Why are we still using e-mail?

  • By Marco van de Kamp

A customer contact center that cannot be reached via e-mail. It sounds almost unreal, but we see that more and more companies are moving away from e-mail as a customer contact channel. At almost every company, customer satisfaction on other channels such as telephony and social media is much higher than with e-mail. So why not just "turn off" the email?

It sounds rather like a controversial statement. Because asking a question via e-mail is (for some target groups) something natural. It feels for organizations that if the e-mail is turned off, they deprive their customers of a contact option. As a company, do you want your customer to reach you as many ways as possible? In addition, as a company you are legally obliged to offer a good alternative if you are no longer available by e-mail. There are nevertheless good reasons to stop e-mail as a customer contact channel; the costs are high and e-mail scores low on customer satisfaction.

Email is impersonal, messaging very personal

E-mail scores low on customer satisfaction because the channel is perceived as distant and impersonal. It is very difficult to build up a conversation. Customers ask a question - and regularly several at the same time - and then expect a solution right away. It can also be difficult to keep asking questions, to get clarity about what your customer needs. In addition, it can take a long time for an answer and there can be a lot of repeat traffic. This "back and forth e-mail" is often experienced as (very) negative. All this takes a lot of time. It is therefore not surprising that e-mail has a low Net Promoter Score (NPS). Unlike email, messaging naturally has a "personal" nature: it feels more like a conversation. One-on-one communication is easier via messaging than via e-mail. It is easier to start a conversation with your client, in which you can easily continue asking questions. Always personal, also "anonymous".

With messaging you can quickly start a personal one-on-one conversation. But it is also possible to start an "anonymous" conversation with customers via Parley (Tracebuzz's messaging solution). You do that via a chat screen on the website or an app. Customers who start a conversation there, without being logged in, can continue to see their conversation, even if they have closed the page in their browser or the app. The conversation is saved and the conversation can be continued on return. This happens even if the entire window has been closed. As soon as the customer comes back to your website, the chat conversation will reappear. When customers log in, the calls are added to the customer profile.

Customer satisfied, employees satisfied

By using messaging as the preferred channel and turning off the e-mail, the repeat traffic drops dramatically. The benefits of this are enormous. Customer satisfaction is rising as well as that of employees. This has an effect on both customers and employees; the handling time becomes shorter. For organizations, this means that the costs per complaint decrease. And because messaging is always available, also outside office hours, it is a legally approved alternative to e-mail.

Research shows that if the alternatives offered are good enough, people can easily get rid of e-mail. Parley is that alternative; customers can ask their questions 24 hours a day, start a personal conversation and the conversation history is always visible. This allows organizations to achieve a desired result together with their customers.

If you want to know more about how you can set up the process of turning off your e-mail and which steps are required (such as setting effective 'autoresponders' at your e-mail addresses), please contact us via the following link. link.