What’s Happening to the Voice Channel for Customer Service?

Andrew Ashton is CFO of Teleperformance UK, Ireland and South Africa. This is his first post on the blog…

The exponential rise of non-voice channels for customer service contacts are upon us. The first channel shift from voice to email is being exacerbated by the boom in social media, leading to the so-called burning platform of voice calls. Leading edge customer service functions are already seeing a minimum one fifth non-voice component in their channel mix; within a few short years voice will be overtaken to become the minority channel.

The drivers are extensively documented;  Generation Y proportion of customer populous ever increasing, telcos battle a reversal of voice versus data mix, Facebook continues its’ relentless rise, Twitter hits the daily headlines.

So it is the moment to strategise quickly and plan for the changes which will dramatically impact customer service cost. Starting now, expect reducing call volumes and challenge the scale of in-house call centre resourcing for representatives on the phones. Next years budgets and forecasts should be anticipating and driving cost reduction with windfall profit improvements as fewer agents are needed to attend to the skewing mix of customer contacts.

Leading organisations which can optimally manage their customer service shift will see the average cost to serve reduce by 18 – 25%. Everyone else will have to follow and it’s not a one off impact. Expect call centre demand to fall, initially by 30%, with most of what’s left being linked to first contact e-mail and social media messaging which has already been made into the organisation or its environment. A multi-skilled co-ordinated workforce becomes essential with instant access to multi-channel MI. Customers who are increasingly using several channels into an organisation expect joined up knowledge and first time resolution.

Those who optimise e-performance tools to efficiently manage the systems and processes to integrate voice with non-voice channel contacts will benefit from the greatest cost reduction and increased profitability. Meanwhile the competition must wake up and catch up.

Teleperformance is leading the field with its innovative applications and consultancy services. A leading utilities client we work with has recently reduced its average cost to serve by 25% from the early recognition and adoption of non-voice channel contact management. The e-performance applications bring email and social media into the customer contact arena in a seamless environment. Then efficiency and optimisation tools manage the blended productivity and efficiencies for the dynamic mix of the different channel usages. Consultancy delivers process remapping and financial modelling of cost reductions; a bespoke pricing model incorporates a guaranteed savings plan.

The multi-channel contact environment is with us. For some the challenge brings opportunity, growth and profitability. For those who remain passive the threat is palpable.



Photo by Plenty R licensed under Creative Commons

About Andrew Ashton

C.F.O. of Teleperformance UK, Ireland, South Africa
This entry was posted in Contact Centres, Current Affairs, Social Media, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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