News stories and social media posts have recently described immense frustration as people have waited on hold for hours to talk to their county health department, refund flights and hotels, or any other customer service inquiries in this time of uncertainty. Sometimes they got through, sometimes they didn’t. And, as the provider of Conversational Service Automation solutions for call centers we felt it too, and we knew we had to do something.
A new global survey that Uniphore commissioned shows that contact centers are more important than ever during COVID-19 but many can’t handle the influx of calls. As a result, many are turning to AI and other technologies in order to give their valuable front-line call center employees a hand.
The survey results underscore a growing need for voice-enabled software that eliminates putting customers on hold and streamlines the customer service experience — especially during COVID-19. Here is a quick summary of the findings:
People still hate calling helplines, and it’s no wonder…
- Nearly one-third of callers (28%) are left on hold for long wait times (sometimes over 2 hours!).
- 72% said they have hung up on a call when waiting to speak with a live person.
- One-third of respondents would prefer to deep clean the bathroom than be put on hold.
The issue is that they’re more important now than ever.
- More than 60% said they were given different or conflicting information from the news, leaving more questions than answers.
- Only 5% of respondents tried to reach out to a company via chatbot, and 9% have written an email, reinforcing the notion that in these trying times, humans still want to connect with humans via voice technology.
Contact center employees are among the essential frontline workers, providing necessary information to all. But they’re clearly overwhelmed, proving that voice AI software is more essential now than ever before.
- Of those who were put on hold with a company after calling about coronavirus, almost 40% said they were annoyed or frustrated.
- More than 43% of respondents were not able to speak with a healthcare representative after calling a helpline.
- 40% of respondents noted they did not even receive helpful healthcare information when finally able to contact a healthcare call center.
For all brands – whether you’re a healthcare provider, an insurance company, retailer, or hospitality company – excellent customer service is still vital to a brand’s identity.
- 68% said they would stop patronizing companies they had a bad customer experience with.
View and share the infographic below:
By: Annie Weckesser, CMO + People, Uniphore