Are You Talking to Me?
By Diane Royer
If you're like me, when you can choose between talking to a recording and talking to a person, you'll choose the human – without hesitation. Sure, there are times when I want specific information, and IVR systems can get me where I want quickly. But often a person can provide help faster and may even create options for products or services not otherwise considered.
There's one big caveat to all of this. No matter what, if you don't know me and understand my needs, then you totally reduce the value that you can provide to me. In this age of high demand for quality interaction along with attention to rapid resolution, you need to make sure that you're solving for the right problem and that the solution fully addresses the need.
I'm not alone in this. We see a new trend emerging as call centers strike a balance between automated self-help and voice interactions. As George Humphrey and Christian Goffi discuss in our Contact Centers Test the Value of Voice digital postcard, consumers value having a live voice contact in a call center. Not only does voice communication improve customer satisfaction and brand perception, new opportunities can also arise from that "human interaction." I'll go a step further to add that the interaction could be with an avatar who could assist you with your problem. The bottom line still holds true — solve my problem and do it quickly.
With so many modalities of communications and self-service these days, it's easy to let voice take a back seat. Think of this trend as "getting back to voice" – restoring the high expectations of the customer with the quality of service they expect to be delivered. We can take advantage of the many technologies today that will re-empower voice within the contact center.
Just last year, 428 contact center professionals participated in Avaya's study on balancing call center efficiency with customer satisfaction. In this study, we find the key components of a successful customer contact, and key metrics used by professionals to strike this balance.
This concept of testing the value of voice may seem counterintuitive because we are innovative in so many modalities of communication. We're consistently introducing new, cost-efficient ways of communication, but not forgetting that voice is still perceived the highest value mode of communication.
As George and Christian discuss in our video, we're challenging the notion of interacting with the users the way they expect to be interacted with. This may take different forms, but don't lose sight of the importance of voice.
What has your experience been with leveraging the cost of communication with the value of voice interaction?
Diane Royer is senior marketing manger of Avaya Client Services who leads Services Thought Leadership along with the integration of services into Avaya solution launches. Her business experience of 30+ years spans marketing, sales and field operations within the telecommunication space along with experience as a market researcher for a leading international firm and loan officer for the Small Business Administration. Follow Diane on Twitter @Royer_Edge.