Omnichannel mix, but the phone still rules
The survey, summarised on Customer Contact Central, looked at channel preferences depending on the reason for contacting. It discovered that consumers will use up to nine channels to contact a supplier to try and get the result they want. While web chat, social and website are on the rise for the preferred contact channel, respondents overwhelmingly declared their preference for the telephone as their primary channel.
Image source: www.customercontactcentral.com
The leading channels overall remain telephone and website/chat. Outside of these, none of the other channels were the number one preference for any contact reason.
Customers with problems want to speak to an agent
In particular, contacting an agent was the preference when customers had a problem to solve. This indicates that self-service channels such as app, text, social etc. are fine for making a purchase or payment, but they don’t offer the real-time personal engagement consumers want when there have more complex problems to solve.
Furthermore, while self-service channels may have seen growth in usage in recent years, the survey found that they may drive more frustration with customers than success. Customers frustrated with self-service channels spill over into frustrated calls into the contact centre.
The quality of your customer's call
With all this in mind, the quality your customer experiences when they do pick up the phone to you remains just as important as ever.
With telephone as the preferred channel, and particularly so if the customer has a problem, the last thing you need is for that customer to experience another problem with their call to you.
If the call fails to connect, or the audio quality is poor, the initial problem may seem magnified from the customer's point of view.
Your customers rely on inbound voice, but can you?
Our recent report on the global quality of inbound voice calls showed that as many as 1 in 15 calls from some countries fail to connect. That's 1 in 15 customers calling a local contact number and failing to get through.
We also found that, for a number of countries, the voice quality of calls averaged at a level that would require attention or effort for the caller to hold a conversation. Again, not the experience a customer is hoping for when they call in with a problem to solve.
For more information on what our testing revealed about inbound voice performance globally, download our whitepaper '2018 Global telecoms quality of service report' now.