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Your customers don’t want to call you, and other hard customer care truths

Shawna Malecki

January 26, 20224 min read

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Imagine a helpful and productive customer service interaction. For many of us, the first scenario that pops into our minds involves a phone call (hopefully one without any hold music) and a conversation with someone who, after listening to us describe our issue, provides the information we need or performs the actions necessary to resolve it for us. 

Now think back to the last couple of times you personally reached out to a business for help. Did it actually play out this way? Chances are, you’ve had more customer care engagements in the last several months than you’re fully aware of — and most of the time, you were able to get the help you needed well before resorting to picking up the phone.

For decades, the traditional call center was the only means of contacting a company that customers had. But today, people have many more channels available to them. Email, live chat, chatbots, and an ever-expanding array of social media platforms offer efficient alternatives to voice conversations. Increasingly, these are becoming customers’ preferred channels — not only for initiating customer service queries, but for resolving them. 

Meanwhile, the existing contact center market remains largely dominated by legacy voice-based vendors that prioritize the IVR call center and are incentivized to ignore this fundamental truth: your customers do not want to call you.

The best customer care is no care 

When building your organization’s care strategy, keep in mind that the best customer support experience is one that never needs to happen in the first place. 

AI in customer service is advancing rapidly, particularly when it comes to speech and text analytics. Care organizations should leverage AI-driven analytics for real-time actionable insights to help spot trends and early warnings. This can also help determine when and where augmented AI could be used to help agents manage demand swings and improve performance. 

By harnessing AI and customer insights to identify potential issues early, you can be more proactive with your outreach and alert customers first — well before they ever feel the need to reach out to you for help.

Customers prefer self-service

The next best care experience for customers is when they can easily help themselves. People would almost always prefer to solve their issues independently — as long as doing so is simple and straightforward — rather than engage with a customer service representative if it isn’t necessary. In fact, Gartner has found that 70% of customers use self-service channels at some stage of their resolution journey.

According to that same Gartner report, resolutions that involve time-consuming live interactions (even when just one step in the resolution journey) can cost businesses 80 to 100 times more than a fully self-service fix.

By providing customer self-service tools that encourage people to find solutions on their own — like AI/automated chatbots, customer-facing knowledge bases, online community forums, and static web pages (like FAQs) — businesses will cultivate happier, more loyal customers, and reduce costs for their customer care organization. 

Voice care should complement your digital customer service

Sometimes voice calls will be necessary, especially to resolve more complex issues. But keep in mind that when a customer picks up the phone for assistance, chances are high that they’ve already reached out to you over other channels first. You need to ensure that customer interactions with your voice team are personalized, and reflect prior or concurrent interactions on other channels — and that your agents are empowered to solve issues in the first voice interaction.

There will always be times when it’s preferable to talk through complexity, out loud, with a live agent. And there are certainly some customers for whom voice remains their preferred channel, no matter the issue. 

Meeting modern customer expectations means meeting all of your customers’ expectations, not prioritizing one preference at the expense of others. The best contact center strategies will evolve holistically, encompassing new technological advances and diverse customer preferences. By using a single unified contact center solution to support the many different channels each customer has available to choose from — and which they may switch between during the course of their resolution journey — you’ll be able to better ensure that your organization delivers seamless omnichannel customer service to every customer, every time they reach out.

Find out how Sprinklr Voice offers everything you need in a contact center solution (ACD, IVR, speech analytics, automated quality, and workforce management), with the advantages of a unified Modern Care solution, for a seamless agent and customer experience.

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