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The Difference

In which of the following channels do you prefer to receive customer service?

There is simply no denying it: voice is the definitive customer contact option.

on the surface, this onging emphasis on voice repressnts bad news for profit-conscious or organization.

Live Agent Support Is Expensive

Deliver a great voice experience is costly, which forces organizations to choose between two unappealing outcomes.

  • Invest heavily into the voice channel and reduce profitability
  • Limit investment into voice engagement and reduce customer satisfaction

Delivering A Great Voice Experience Is Challenging

Familiarity does not necessarily beget excellence. Voice may be the oldest contact channel, but many organizations struggle to deliver a great voice experience.

  • Empowering live agents to successfully engage with customers is a trying endeavor. It takes a robust, nuanced combination of great recruiting, on boarding, training, coaching and employee engagement to cultivate a team of customer-centric voice agents. Few organizations have discovered the secret human capital sauce.

  • Live agents are inherently vulnerable to human error. No amount of training can immunize agents from making costly mistakes that damage relationships with customers. The impact of human psychology, including compensation and belief in the corporate message, creates an additional layer of inconsistency.

Scaling Voice Is Particularly Difficult

To accommodate growth in size and scope, organizations require a cost-effective strategy for scaling their voice experience. In the status quo, many turn to outsourcing or remote work programs. Both carry a justifiable stigma.

  • It is difficult to standardize training, metrics, and overall strategy across disparate, third-party sites.
  • Outside agents may have different dialects, speaking styles, and regional norms. Collectively, these factors compound the "human inconsistency" issue inherent to the voice channel.

The Other Channels Suffer

Even with all the hype surrounding live chat, chatbots and social media, voice remains the only channel in which the majority of organizations offer "full service." It, moreover, remains an urgent investment focus for 60% of organizations. This investment into voice comes at the expense of digital channels, which creates a vicious circle. As organizations continue offering limited, unsatisfying experiences in digital environments, customers will continue gravitating toward the more costly voice channel. Despite these unappealing realities, customer-conscious organizations have no choice but to treat voice as the centerpiece of their contact strategy.

Organizations Cut The Wrong Corners

Given budgetary realities, organizations will naturally need to limit their voice offerings. These limitations lead to poor customer experiences. One example involves restricting the voice conversations based on customer, time or issue type. Any such restrictions reflect a direct affront to the spirit of omnichannel customer centricity, which says customers should be able to interact when, where and how they want. Another example involves attempting to manage call volume via interactive voice response (IVR) solutions. IVR tools also represent an affront to customer centricity. Notoriously slow, unintuitive and ineffective, IVRs are a common subject of ridicule among customers and customer contact thought leaders. Rather than solving problems, they simply force customers to endure more delay - and more frustration - en route to a live agent. Organizations, moreover, do not even have faith in the power of their IVR solutions. Less than half of organizations believe their tools can solve most issues; these organizations are simply accepting them as a "necessary evil" in their effort to manage costs. Collectively, the challenges underscore the importance of disrupting the voice experience.