With an increased emphasis on mobile applications, it is true that a certain portion of the global population is turning to their smartphone for information rather than calling a number to speak with a service representative.
Interestingly, Zor Gorelov – CEO of customer service self solutions provider Speech Cycle – wrote an article for technology and digital media aggregate source Mashable.com suggesting that applications would become so pervasive in American culture that they would eclipse the utility of call centers by the end of the year.
In response, Jeff Valentine of cloud communications company M5 responded with another article for Mashable explaining why reaching a service representative through a vocal medium is not going anywhere.
One of the most obvious reasons cited by Valentine is the notion of reach. Citing a statistic from digital marketing intelligence firm Comscore, less than 12 percent of mobile users own an iPhone. Consequently, if a service app is developed for the iPhone, roughly 88 percent of a potential consumer base will not be able to use it.
By contrast, an answering service that maintains perpetual availability over the phone can be accessed by literally anyone.
"The cost of providing high-touch customer service using the most important channel today – voice – won't change just because people have smartphones," writes Valentine."What would you do if your new digital camera didn't turn on? Search the app store for the digital camera manufacturer's app, download and install it, register your camera, and then walk through a nice pictorial troubleshooting wizard? Or would you use that same phone to dial the toll-free number for customer support?"
Considering Valentine's argument, answering services fulfilling their clients' customer service needs at a remote call center are still providing a highly relevant service even in the wake of the digital revolution. As such, these professionals should still be considered an excellent, cost-effective alternative to the stress of staffing and budgeting an in-house service staff.