The call center is still at the heart of customer service, despite competition from online self-service, web chat and smartphone apps.
With all the fuss about multi-channel communications and unified communications in the call center, you'd think that the phone would be declared obselete, with new customers preferring the path of the iPad, smartphone or carrier pigeon.
But a recent survey by Forrester determined that 79% of customers still prefer an old-fashioned, one-on-one conversation to the call center, above even the super-convenient online chat or the time-delayed email. And even with call centers clamoring for online, mobile and multi-channel support, 72% of customer service still happens in the call center. Amazing.
With the average cost of an inbound call hitting $5.90, call centers (should we call them "contact centers" if 72% of the volume is still phone calls?) are always looking for ways to help customers help themselves. Web self-service, automated phone self-service and smartphone applications are all tools that contact centers have used to enable customers to service themselves rather than waiting for a live agent. And with 51% of the contact center budget going toward agent salaries, it makes sense to direct customers with a preference for self-service away from the live agent path to better accommodate those who prefer a live voice.
Thanks to Zendesk for creating this lovely infographic letting everyone know those agent's call center jobs are safe:
Image originally posted on Zengage, The Zendesk Blog