In the age of multi-channel customer support, call centers are exploring a wide array of communication tools, from chatbots to social media, to meet customer expectations. Yet, one often-underestimated gem that continues to shine is email. In this article we’ll explore the numerous benefits of email in customer service, to showcase why this traditional tool remains a vital asset for businesses.
Enhanced Multitasking and Efficiency
One of the main benefits of email in contact centers is the ability for agents to multitask efficiently. According to a study by SBR, customer service agents tabbed between an average of two computer screens and seven different windows during a customer interaction to gather necessary information. Email accommodates this need by allowing agents to handle multiple inquiries simultaneously, which is often not feasible during phone conversations. Local Measure’s pre-built contact center, Engage, can also significantly boost efficiency and productivity. With full omni-channel support within a single interface, agents can seamlessly manage multiple interactions all in one place, without getting lost searching for the relevant windows and information.
This boosted efficiency translates into a significantly improved customer experience. Instead of having to wait in long phone queues, customers can send their inquiries via email and expect a response within a reasonable timeframe, without wasting their time on hold. According to an Econsultancy report, 60% of consumers prefer customer service via email due to the convenience and flexibility it offers.
Enhanced Customer Convenience with Asynchronous Messaging
As mentioned above, convenience is a paramount aspect of customer service, with email aligning well with modern customers' busy lives. As a form of asynchronous communication, customers are able to reach out at their convenience, even outside of call center operating hours. This allows them to seek assistance without the need for real-time interaction, offering a degree of flexibility that traditional phone support cannot match.
Moreover, email facilitates a written record of conversations, which empowers customers to revisit solutions, instructions, or recommendations provided in earlier emails. This enhances the overall customer experience, reducing frustration and confusion.
Boosted Productivity and Time Management
The ability to prioritize and categorize emails allows call center agents to manage their workload more effectively. Within Engage for example, our Case Management functionality sorts inquiries from inbound channels based on urgency, topic, or customer history, ensuring that critical issues are addressed promptly.
Studies indicate that proper email management can lead to substantial improvements in agent productivity. The McKinsey Global Institute found that an average employee spends 13 hours a week reading and responding to email. That’s by far the most time-consuming work activity at 28% of our work time. When well-organized, this time can be dedicated to addressing customer concerns and providing exceptional service.
Data Security and Compliance
Data security is a paramount concern for both businesses and customers. Email provides a secure means of communication, especially when compared to certain social channels or live chat options. Furthermore, many email services offer end-to-end encryption, ensuring that sensitive information is protected.
Email is well suited for compliance with industry regulations, such as GDPR or HIPAA, as businesses can implement policies and tools to safeguard customer data and ensure secure communications.
Global Reach and Multilingual Support
Call centers frequently handle inquiries from customers across the globe. Email's international accessibility allows call centers to provide customer service to clients worldwide, regardless of time zones or geographical boundaries.
Moreover, email is a versatile tool for delivering multilingual support. Businesses can cater to customers from diverse linguistic backgrounds by offering support in various languages. In fact, 74% of clients are likely to go through with a transaction if after-sales communication is offered in their language and email, over phone support, more easily facilitates this.
Customer Feedback and Analytics
Email is an invaluable channel for collecting customer feedback. When customers share their experiences and suggestions via email, call centers can gain valuable insights to refine products, services, and customer service practices. By systematically analyzing and acting on this feedback, companies can continuously improve their offerings and enhance the customer experience.
Moreover, email interactions can be analyzed for trends and recurring issues, allowing call centers to proactively address common concerns. This not only leads to better customer service but also helps reduce the volume of repetitive inquiries, boosting agent efficiency.
Email in Engage, Elevating your Customer Experience
Despite the rapid rise of digital channels in the contact center, email customer service remains key. As such, the Engage by Local Measure pre-built contact center platform includes email in our omnichannel offering. As a form of reliable, asynchronous support, it should play a key role in any brand's customer experience strategy. Engage email offers Smart Skills-Based Routing, Configurable Workflows, Email Signatures, Automatic BCC and much more. Engage provides all the tools to boost Agent's efficiency and maintain a high First Contact Resolution rate. Engage also leverages skills-based routing to ensure that customers only deal with agents who have the skills to assist them. This means the most skilled agents can assist on complex inquiries without wasting their time and talents on simple interactions.
In an era dominated by ever-evolving technology and communication platforms, email remains a central pillar of customer service. Its efficiency in issue resolution, record-keeping, and response times, coupled with cost-effectiveness, accessibility, and global reach, makes it an indispensable tool for businesses looking to build a solid customer experience.