In an Inspiro sponsored survey, 68% of customer experience (CX) executives named voice as their top contact center channel — despite numerous previous predictions to the contrary — far outstripping options such as email, chat, websites, apps, SMS, and social media.
Some cited evidence that this is a resurgence attributable to quarantine simply because customers have more time on their hands nowadays to make calls. Others pointed out that results can vary across different industries influenced by demographics. While more urbanized consumers might use voice and various other options, those in rural areas are more likely to prefer a phone conversation with a human agent.
However, the same respondents also noted that change is in the wind, seeing a rapid shift toward chat, and mentioning that the first avenue of support for no less than 62% of millennials consumers is YouTube.
A separate recent survey found that customers are beginning to select channels not purely by preference but based on their perception of what works best for specific needs, as follows:
- voice calls for dealing with complex issues;
- chat or messaging, due to:
- long wait times associated with phone interaction,
- inability to find the correct contact number,
- the desire for increased flexibility, and
- avoidance of IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems;
- self-service, for:
- information gathering,
- simple transactions, and
- quick resolution; as well as
- social media – rarely used for direct CX, but to:
- follow brands, and
- track other people’s customer issues.
More than 70% of the surveyed executives felt that it was more important to make support available in any channel a customer might want to engage in, while only 23% believed in presenting recommended channels for particular types of issues.
The conclusion from these results seems that, while voice may be a choice right now — and perhaps for a good while yet to come — companies who want to show their customers’ genuine care and convenience need to offer omnichannel support. With the current preference for voice interaction, it’s not too late to get started — but it’s certainly never too early.