According to a recent study, 90% of customer conversations take place via the telephone. Can lower cost alternatives satisfy customer needs while reducing the bite on your bottom line?
Why online customers head to their phones
In a recent article on 1to1Media, Anna Papachristos cites a recent Gartner study indicating that 90% of customer conversations still take place via telephone. She focuses on solutions that analyze feedback from those conversations, but we could not get past that 90% figure and especially the high cost to businesses worldwide of all those phone conversations.
A 2013 IMShopping survey found that 43% of e-commerce transactions begin with a web search and end with a phone conversation. Why do customers at digital stores or support centers choose to pick up a phone rather than seeking help on-site? Given the high operating costs of telephone centers and the difficulty in extracting data and applying analytics, companies of all sizes should be actively shifting service and VoC interactions to efficient and cost-effective digital channels.
Customers reach for a phone while using a company’s website for a few primary reasons:
- They cannot find answers or assistance on the site
- It’s too hard or time-consuming to explain what they need using online options
- They need immediate assistance to complete a transaction
Multichannel VoC: An attractive alternative
Used correctly, a multi-channel customer feedback platform (also called a VoC or voice-of-the-customer) platform can effectively listen, understand and act in real time on customer feedback across all digital touchpoints.
Company contact is never further than the corner of each site page with a feedback button. Trigger-based feedback invitations proactively welcome customers to engage with a business, precisely when they are most likely to be having difficulty or experiencing frustration.
Once contact is initiated, user-friendly feedback forms make it easy for customers to quickly report problems and questions in their own words. Well-designed feedback solutions should neverrequire customers to answer a long list of survey questions before reaching a final “Anything else you would like us to know?”
While some customer feedback and VoC solutions focus strictly on gathering data for later analysis, Kampyle supports real-time actions, based on business rules, to provide immediate assistance to customers at much lower cost than phone conversations. Based on their feedback, visitors can be redirected to the spot on the site they need to complete a transaction and issues can be instantly escalated to relevant teams for resolution. Customers may be selectively routed to telephone support, based on projected order value or LTV, or incentives to re-enter the sales funnel may be emailed to them.
By shifting even a small number of phone center calls to a multi-channel customer feedback / VoC solution such as Kampyle, companies can reduce costs substantially. Equally importantly, in many cases, a well-designed onsite customer feedback / VoC option offers customers a superior customer experience to the frustration, long waits and poor service that are common to many call centers.
And since some customers will always opt for telephone service, the exciting new solutions Ms. Papachristos discusses are indeed essential, particularly, if like feedback data gathered by Kampyle, the data they gather can be integrated with enterprise information systems.