joined the customer service technology race in the mid-1990s in Germany, at a time when call centres and toll-free or reduced numbers were all the rage. In those distant days, there were only telephone calls with a few faxes and letters coming in. Soon email arrived on the scene and centres around the world were adding this exciting new channel to their platforms.Working at Avaya I was part of this exercise and enjoyed watching a new type of agent handling customer inquiries. Not long into the new millennium, with the advent of the Web 2.0, web chat became more often requested and we responded. It was after web chat was out for a while that we noticed an interesting trend: one of the most often asked questions in web chat exchanges was “Can I call you?” Agents who handle chats often or usually do not have a telephone meaning a complicated ‘please call this number’ process begins and the customer usually has to repeat their story. This led to a disjointed experience, as agents responsible for different channels passed customers between them and information was sometimes lost in translation.The disconnect in the seamless customer experience, that started then, is still going on today – despite the current focus on the single, omnichannel customer journey.

Source: Chatbots: Just Another Channel? – Engage Customer

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