PRESS RELEASE: inContact announced the findings from a July 2016 survey of customer service representatives (CSRs). The study, conducted online by Qualtrics on behalf of inContact, surveyed 500 customer service representatives in July 2016 and reveals that CSRs use phone-based support 86% of the time, despite the continual rise of non-voice channels.
“Customer service has quickly become a key differentiator for companies fighting for the consumer’s favor, and CSRs are arguably the most crucial part of a high-quality customer experience,” noted Paul Jarman, CEO inContact. “The valuable insights gained through this research provides a better understanding of the work environment faced by most customer service representatives.”
Phone Support is Still King
The new research indicates a steady increase in non-voice channels for customer service and CSRs are using multiple channels simultaneously, and often for the same customer. Email is the second most-popular channel with 46% of CSRs utilizing their email tool to interact with customers, followed by online chat channels at 16%. However, at 86%, phone support usage was nearly twice as much as email and used over five times more often than chat channels. Additionally, when asked to rank the most effective communication channel for resolving customer issues, CSRs again chose voice channels well ahead of email, chat, social media or text messages.
Nearly Half of CSRs Time is Technical Support
Between technical support and assistance with a purchase, CSRs spend 83% of their time helping customers. This 83% is evenly split between the two categories meaning that nearly half a CSR’s time is spent on technical support – a non-revenue-generating activity. Advanced self-service technologies, such as a customizable Interactive Voice Response (IVR) paired with a robust Automatic Call Distributor (ACD), alongside progressive analytics, relieve some of the technical support burden and create a more productive and efficient customer service workforce.
“Customer service, and specifically contact centers, are an important part of almost any organization. At times, however, they are looked upon as a cost-center rather than a crucial and valued business asset,” Jarman continued. “Through advancements of established technologies, and the introduction of new functionality and cloud capabilities, contact centers are evolving into valuable contributors to an enterprise’s bottom line.”
The research shows phone support remains the most important service channel, but also highlights the importance of secondary channels including email, chat, social media and text messages. Equipping and training CSRs with the latest in contact center technology is crucial to providing customers the ability to connect with companies through their preferred interaction method. Visit the inContact Blog for insights and details on how to create and empower the next wave of “Super CSRs”.