Will People Call Your Contact Center Because of Loneliness?

Published On: December 19, 2021Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

Gartner Predicts That By 2026, 75% of customers will call contact centers because they are lonely.

Yes, you read that correctly.

By 2026, 75% of customers who call customer service and support organizations will do so out of loneliness, not because they have a customer service issue, according to Gartner, Inc. This will affect service and support leaders’ priority of migrating customers to self-service and ensuring representative well-being.

“Lonely customers looking to fulfill their interpersonal needs through service organizations are unlikely to use self-service to resolve their issues, regardless of how well-designed the functionality is,” said Emily Potosky, senior research principal in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. “To ensure they are not investing in suboptimal solutions, leaders must account for customer loneliness when attempting to diagnose why customers are still choosing assisted-service channels over self-service.”

Gartner research shows this trend will also impact customer service reps. For example, reps may experience longer handle times because of customers trying to socialize, impacting organizations’ coaching and performance management efforts. Additionally, dealing with emotional customers is challenging and could lead to reduced rep well-being.

Gartner predicts that by 2024 the top cited reason customer service reps leave the service organization will be the unofficial emotional effort they need to perform with customers outside their official job duties. Service and support leaders looking to mitigate the effect of lonely customers should consider using speech analytics and sentiment analysis to identify customers who are calling because they are lonely. It’s also recommended that representatives be given training on how to identify and deal with customers who are using the service interaction for emotional support and socialization rather than true issue resolution.

Gartner customers can find more details in a report entitled, “Predicts 2022: Customer Service and Support Strategy and Leadership.”

Channel Impact®
Emotional intelligence has long been an important skill for service and support personnel. If customer loneliness begins to impact contact center traffic, those skills will become even more important.

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