Voice in demand
Hanging onto the telephone
“Phone or other voice services dominate communication channels in the US (44%), Brazil (33%), Germany (57%), Japan (30%), and the UK (31%), ahead of all other mediums.” 
For over a decade, contact centre industry analysts have continually reported a downward trend in customer preference for calling and an upward trend for social media channels.  But the forecast has been proven wrong: voice has been regaining its importance to customers, showing it remains a critical communications channel for the contact centre.
“74% of customers surveyed phoned a contact centre last year. 58% would rather phone an organisation than use any other channel. The phone remains universally the number one contact channel across the 12 countries involved in the survey. And, unexpectedly, the biggest users of the channel are millennials (25 to 34-year olds).” 
Some of the reasons given by customers for why they value voice include:
- The phone is a primary escalation channel when digital channels fail.
- People want to speak not write, and they want to speak to a real person not a bot.
- Language barriers to English-language digital channels [1, 2]
Another factor driving the importance of telephony in the contact centre is the recent infrastructural change rolling out across the industry. That change is widely referred to as “The Big Switch Off”.
The Big Switch Off
Global voice carriers across the world are transitioning from traditional telephony Public Switched Telephone Network (“PSTN”) to VoIP and hosted voice services. In the US, the FCC has been supporting the transition from PSTN to VoIP since 2014. Countries that have already switched off PSTN are Estonia and the Netherlands, while Japan, Germany and Sweden are in the process of doing so.
The UK is in the process too and is committed to a deadline of 2025. Businesses in the UK that currently use landline and PBX telephone infrastructure should be undergoing a digital transformation now so that they are set up with optimal infrastructure before the deadline.
Improving your voice channel
Our customer engagement platform, Syntelate XA, integrates with a range of popular phone systems and diallers in the digital voice ecosystem. We can give your agents the ability to blend voice with your other channels to maximize productivity.
 Reporter, ‘Why is Voice Still a Critical Component of a Contact Centre?’, 24 Feb 2021, CX Today, available at: <https://www.cxtoday.com/contact-centre/why-is-voice-still-a-critical-component-of-a-contact-centre/> [accessed 27 May 2022]
 Dr Nicola Millard, ‘The Phone is Dead; Long Live the Phone’, 10 Feb 2020, BT, available at: <https://www.globalservices.bt.com/en/insights/blogs/the-phone-is-dead-long-live-the-phone> [accessed 27 May 2022]