement callback solutions should also expect a certain level of customer service from their provider. VHT has been in the business of improving the customer experience for more than 20 years, and its solutions come with a complete package of support services including real-time visibility of all components, operational reporting and performance reviews, forecasting and planning, and a dedicated business analyst.
Are you ready to arm your contact center with a forward-looking callback solution? Contact us today to get started.