An article was written by Zor Gorelov (News - Alert), CEO of Speech Cycle about how the call center will cease to be the primary channel between companies and their customers and the smartphone will become the contact center of the future.
On the other hand, Mashable.com recently reported that the call center is far from dead. Although the rise of the smartphone has opened up new opportunities to interact with clients, but clients who need help are most likely to use that device to call customer support.
Here are some reasons Mashable provided about why the call center is still a thriving industry with all of the solutions and services it has to offer by simply dialing an 800 number.
A phone number has a nearly 100 percent reach. Still, a service app that offers customer support would not work as well. According to one Comscore report, 11.2 percent of mobile phone users have an iPhone (News - Alert), so if you build a customer service app for the iPhone, 88.8 percent of your customers won’t use the app, and instead they’ll just call.
It costs about $1 per minute for the average call center to service a customer, therefore, 1,000 customer calls lasting ten minutes each costs $10,000. The average cost of developing, launching, promoting, and maintaining a mobile app is about $30,000. Reducing calls by 3,000 in a year doesn’t seem nearly as likely if fewer than 12 percent of your customers can use the iPhone app.
Recent innovations in cloud computing and unified communications have made a high-touch call center a more viable option than ever.
You don’t have to use dedicated agents anymore as cross-trained workers can become agents when call volume requires it, reducing the inefficiencies of having full-time call center staff. Call center agents spend an average of 49 minutes per day idle, while knowledge workers will fill idle time with other work. This lost productivity costs approximately $12,500 per month for a 50-agent call center.
You don’t have to buy call center systems anymore. Traditional contact center solutions cost $1,200 to $1,500 per agent, plus installation, integration, and training. There’s also a charge of $300 per agent, per year, for maintenance. Using the 50-agent call center example and a three-year life span before the vendor stops supporting it, an on-premise system costs more than $140,000. A hosted call center platform sells for $50 per agent, per month. When you add the extra costs of IT administration for on-premise systems, the cloud-based option is 70 percent less expensive.
With all of this being said, what would you do if your new camera wasn’t working properly? Would you search the app store for the manufacturer’s app, download and install it, and then go through a troubleshooting wizard? Or would you use that same phone to dial the toll-free number for customer service?
Edited by Rich Steeves