A 2015 “Forecasting Utilization of Toll-Free Numbers” report from the North American Numbering Plan Association (NANPA) estimated that by Q1 2018, 100% of toll-free numbers would be in use with a 66% probability of exhaust. In comparison, 85% of numbers were in use in Q2 2015 with a less than 1% chance of exhaust.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the contact center hasn’t always been known for its user-friendliness. From a computer that always thinks you’re saying “refill prescription” when you’re really saying, “cancel prescription” to one that leads you through multiple questions before it recognizes that you are, indeed, the cardholder on your Nordstrom account, the benefits from AI have often been unappreciated by consumers and end users.
You might not love them, especially when they’re used to make spam calls, but the fact is we need toll-free phone numbers. We like them, even with the majority (63%) of us turning to them for customer support.
Overall, the annual growth rate in registered toll-free numbers has hovered near 9% since 2010. There are over 40 million in use today, with so much demand that there are now several alternatives to the classic 800 including 888, 877, 866, 855 and 844.
Think about it: what would your impression be of a company that didn’t offer a toll-free number for customer support? Probably not good.
On the contrary, we’ve seen these numbers promoted in some of history’s catchiest marketing jingles: 1800Mattress.com’s "1-800-MATTRES,” Stanley Steemer’s “1-800-STEEMER,” and J.G. Wentworth’s “877-CASHNOW.” The reality is that toll-free numbers are a pervasive part of everyday life, and they’ll continue to be moving forward.
There’s no denying the evolution of customer communications over the last 20 years. Today, tens of millions of text messages, online messages and social posts are sent each minute for brand engagement. But that doesn’t invalidate the telephone as a critical touchpoint.
Consider the financial services industry: 84% of customers say they still want the option of a live person for discussing their banking needs, and expect this need to stay the same five years from now. Even millennials still prefer phone for handling certain banking needs (a recent study from Humley found that 56% would rather communicate with a live person than a chatbot).
We see this pattern across several industries. When traveling, 89% of customers prefer help from a live person when something has gone wrong. In healthcare, 94% of patients prefer to speak with a real person than a virtual agent. Overall, phone has proven to be invaluable during certain stages of the customer journey, like in the purchase phase of the buying cycle or when a problem occurs.
Communications is critical to any company’s growth. Whether it’s the collaboration of team members on a project or presenting a consistent voice to the public, communications plays an important role in equipping companies to reach their goals. Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) is getting a lot of attention because of its ability to update communications without additional infrastructure.
In the call center, nothing is more important than providing an excellent customer experience. Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) is a solution that offers great benefit when it comes to customer service. CPaaS makes it possible to securely gather data on customer preferences and to use the data gathered to create a more seamless customer experience. This infographic explains how CPaaS truly enhances your ability to provide better call center customer service. Learn what you need to know about CPaaS, as well as how to get started with it in your call center.