Voice vs Other Channels
Are Voice Interactions on the Decline
Lately there has been a lot of talk about multichannel customer service and a persistent rumor has been circulating through the call center industry for years, claiming the death of the voice channel. According to a study conducted by Frost & Sullivan the average customer will have at his/her disposal and use about nine different channels to communicate with a company. According to the study only about 4% of respondents claimed that voice interactions had decreased in the past year or so while the majority or about 70% said voice calls had indeed risen.
The key to solving this puzzle lies in the number of channels available to people. Because companies are always trying to meet customer demands, they add more and more communication channels. When you look at it this way, voice interactions are in fact declining, but only if you look at them as percentage of the overall interactions. According to the same report by Frost & Sullivan with the development of IoT and the companies trying to differentiate themselves from the competition the number of communication channels and the overall number of interactions is only going to rise in the coming years.
As Frost & Sullivan note in their study report, “Ironically, it’s perhaps the inclusion of technology that is making the voice call all the more important. With a proliferation of devices and gadgets, as well as ways to contact a company, the percentage of easy-to-resolve, self-service-oriented calls is higher.” What is worth noting here though is that next to the more simple, self-service oriented calls, there are going to be a number of more complex ones that will require understanding the problems on a deeper level, thus increasing the importance of “…the human touch.”
This exactly is the case for one of 60K’s biggest retail sector clients who is currently utilizing a few different channels, such as voice, email and chat to stay in touch with its customers. The chart above shows the number of voice interactions for the first quarter of each of the past four years, from 2015 to 2019. It is evident that the number of voice interactions in each quarter, more than doubled those of other channels combined.