It’s Possible, if You Give Customers a Far Better Alternative
How many incoming customer service phone calls does your organization receive every month? What would it be like to receive ZERO?
It’s (at least theoretically) possible. But it could only happen in 1 of 3 ways:
You disconnect your phone system.
While often a daydream fantasy for beleaguered call center managers, this seems like the wrong answer here. Tempting. But irresponsible. It would work, though.
You offer massive penalties/rewards to customers.
What genius Marketing manager of the 1990’s didn’t float the idea of “charging $5.99 for customer service calls”—what a great way to generate new revenue AND reduce call volume!
Or, their polar twin who advocated for the “gamification” of customer service by offering customers reward points for every interaction they completed online without having to call.
Again, that could work—but it seems like just replacing one expense with another.
It becomes their idea to never call again.
And the only way that could happen would be if your customers were treated to an online experience that was so complete and effortless that it would make ZERO sense to ever call on the phone. If customers needed any form of live assistance, what if they could invite a service rep into the middle of their interaction, and have a live 1:1 discussion on their own screen without having to make a separate phone call? Plus, if you were already authenticated on the website/app, the rep would already know who you are and (based on your “digital body language”) would have a strong idea of what you were trying to accomplish and would already be proactively solving your problem before they even said “hello.”
That’s exactly what an OnScreen Voice experience is like. For customers, that’s completely different from having to stop everything you were doing on your screen, and having to start the entire interaction all over again with a “disconnected” off-screen phone call. It’s the difference between:
- Having to find the company’s phone number, going through the IVR menu, waiting on hold and finally talking to a representative who says “Hi, how may I help you?”
- Or, having that same representative pop up on your screen to say, “Hi, Ms. Johnson! It looks like you’re trying to apply for an auto loan–I can totally help you with that!”
Why would you ever call that company on the phone ever again?
The pathway to zero incoming phone calls starts with understanding what kind of digital experience would lead your customers to never even THINK about calling your company on the phone. And the only way that will ever happen…is if THEY choose for it to happen.
Therefore, it’s up to your organization to make that choice so obvious to customers it’s a no-brainer.
OK, maybe zero phone calls seems like a stretch, but (according to Forrester) 84% of all customer interactions start online—on the customer’s own screen. Doesn’t it make sense for the entire interaction to stay there?