Myth: I need to invest more in digital to meet customer demand

Truth: No, you don’t. This is a common misconception we see contact center leaders get tied up in time and again. The rise of digital channels certainly can be a good thing, but there are other areas you need to focus your budget, training and resource on too. In fact, we’re even running a masterclass webinar on multichannel CX to really help put this myth to bed.

Of course, digital customer service can offer some wins for the contact center. After all, there are plenty of customers who are looking for self-service options, or quick-and-easy ways to get in touch without ever having to dial a number (looking at you, Gen Z). So, it’s no surprise to see a rise in web chat, email and even WhatsApp customer service.

It promises so much. Fewer calls into the contact center, the ‘easier’ interactions taken care of, happier customers… right?

But here’s the thing. When it comes to deciding where to truly invest, you can’t go wrong with the voice channel.

Voice remains the gold standard

But isn’t voice on the way out?

Here lies our myth. It’s not digital channels you need to be improving (though it’s great that you offer them), as much as it is your voice channel. Recent research by ContactBabel, in partnership with evaluagent, shows demand for voice interactions remains strong – even in the face of other channels coming to the forefront.

This is especially true when it comes to high-complexity, high-emotion interactions, where there really is nothing like simply speaking to a person to achieve a resolution.

Let’s say you want to renew your car insurance. A straightforward self-service option is a great way to reduce unnecessary strain on the contact center.

But what if you need to make a claim? It’s likely your insurer will need to take you through a defined process, which is going to be longer and more laborious on digital channels.

It’s on the phone that first-contact resolution can be more easily achieved – and this, ContactBabel’s research says, is still most highly prized above all else.

Why voice needs investment

Customers value their time, naturally, and many are put off by the idea of having to wait in a call queue to get a question answered or carry out a menial admin task.

The ContactBabel research shows that while customers value the voice channel, contact centers struggle to keep up with the demand – as call wait time goes up, customer satisfaction goes down, and this is where many contact centers are making mistakes by investing in more and more channels, without keeping their existing ones up to scratch.

It’s worth noting that if your data shows voice is underperforming, it may not be because digital channels are performing so much better. Rather, the types of interactions that tend to come through to the voice channel are more complicated and trickier to resolve.

Still, a bad experience turned into a great one by a helpful, polite agent can make all the difference when it comes to providing a customer experience with a difference. According to Forrester, customers are 2.4x more likely to stick with a brand when their problems are solved quickly.

So, where should you invest in your customer experience?

Voice isn’t going anywhere. As a channel, it’s highly valued, but is under strain.

Investing in robust reporting and advanced analytics across all your channels can help you find key problem areas, understand where to focus training for your agents, and deliver insights that can drive your customer service forward.

“Digital channels are valued by customers, particularly for straightforward queries – but when it comes to more complex interactions, the voice channel is unrivalled,” says James Marscheider, Chief Commercial Officer at evaluagent. “Our research suggests voice needs far more investment than it’s currently getting to meet the demand. Contact center leaders need to analyze data with deep-dive reports across all their channels to ensure they’re getting the full picture before making any decisions.”

Join our online masterclasses

Want to know how to bust these common industry myths? Join one of our Masterclass webinars! We’re running a series based on data, research and expert opinion to help you navigate conflicting advice and confusing concepts.

Our first one, ‘Why CX can’t hang up on the voice channel’ is coming up on 1st May 2024.

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Why CX can't hang up on the voice channel

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