The Digital Age: Are We There Yet?

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October 28th, 2009

The “digital age”… It sounds so advanced, even though for the most part customer service organizations entered it years ago when we started taking emails from customers. The interesting thing to me is how it’s stagnated since then. Sure, we’ve played around with chat a bit, but is that really a value-add? Not for me.

The point is, people differ in how they want to communicate with businesses. Some prefer phone, while others favor email (like myself). As today’s younger generation matures into mainstream consumers in the “digital age,” what type of communication preferences will they have? Based on what I see, texting is a definite possibility.

According to NICE’s contact center benchmark report, many call center managers agree with that. When asked about which new contact channels they plan to support by 2011, instant- and text-messaging were clearly top priorities.

Being an email-first kind of guy, I remember how frustrating it was when that channel was first opening up. Lack of response, hard to find addresses, no receipt confirmation. Let’s not make those same mistakes when the new wave of digital contact channels rolls out.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on communicating with customers over digital channels. What are your company’s plans for supporting IP- and Web-based contact channels (other than phone and email)? Do you really see value in offering them? What pitfalls do you expect to occur?

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