The transition from call centres to contact centres was one born out of necessity. As businesses began to make the switch to digital communication at the close of the last century, customers were left with a lot of questions and concerns. Naturally, their preferred course of action to find answers was to rely on a familiar technology: the telephone.
But as more and more customers began reaching out to businesses, it became apparent that traditional call centres simply did not have the bandwidth to handle the flood of new contacts. At the same time, increased competition meant that businesses were in need of key differentiators, particularly where customer convenience was concerned. In response to these demands, organisations began to create and post email addresses and forms on websites that customers could use to reach out, but soon found that the influx of emails was nearly as difficult to manage as the calls.
In an attempt to deflect some of these interactions and to provide a more prompt service for customers, businesses started creating knowledge bases and FAQ pages. This evolved into more in-depth self-service options and customer online portals. Chat products were added, offering real agent interactions without tying up agents’ time. Eventually, social media became an option for customers who wished for a more direct, and more public forum for addressing concerns and interacting with their chosen brands. Now, modern messaging apps with rich functionality for convenient, meaningful one-to-one conversations are surging in popularity.