There are more people online than ever before, what does this mean for contact centres?
Online banking. Video call meetings. Online shopping. Digital TV. Online socialising. As Microsoft’s CEO has said, lockdown has brought about “a remote everything”.
It has also prompted many people to become more tech savvy, upskilling digitally in a bid to stay connected during social isolation.
So is this increase in web users here to stay? Will demand rise for digital service delivery? And what does it mean for contact centres?
The rise of digital
Some 59% of the world’s population can now access the internet, rising to 95% in northern Europe.
In the UK, the figures on internet usage growth are clear. Ofcom reports that during lockdown in April 2020, adults spent an average of four hours and two minutes online per day, up from three hours and twenty-nine minutes in September 2019.
The proportion of UK online adults making video calls doubled, with more than 70% doing so at least once a week. The trend was especially noticeable among older internet users, where the rise was from 22% to 61%. Virtual meeting platform Zoom grew from 659,000 to 13 million adults between January and April 2020 – a rise of almost 2,000%.
There are also more people shopping online: among over-65s, the rate doubled during lockdown compared with the previous year.
And according to Halifax, there was an increase in online banking among all age groups, with record numbers of older people signing up.
Businesses, organisations and governments have also had to adapt rapidly. They’ve had to switch to everything from remote working to digital service delivery, including complex services as telemedicine and distance learning.
Of course, as lockdown eases, there will be a gradual return to traditional ways of working and delivering services. But we’re unlikely to go back completely to how we were.
In fact, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella says the global pandemic has hastened the adoption of a wide range of technologies by two years.
So what does this mean for contact centres? At Connect Assist, we believe this time presents great challenges, but also huge opportunities.
Take a look at what customers want from contact centres. They want their problem to be resolved on their first call by polite and friendly advisers. They expect quick queue times, short voice menus, and they don’t want to be transferred between advisers.
An outdated service platform leads to a poor customer experience – and, potentially, to callers switching to alternative providers where possible. Our call centre services take a customer first approach to ensure the customer needs are met.
Digital service delivery
Seamless customer experience is made more possible through digital service delivery. And now that more users are online than ever before, it’s the perfect time to make the switch.
At Connect Assist, we use Oracle Service Cloud to empower organisations to build stronger relationships with their customers by bringing technology together with people to provide a rewarding and personal customer experience. It’s an online hub that combines contact centre applications with customer service systems to offer a smooth customer experience.
By automating workflows where appropriate, it frees up your advisers for the queries that really require human input.
Its Customer Portals allow users to self-serve, e.g. by accessing the Knowledge Base, which uses self-learning technology and social learning to keep content up-to-date.
Customers can also request chats with advisers for more complex issues. However, according to one study, 67% of customers prefer to self-serve than to speak with an adviser, with 91% being happy to use a knowledge base tailored to their needs.
Oracle also includes tools to create chatbots and virtual assistants, activated by text or voice, which can answer straightforward customer queries quickly and efficiently.
All this is accompanied by an excellent set of analytical tools, allowing organisations to tweak their services to meet demand.
An omni-channel customer experience
Of course, there is still a role for good old-fashioned phone calls: some customers prefer them, while others still lack digital skills or accessible technology.
But digital service delivery can integrate all channels into one seamless customer experience. And that’s good for everyone: service providers, helpline advisers and, above all, customers.
To discuss how Connect Assist can support your organisation in adopting a digital approach, contact us today.