Has your contact center stopped serving your customers? Are you allowing your customers to reach you with their easiest, most convenient tool available, texting? Or, are we blinded by the speed at which communication and transactions are passing us by? Are we really listening to our client base and serving them or are we serving our own comfort zone?
Today, there are very few cell phone users that don’t send at least five text messages per day. It is the growing industry for today’s people on the move. According to a CBS News survey, young girls are texting approx. 60 times per day while boys are texting 50 times per day. 63% of the same groups are sending text messages every day.
Additionally, texters are heavy cell phone users and talk times are up over previous years. What a surprise! But who’s watching and who cares, right?
Call Centers have traditionally been a voice-only operation, but we should be allowing this market to communicate with business in a way that makes it easy and convenient for more consumers.
The smart device takeover
According to further studies conducted between 2012 and 2013, 37% of traditional Samsung cell phone users upgraded to a Samsung smart phone or tablet by the end of 2013. And in a press release by Gartner, more than 250 million smartphones were sold in the US by the third quarter of 2013.
These statistics show that consumers love how easy it is to communicate and shop with smart devices and they want more. Simply put, consumers are putting their money where their mouths are.
But we have to ask ourselves – are we set up to conduct business with this new and ever-growing technology or are we stuck with the 1980’s technology of voice-only ACD’s?
Are you smarter than a 5th grader?
Today’s student is more literate on a computer or smart device than their parents. Ask any 12-year-old to help you set up your smart phone and they can do it in minutes. Ask their parents and they will more than struggle for hours on end on the same device. So why are we not allowing this new and faster tech-savvy user to reach us in business?
The answer may be simpler than you think. We are simply afraid that we may not understand the newer technology. We are afraid of rolling out technology that our customers will know more about than us.
Are we too afraid of getting caught up in the technology race? The bottom line is – we may be losing market segments of consumers who choose to do business with their cell phones using smart apps (applications built to make choices easier). For example, smart apps are offered by insurance companies so that we can more easily select better insurance plans to meet our needs.
Other apps help identify what good movies are currently available or where to find the best beef noodle soup. Apps are designed for both entertainment and business purposes. We exchange information through apps and that information is collected by contact centers and businesses everywhere.
This Christmas, my daughter made 70% of her purchases with a mobile device, another 25% of her purchased were made via websites, and 5% of her time was actually spent at the mall.
She also had a doctor’s appointment and one dentist appointment during the month of December. The doctor sent her an email confirmation while the dentist requested confirmation via a text message, both of which she replied to with her smart phone. I have to admit, she shopped smarter than me.
What I learned from her this Christmas was that consumers are smart about the costs and headaches of getting to and from a mall or even acknowledging appointments.
My daughter demonstrated how efficient texts, emails, and online technology can be. For someone being in her twenties she has really taken advantage of the technology I am writing about.
Ironically, she is not the person I’m writing this blog to. She is the consumer on her feet moving at the speed of her smart phone. So I ask myself, why aren’t more contact centers doing business in ways that bridge the ‘I want it now’ generation?
[To be continued...stay tuned for part 2 soon where we'll talk about exactly how you can refresh your contact center and bring it into the 21st century]
Photo credits: www.freedigitalphotos.net