Who remembers video stores? How about going to Sounds to buy a CD? When you think about it, these times weren’t really very long ago, but when you take a look at VHS’s or CD’s along the technology timeline, it may as well have been in another century.
Some people say contact centres are going the same way. Who needs to call a centre when we can google the answers we need? We saw the same thing happen to the retail industry at the birth of internet shopping, and again when music streaming and downloading took down the CD stores.
But technology and the internet isn’t wholly to blame. After all, if the retail and music industries really were killed by the internet then the malls would be empty and Taylor Swift wouldn’t have a bedroom the same size as my entire house. These businesses are still booming, they just function in different ways. The most successful retailers will have an online store as well as a physical store and the most successful artists are all available on iTunes. The content is still out there, we just access it in different ways, in easier ways and that’s what it all boils down to, making it easier for the customer.
Uber didn’t kill the taxi industry and Netflix didn’t destroy the video shop, those businesses destroyed themselves by not being customer-centric. Large fees and too much effort were the real killers and that’s where the contact centre differs. Contact centres aren’t just about calls anymore and haven’t been for a long time. We evolve with our clients and with technology and that is how we stay relevant. We communicate with our customers on social media and via email or live chat. It’s all about giving customers options and making it easier for them to deal with us. Customer service like that will never go out of fashion.