It is now more evident than ever: Professionals need to adopt a new channel strategy. A strategy that supports customer service operations to align every type of communication channel to customer demand; a strategy that breaks down more siloed service channels to appeal to the large majority of today’s consumers; a strategy that encompasses the power of digital channels.
Digital channels – service combining traditional channels like e-mail, chat and Web self-service with newer social channels like Facebook and Twitter – are truly taking off. In fact, some tout it as soon becoming an industry standard.
The numbers speak for themselves. According to recent research from a Vocalcom whitepaper released in conjunction with top industry analyst Forrester Research:
- Online chat adoption among customers has risen from 30 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2012.
- The use of screen-sharing – or co-browsing – has increased from 25-30 percent from 2011 to 2012.
- E-mail remains the third most widely used communication channel among US online adults as of 2012, even boasting a slight increase in usage.
Interestingly, our findings also show that the percentage of online adults who use the telephone to speak to an agent has not grown, but rather stayed the same. Meanwhile, Help or FAQs sections of a company’s website have increased in usage from 57 percent back in 2009 to 67 percent in 2012. Similarly, instant messaging (IM) or online chat with a live person has increased from 30 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2012.
So what does all of this data have in common? It all points to the importance of having a strong, smart Web-based contact center strategy. Customer demand is inevitably shifting to encompass more Web-based strategies, which means contact center professionals need to hone in on how they are integrating their company’s website into their overall service strategy.
Supporting these types of service requests could make or break your business. To access our whitepaper in full and learn every piece of need-to-know information, click here.