Phillip Vaughan, SAP Leonardo Centre of Excellence for Asia Pacific Japan at SAP, discusses replacements to call centre services.
Call Centre Service Statistics
Traditionally, service centres have primarily operated using telephones, and voice communication remains vital for businesses. More than email, in-person, live chat, mobile app, self-service, search engine, social media, online community, text message, or bot, the phone is the customer service channel used most in the United States.
According to Microsoft’s “State of Global Customer Service Report” report, 74 percent of respondents have contacted customer service by phone. Email is the next most popular channel at 62 percent. About as many people begin a customer service interaction over the phone as start their search online. The phone has the widest reach of any channel. Age often determines preferences, and there is growing evidence that using the phone to contact a human agent is not necessarily the first choice for many consumers. For millennials who have grown up with social media, messaging appears preferable.
Messaging and Bots
Messaging apps are at the heart of the mobile experience. Half of US consumers say they prefer to use some form of messaging for customer service, reports Aspect. Messaging is a new service channel that is a natural medium for bots. Many businesses are introducing a bot into their customer service mix. According to Jack Kent of IHS Technology, the popularity of messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat, makes them a logical medium for business.
Most businesses choose to introduce bots to provide a specific customer service. The quality of these bots varies depending on the provider’s objectives. Many bots are limited in scope and capability because their primary purpose is to test new technology, business process adoption, and user experience.
Bots can resolve customer problems without human intervention. Unlike humans:
- There are no queues or waiting times. Bots can scale to handle as many calls as required.
- They are available 24/7 – day or night and on the weekends..
Combining bots with technologies like blockchain and Big Data, the customer service industry can delight customers and lower costs at the same time.