The ‘Perceived’ Demise of E-mail: Fact or Fiction

It’s indisputable that many in the call center industry have been putting an emphasis on the need to utilize social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. While this is good and well (social media is pinned as being the future of customer service) this enthusiasm for new outlets could easily be construed as a dismissal of previous standards, such as e-mail. But is e-mail really dead?

E-mail Use on the Rise

Some may be surprised to learn that e-mail use is on the rise, with an increase from 56 to 58 percent of U.S. online adults using e-mail over the past three years. But in the call center space, this shouldn’t come as a surprise; while Facebook and Twitter are increasing in popularity every day, many still only use those services to chat with friends and network for business.

When someone has an issue that requires dialing in to a call center, the first impulse is often to visit the company’s website. A phone or e-mail solution is often the most prominently featured channel of communication for this, as well as being the method of communication that many are still most familiar with.

Also consider that among U.S. online adults in 2012, e-mail remains the third most used communication medium. Call center software needs to continue to address this fact, though; it’s easily understandable why service organizations can feel pulled in different directions as they try to innovate for the 21st century, while not forgetting to accommodate all customers along the way.

The Reason for Continued E-mail Prevalence

E-mail response management processes that enable fast, personalized answers to questions are very well-defined and are widely adopted across a number of industries. While similar fast, personalized answers can also be found on Twitter and Facebook, there is no limit to the number of characters in an e-mail, and plus, it arrives directly in your personal e-mail inbox. Discovering that ‘you’ve got mail’ can still be a small pleasure, even in the 21st century.

To learn more about the rise of e-mail, click here to access Forrester’s “Understand Communication Channel Needs to Craft Your Customer Service Strategy” whitepaper.

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