A frustratingly common experience as a customer is trying to reach support at a corporation and being unable to facilitate direct communication, whether because of long wait times, delayed connection, or constant transfers. When given the choice, most consumers would prefer to communicate with their devices rather than by phone.
Two factors are driving the popularity of voice- and chat-based communication. For one, millennials are frequently shopping and working online, making it easier for them to access online resources than to call a phone number. For another, communicating this way is much less time-consuming for individuals in an increasingly chaotic world.
The rise of instantaneous responsive chatbots providing everything from tech support to mental health advice demonstrates a growing demand for real-time communication between consumers and businesses.
Although the AI technology that enables chatbot communication has existed since the 1960, the trend has only become popularized in the last decade or so, with Chatbots Magazine reporting that millennials are increasingly comfortable with chatbots than speaking call center agents. But contact center agencies are failing at their own game if they can’t make the process easier than picking up the phone.
Strategies enable effective communication
Many customers are finding faulty communication when they attempt to reach tech support. Chats are dropped, Internet connections are shaky, and inevitably, bad Yelp reviews are left. This leaves both customers and business owners at a disadvantage, because they both suffer; the customer suffers because he doesn’t receive the help he sought, and the business owner, because he likely loses a sale.
Essentially, contact center communication involving chatbots is the same thing as call center communication, but with one caveat: Text-based communication, by and large, provides customers with a more seamless and stress-free interaction with their favorite companies. At least that’s how it should be. In theory, chatbots make communicative efforts easier and allow customers to feel appreciated and heard, especially if they are first-time customers or a small, niche business.
Unfortunately, in reality, chatbots fails to meet the standards of most busy millennials, who know they have other options. If they’re not satisfied, they’ll move on. The dismal state of most of these strategies is driving customers straight to larger-scale, cloud-based infrastructures, which provide faster response times, more highly personalized communication, and something known as omnichannel conversations.
Omnichannel communication versus multichannel communication
If you are still using multiple channels of communication to provide support to your customers, you are unnecessarily complicating what should be a simplistic ritual. Using multichannel communication might not cause a problem if a customer is asking a simple question and then moving on, but in situations where a customer needs to remain in contact with you over a variety of platforms, or accidentally gets booted from a chat, omnichannel is the only strategy that allows you to pick up exactly where you left off.
Research indicates that digital natives in the millennial cohort prefer voice and chat-enabled communication when speaking directly to a retailer, but 82 percent of all businesses are confused about how to meet this changing need.
If you are to succeed at integrative, responsive communication, you must adopt omnichannel. The vast majority of customers prefer omnichannel because it’s easy to use and accessible, but only 2 percent of all businesses strategically use omnichannel.
All of the major tech giants, including Amazon, have begun integrating omnichannel strategies to great success. Smaller competitors will have to implement similarly cloud based call center strategies to see the same rates of consumer satisfaction. Companies need to use technology for the modern age, so that even midsize businesses to use omnichannel communication.