There’s no hiding from the frustrations of call centers. Customers often struggle with long wait times, disconnection from agents who don’t understand your problem, not to mention being passed from department to department until they finally land on one to solve the problem. Yet, call centers are still the preferred channel for 33% of U.S. customers.
Why isn’t the call center dead and buried yet?
A recent study by Xerox highlights the disconnect between 42% of people believing call centers will be extinct by 2025, but a third of U.S. customers still list call centers as their preferred channel of communication. If so many people are eager to move away from call centers, why do people still rely on it?
Simply put, the expectations that people have of business technology are not being met. Customers want digital self-service – the ability to get what they need as fast and as easy as possible, without having to rely on someone else. In fact, Xerox notes that 36% of call center volume is from digital channels failing to provide answers, each of these “fallback calls” costing the business an average of $10. However, companies are not finding technologies that enable them to take advantage of digital self-service.
For B2B businesses, investing in most softwares is not realistic. These rigid “solutions” either don’t solve their businesses unique challenges, or cost an arm and a leg to implement and maintain. There’s a need to cure the headaches that come with costly call centers, yet most technologies sold today don’t offer a better alternative.
Platforms are changing the game for enterprise technology, filling the gap between out-of-the-box software, too inflexible for businesses, and clunky on-premise software, far too expensive and slow. Not only are businesses able to respond to their customers’ demands at a fraction of the time, but also adapt to organizations’ unique processes. In other words, finally providing a better alternative to today’s call centers.
Take, for example, a large global cosmetics manufacturer with 4,000+ salons and customer sales reps worldwide. Their CEO was frustrated – their call center was comprised of only 40 reps manually taking orders from the 4,000 salons located around the globe. On top of this, the call center was only open from 9am-5pm Central Time, forcing some customers to order in the middle of the night. Not only was there room to improve from the customer standpoint, but also for the call center reps. They needed a better way, and found it with a custom solution by Four51 built on OrderCloud.io, a B2B eCommerce platform-as-a-service. This was the only eCommerce technology they evaluated that allowed them to integrate with their SAP ERP seamlessly, set up 12 different order types, each with different rules, payment methods and products, create unique user experiences for their customer service, sales and salons and offer mobile-optimized, 24×7 ordering. On top of this, it provided the most cost-effective solution at the fastest time-to-value.
Xerox says it plain and simple: Customers want an easy, hassle-free option that gives them answers fast. Organizations want to minimize their costs while keeping their customers happy. It’s clear that call centers are not doing either of these today. Utilize new technology to deliver personalized, online experiences to each of your customers, empowering them to solve their needs as fast and easy as possible, while also making your business more efficient, and more impactful.