When many organisations had to close their doors and restrict face-to-face activities during the pandemic, the telephone has proven to be a vital and effective tool. Two in five consumers say that phoning business and call centres has replaced face-to-face and in-store interactions with brands. In fact, the survey, which was carried out by Netcall in conjunction with Arlington Research, has revealed that more than a third of consumers (34%) have found it vital to phone businesses during the pandemic. That’s despite recent speculation that COVID could spell the end of the call centre.
And, contrary to many popular beliefs, the telephone has been a vital channel for younger consumers as much as it has been for older age groups. 38% of Millennials, 40% of Generation X, 39% of Baby Boomers, and 39% of the Silent Generation all agree that phoning businesses or call centres is one of the main ways they contact a brand. In addition, 36% of 18-24 year olds agreed that it has been vital to telephone a business during the pandemic, compared to 27% of 55-64 year olds.
With England in its second national lockdown, where all non-essential businesses are closed to the public again, society’s reliance on alternative contact methods is set to continue – and could even escalate.
However, it’s not all good news for the contact centre. More than half (55%) have been kept waiting longer on phone calls to brands during the pandemic. Whilst there may be explanations for this in terms of increased demand and challenges with staffing traditional contact centre sites, this still harms brands when it comes to reputation and customer loyalty. Customer experience and the way that companies respond to consumers has never been so important. In fact, 69% agree that bad customer experience/support over the phone negatively impacts the way they feel about a brand, whilst more than one in three (37%) think businesses should be available by phone 24/7.
And, as the demand for round-the-clock services to be delivered remotely increases, self-service channels are rapidly being seen as the solution. Two-in-five (43%) respondents prefer to use self-service channels such as online chatbots, rather than phoning a call centre. And these preferences vary with age: 58% of 25-34 year olds prefer self-service channels, compared to 33% of 55-64 year olds and 28% over 65. That doesn’t mean self-service for all types of interactions. It means that organisations should focus their efforts on providing customers with the appropriate channels for the complexity and effort of the engagement.
Richard Farrell, Chief Innovation Officer at Netcall, commented, "For simple transactions, automated channels which are underpinned by low-code software, can provide convenience for users. At the same time, contact centre resource can be freed up for more complex, emotional, or high-value interactions. Chatbots are an obvious example, but organisations shouldn’t neglect telephone-based services such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and other forms of voice bot for call routing, direct debit creation and payments. When customers need to call or escalate from an automated channel, there are ways to help manage the experience, such as call centre call back, that removes much of the frustration for callers and delivers more effective staff utilisation.
"Agents must also be empowered with the right tools to do their job. That means information being readily available, as well as systems and processes that remove friction from customer journeys. Robotic Process Automation can quickly gather information from multiple systems and perform steps once a call completes, improving customer experience and improving efficiency," Farrell concluded.
The results from the survey highlight just how important the telephone channel remains, whilst indicating ways in which organisations can meet customer demand, improve experience and minimise costs.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Seamless customer engagement begins and lasts with Netcall. Contact centre technology designed with your customers experience in mind, allows you to access data and content where it’s needed using our smart, user-friendly and beautifully designed solutions. Create a universal queue and consistently manage service delivery across all channels. Join-up your contact centre’s front and back-office systems and deliver integrated automated workflows that promote first contact resolution. Keep customers informed and reduce inbound contact using proactive outbound messaging. Gain quantifiable visibility and control of volatility. Face each day with confidence, optimise the deployment of your trained and motivated agents. Improve the customer journey with high quality customer interactions, while enjoying lower operating costs. Netcall is proud to serve over 700 organisations. Be empowered to deliver superior customer service any time, any place, anywhere.
Published: Friday, December 4, 2020
|1.)||All Ears Ltd|
Freemate headsets, and sanitary solutions for headsets
Freemate headsets available, corded and wireless for telephony and USB. 3 year warranty compatible with all model phones. We supply accessories from downleads, USB leads, ear cushions, leatherettes and we service call centre headsets, these are sanitised and repaired or serviced as required.
We supply the corporate environment, Government departments, security, medical and professional offices and meet the needs of many of New Zealand's SOHO market.
We can even develop and create one-off solutions for those with mobility or disability limitations opening up a world of freedom in communications. And we like to have fun on the journey.
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Smith Corona Headsets
3 year warranty compatible with all model phones. Accessories also available. Cords, earpads, etc all factory direct pricing
Since 1998 Headsets123 has been supplying Call Center Grade corded phone headsets, wireless headsets, headset telephones and a wide range of headset accessories to accommodate Medical, Insurance, Financial offices and large Call Centers environments offering you value, comfort, flexibility and increased productivity in your day to day business.
Our offices are located just outside of Seattle, WA. We hope you enjoy our wide range of headsets and accessories.
Jabra is a leader in engineering communications and sound solutions – innovating to empower both consumers and businesses. We are committed to letting people hear more, do more, and be more than they ever thought possible. Through sound and video, we help transform lives. Jabra engineering excellence leads the way, building on 150 years of pioneering work. This allows us to create integrated headsets and communications tools that help professionals work more productively; wireless headphones and earbuds that let consumers better enjoy calls, music, and media; and pioneering video conferencing solutions, enabling seamless collaboration between distributed teams. Jabra employs approx. 1,400 people worldwide
Based in Dorset, England, JPL designs and manufactures innovative professional telecom headsets. We have a wide range of professional telecom and call centre use headsets in wired, wireless DECT and Bluetooth styles.
Making sure that your customer’s voice can be heard is vital. JPL Telecom ensures that your customer’s experience is first-class. All headsets have our Surround Shield™ noise cancellation to make certain your customer only hears what you want them to hear. Comfortable and attractively designed headsets are built to withstand the constant use in any call centre environment.
Our aim is to continuously improve customer choice, offering a fair price and value to our resellers and end users.
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|7.)||Unicom Services Ltd.|
Contact center headsets and conference solutions
Unicom Services Ltd. is a distributor of professional headsets and communication solutions for all possible applications.
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|8.)||Xiamen Mairdi Electronic Technology Co., Ltd|
Call Center Headsets
Mairdi is a professional call center headsets maker in China. We've designed, produced and exported professional communication headsets for 16 years. Our headsets were exported to over 120 countires in the world.
Our headsets are widely compatible with nearly all IP Phones, desk phones, PC and mobiles. They are all noise cancelling and with built-in hearing protection technology. Our headset accessories are Plantronics or Jabra compatible. All the headsets and accessories are CE,FCC, RoHS certificated.