Talking about the Telephone
Posted By: DSG
Swiftly approaching 150 years old, the telephone has been responsible for the world’s most meaningful progression in communication. Since the first bi-directional electronic transmission of the spoken word was shared, the telephone has played a pivotal role in the communication revolution. Initially regarded as “an improvement in telegraphy” today the telephone is responsible for so much more and continues to connect, educate, service and sell.
Telephony and associated technology for business has followed a progressive path from the need for proprietary platforms whereby lines were driven through hardware and expensive expansive costs, PRI systems and the current IP based infrastructure. Even support and maintenance of telephony infrastructure has come a long way from then, initially being an extremely specialised skill to now, an accessible portfolio of networking and IP proficiencies with only a basic underlying understanding on telephony. The telephone remains to be a pertinent channel for customers to reach a brand via and will forever have a foothold in customer experience.
The digital revolution has not made the telephone redundant but rather, further enhanced the channel, making a portfolio of diversified touchpoints possible and is the only channel that comes as close to an “in the flesh” CX compared to others while supporting almost every stage in the customer lifecycle.
Although considered a more costly route to CX delivery given the human intervention, through an on-demand model, a business is able to gear up or gear down on the channel based on customer expectations and SLA requirements. Following a thorough channel and channel touchpoint audit, a focussed channel strategy will further facilitate a customisable solution at a predictable and cost effective rate.
Sensible use of the channel whereby voice is wholly integrated with the functional enterprise can produce extremely favourable CX results. Through building lasting relationships, the effective use of telephone can leave customers feeling heard, appreciated and their needs understood and appreciated.
Regardless of if the solution implemented is an open source or proprietary execution or which stage/s in the customer lifecycle that channel is intended to support, call flow best practice should always be applied to ensure the channel supports a serviceable call experience.
Call Flow Best Practice includes;
- No more than 3 to 5 IVR (interactive voice response) options
- Always offer an option to speak to an agent
- Always offer the option to exit or return to a previous / main menu
- Message / call me back option
- Escalation and entry to functional processes in place should 1st line resolve not be possible
- Frequent audit of the call flow to ensure continues fine-tuning and on demand consumption