Calling time on 0800 - The changing world of Inbound.

Written by Michael Smith on the 3rd of July, 2015

‘The end of the line for rip-off 0800 numbers’ as The Mail described Ofcom’s move to end excessive charging of free-phone numbers to mobile was welcomed by the world at large this week. ‘A long overdue victory for common sense’ was how it was described by a U-Switch spokesman.

The change is part of a wider shake-up in call charging for non-geographic numbers that will no doubt impact upon inbound call management providers that have profited over the years through keeping us hanging impatiently on the end of their 08xx number ranges.

Let’s face it, we wouldn’t ask a customer to pay to come into a store which is effectively what has happened every time you call a help-line from a mobile. As a result, omni-channel service model has taken over and is already impacting on the way in which we seek out help from contact centres and helpdesks.

The tech savvy, ever-mobile customer has created a need for brands to provide intelligent, interactive answers to live customer enquiries. The reality is that if they can’t, then the customer will go to someone who can.

In this new world, customer self-management and live chat suddenly become a prerequisite. And for these solutions to work, you need an up-to-date knowledge base that is continually refreshed and based on real-time interaction.

You also need to be able to capture inbound from every channel available whether it’s Twitter, live chat or a call and maintain a single view of these customer interactions at all times.

Deploying omni-channel helpdesk solutions like Zendesk has become an imperative for consumer organisations seeking to keep up with customer demands. Supporting effective browsing needs self-management and knowledge-based tools that can accessed on smart devices.

The changing world that is Inbound means telephony is now just a component that needs to be integrated into the platform and offered as part of the customer journey.

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