Most people genuinely hate talking on the phone. Texting is simpler, because it allows you to compose your thoughts before replying. Whether in private messages or business conversations, the same behavioral patterns exist as society becomes more textual.
How does this affect the traditional call center?
Call centers deal with enormous numbers of calls daily. Verbal conversations are still perceived as the fastest way of solving customer problems, but this is changing. Phone calls are losing popularity among modern consumers who prefer to text. It is a particular challenge for call centers to retain their leading positions in client service.
There is, however, no need to worry. The phone channel is still an essential medium for building meaningful connections with your clients. The only question is how to use it correctly to leave your customers satisfied after talking to your agents?
The rise of text messaging has changed customer support. We must ask, “Are we at the forefront of a move toward text centers?” The answer depends on many variables.
First of all, it’s all about listening to what customers demand. People, above all else, want a choice. They may prefer texting normally, but want the option of explaining the issue over the phone as well.
Messages are now the new phone calls and provide a similar experience. But we’re not ready to jump straight into messaging and throw away all the phones. Businesses should instead learn how to balance the two correctly.
It’s worth noting that talking to clients on the phone adds a personal touch to your customer support. Therefore, it can’t be easily substituted by text messaging, automated chatbots, or email. The disadvantage of text messaging is that it’s virtually toneless. Customers need human agents to help them solve issues with empathy and support. This creates a heightened sense of trust that texting cannot achieve.
Call Centers Changing Role
The role of call centers is changing. They’re increasingly important for setting up an emotional connection with customers. Call center agents add an emotional dimension to client communication.
Live conversations and real human interactions are essential on the psychological level for your business. They can do much more than a simple text message can. Why then do clients request text options? There are always two sides to every story.
Voice support can backfire on businesses if not handled correctly. Your customers may hate talking to your call center reps because of:
- Phone menus;
- Long hold times;
- Annoying music;
- Agents’ queue puzzle;
- Repeated information;
- Accidental hangs ups.
Your clients are tired of the endless labyrinths they need to go through to reach out to your consultants. As a result, emotional outbursts eventually occur during the call. While these seem to be good organizational strategies, you risk alienating your clients.
Striking the Right Balance
Messages are integral to the lifestyles of modern, tech-savvy consumers. Think about how rarely you call someone and how often you use messaging apps. Why expect a different approach when dealing with your customers?
Using technology and automated services is great, but don’t expect a simple message to solve all the customer-related issues at once. Technology should never replace human agents. The same applies to text messaging. Only by balancing the two channels correctly will your company succeed.
Here’s how your agents can seamlessly integrate messages in customer communication at call centers without leaving calls behind:
- Use chatbots for less complex customer problems and use phones for urgent issues that require immediate actions.
- Use text messaging to start conversations and switch to calls when necessary.
- Lead two-way conversations.
- Give your clients a choice and offer them an SMS option when they contact your call center.
Make Messaging Your Ace in the Hole
Still wondering if there’s room for the messages in your call center? Consider the benefits it brings to your client service and how it takes your customer relationships to the next customer-centric level:
- Message communication and phone calls can co-exist on the same platform, thus creating omnichannel possibilities.
- With messages, your agents can handle multiple interactions at a time.
- Texting reduces costs, but automated texting can be even more cost-effective.
- Semi-automated customer service enables a smarter customer experience and accelerates live interactions.
Speaking with customers via messages is what they genuinely want. So give your clients what they demand and earn their long-lasting trust.
What Does the Future Hold?
As long as people will use their phones to connect with each other, call centers will continue to use verbal communication for daily operations. However, the technology keeps advancing, so there’s a good chance that call centers will stop taking calls one day. Taking the proper measures now will prepare your customer service for the future. In digital transformation, flexibility will play a fundamental role in helping your support team adhere to the new digital reality. Ensure your agents know how to integrate text messaging correctly to serve the technology-oriented customer generation of the future.