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Consumers value choice. Whether it is candle fragrances, ice cream flavors, or shoe colors, businesses have to cater to their customers’ demands for options. Customer service is no different. People want a wide variety of choices about how they interact with companies.

But what options should businesses offer?

Much has been written about the growth of self-service technologies, like mobile apps and chatbots.  But does that mean agent-assisted methods, such as phone and chat support, are quickly becoming obsolete?

According to our research, the answer is a resounding “no.”  In fact, we discovered that almost half of businesses expect to need additional resources for their agent-assisted channels in the coming year, and it’s being driven by consumer demand. Customers still value the option of interacting with agents.

Surveys reveal that 49% of businesses expect they will need additional agent-assisted resources in the coming year while 34% expect they can remain at their current levels. Of those adding resources, 61% report that it is being driven by increasing volume in channels like phone, chat, and social media.

This doesn’t mean that self-service volume is shrinking. In fact, consumers report a 14-point increase in use of self-service channels. Findings indicate an overall increase in customer service volume. It’s a good reminder to businesses to stay focused on all their service channels and take advantage of every touchpoint to delight their customers.

Written by: Heather Hughes | NICEinContact


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