Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Its not the channel, its the implementation

It seems like every other day now we get a blog post about how one technology/channel is dead and how this new thing is now the best thing since sliced bread.
First they said the phone call is dead. Not.
Then they said email is dead. Or support over email is dead. etc etc. Not
Though these may be ok to get page views, the reality of the matter is quite different. Phone calls and Email usage has not gone down(for businesses, its a different story for B2C). In fact it has increased.
And all the blog posts take some example of a bad implementation and highlight what is wrong with the old technology or channel.
Problem is even in the new channels, in app support etc there are some very bad examples. But that does not mean that the problem is with the channels.
The problem is with the implementations.

For example, very few IVR systems use the context of the caller and provide help. Very few use speech recognition technologies which have improved by leaps and bounds. What if someone implemented a simple IVR for support where you just call and state your problem and disconnect. And within a couple of minutes either your problem is resolved or an update is given. If this happens every single time, phone would be the first point of contact for most customers.
Customers just need resolution. They are not looking at using the next big thing in tech to talk to businesses.
Similarly in email, still most systems are dependent on tickets, ticket numbers etc. Customers get confused. Its time the systems moved on to conversational mode of solving. And email is built for conversation.
Same thing with chat bots. A chat bot need not be intelligent. All it needs is to answer queries or hand over to a human.

In our experience with a lot of businesses at Ozonetel we have seen that many of them spend too much time on installing a technology for their processes(sales/support). They dont spend enough time on working on the communication flow. If they start doing that, we may have good conversational systems on all channels.