The phone channel is still extremely important in customer service. According to Metrigy, 73.1% of interactions either use voice initially or after a digital interaction. Therefore, bad quality telecom services, such as when customers are not able to hear agents or voice service is unavailable, can significantly impact an organization’s customer experiences (CX) and increase costs. But how does this happen?
1. Increased Call Handling Time & Customer Dissatisfaction
Poor telecom quality often leads to misunderstandings, repeated conversations and a longer call duration. Customer frustration can rise quickly when they can’t hear your agent clearly or miss an IVR step because the audio cut out or became distorted. Even worse is when service is interrupted and the customer has to call back later.
Additional costs can quickly add up too. The most predominant increase in costs is due to an increase in average handle time, which in turn increases the costs of telecom usage and agents. Another cause of increased costs may be the loss of existing customers. Maintaining customer loyalty is one of the most effective ways to save your organization money since it is often much more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing customers. Lastly, first impressions matter. If a prospective customer experiences a problem, there is a higher likelihood they will not do business with your company.
2. Reduced Agent Efficiency and Morale
Constantly dealing with poor voice quality can be stressful and demotivating for agents. This may lead to reduced efficiency and higher error rates. Happy and efficient agents leave customers pleased with their experiences with your company. When your agents’ frustrations get in the way of their best work, your customers will ultimately feel the impact.
You also have to consider higher agent turnover rates due to lower morale, which increases the costs of recruiting and training new agents.
3. Increased Need for Callbacks and Follow-Ups
With your telecom quality not being up to par, customers may have to call back to clarify some information, or they may realize that they missed the information entirely. Having to re-connect and potentially be placed on hold for something that could have been avoided will increase customer frustration.
Additional costs will be incurred due to the increased live agent time needed, telecom usage, and lower first contact resolution rates (FCR).
4. Increased Dependency on Other ChannelsOmni-channel contact centers have the crucial benefit of meeting customers where they prefer. When your telecom quality is poor, customers who prefer phone calls may decide to avoid that channel in the future and move to web chat for example. While using this new channel, they may experience frustration and a sense of inconvenience since it’s a channel they are not comfortable using and communicating through.
5. Downtime and MaintenanceBad telecom is known to come with downtime and frequent maintenance resulting in customers being unable to connect with your organization. This of course negatively affects your CX. Also, when an outage occurs, information about the cause can spread fairly quickly and can harm your brand’s reputation. Maintaining your company’s image is crucial since it takes significant time, effort, and money to rebuild it.
ConclusionWe hope this article has shed further light on the different ways that bad telecom can negatively affect CX and costs. Outstanding CX and lower costs can be achieved not just by having the best cloud contact center technology, they require reliable, crystal-clear telecom services for optimal communications.