Internet Reducing Phone-Based Customer Service

Share this content:
NEW YORK - The Internet, used as a means of providing customer service and sales, will have a profound impact on traditional teleservices channels in the next few years, according to a presenter at the Internet & Electronic Commerce Conference & Exposition 2000 here earlier this month. The changes that Internet communication vehicles - such as voice over Internet protocol, e-mail and Web-based chat - will have include fewer service calls to companies and the elimination of the automatic call distributor, or ACD, as the heart of every call center, according to Donna Fluss, research director at the GartnerGroup, Stamford, CT.

"The ACD as king of the empire is dead," Fluss said in her presentation, called "Customer Service Over the Internet: Migraine or Miracle?"

She said the new technology for call routing, called a universal queue, will make the ACD obsolete as companies will need to integrate their knowledge bases with all of their communications vehicles in real time. An agent who answers a phone call will know instantly that the caller had recently send an e-mail query, for example.

In addition, she said, customers soon will expect to receive the same level of service regardless of which channel they communicate through. Although she said customers are still willing to wait up to an hour to receive an e-mail response, in the future this will not be the case.

"In e-mail services, soon response times must match or exceed those of phone-based services," she said.

She also said that collaborative, Web-based chat, used now by only a small percentage of Web sites, will be the norm by 2002, and marketers who do not offer this service on their sites will be considered sub-standard. A few companies, she said, have begun using Web chat as an outbound channel, contacting customers as they appear ready to leave a site.

The emergence of these channels also will reduce the need for customers to pick up a phone, she said. In the next two years, she estimated, business-to-business customer service telephone calls will decline by 15 percent, and consumer-to-business customer service telephone calls will decline by 10 percent. n

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above