Did you know that knowing what a VCR is, not using #hashtags on a regular basis, and ownership of a landline telephone are all tell-tale signs that you are NOT a millennial nor Gen Z? #itstrue
I recently found statistical data on the loss of landline usage – here’s a summary:
- 2004: Over 90% of households in the US had a working landline telephone, compared to 5% of households with only a mobile phone
- 2015: Mobile phones replace a working landline as the voice communication device in half of all US households.
- 2017: Less than half of all households in the US (43.8%) have a working landline telephone –52.5% have a mobile phone only
What does that mean for you, and for your contact center? Why should you care? Here’s a couple of ideas to help you not only “deal with” that change, but rather ensure that you take advantage of it:
- Make use of the “channel opportunity”: back in the day, a phone was a phone was a phone. The only interaction channel it provided was voice. Today’s smart phones offer so much more than just voice. Other channels are readily available, anywhere, anytime: text messaging, Social Media platforms, self-service such as user groups, forums or FAQs. Millennials may also still use email – another channels that’s right there on the smart phone. Just make sure you take into consideration that the expected response times for channels have shortened considerably across the board. For email, for example, about one third of customers expect a response within an hour (and almost everyone within one day). Tolerance waiting for a reply in other channels has also diminished dramatically. So use the channels, but make sure you can fulfill expectations!
- There’s a whole interaction channel that ties to smart phones “taking over”: Mobile apps! Many customers today expect to be able to interact with you using their phones – for anything! Buying from you, processing service interactions such as bill payments, contract extensions, you name it. Self-service is big in Mobile Apps, just make sure you enable your customers to reach out for help if things do not go as expected.
Last, but not least: true Omnichannel. Since mobile phones support so many channels, customers are no longer “tethered” to using a particular channel for the duration of their interaction with you. They may start out chatting, but then need to leave. If they need to drive, then why not enable your agents to call them on their phone (the one they use to chat with you)? It enables an interaction to continue seamlessly that would otherwise have required later follow-up. Since no follow-up is needed, you achieve higher First Contact Resolution rates, while increasing customer satisfaction, reducing interaction volume and customer effort. Definitely a win-win situation!