Customer Service: The Value of Getting a Human on the Phone

Nov 30, 2016

The True Value of Reaching a Human on the Phone, phone support, customer service

No one should have to prep their nerves to place a phone call to a business.

Yet, that’s what we find ourselves doing when placing a call to a business where we know we won’t get through to a human being. And if we do, it’s takes a big chunk of our precious time wading through auto-attendant hell.

In this post, you will read about:

  • The true value of getting a human on the phone;

  • Three myths about live support debunked;

  • How to connect with a human at some of the largest companies in the world.


 

The True Value of Getting a Human on the Phone

 
The True Value of Reaching a Human on the Phone, phone support, customer service
It’s almost 2017 and multi-channel service is on the rise. Your customers are reaching out from more channels than ever before: phone, email, social media, review sites and live chats.

Yet, the phone remains one of the most used channels for support. Why? Because your customers appreciate the human element of phone support.

So, why do businesses make it consistently difficult to reach a person to solve an issue? Let’s have a look at what consumers really want versus what is being provided to them.

The Phone is Still King (By the Numbers)

  • According to Accenture, 81 percent of consumers admit to frustration when dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them. But it goes beyond mere frustration.
  • Consumers are dumping companies with poor or no live support; 83 percent of consumers who switched providers say if the previous company had better live support, it would have impacted their decision.
  • Above all else, 61 percent of consumers still prefer phone support. And HelpScout points out that better human service is the most requested customer service improvement.  

It’s completely clear that your customers desire to reach you on the phone. But how will you provide this support? Isn’t it expensive?

Let’s have a look at three common myths about providing support to your customers over the phone and why they aren’t true.

Three Common Myths About Live Support Debunked

 
The True Value of Reaching a Human on the Phone, phone support, customer service

If you’re still on the fence about the importance of your customers reaching a human on the phone, here are three common myths about live support that are totally false.

  1. “Building a support team / hiring a receptionist is expensive.”
     
    Okay. You got me there. It is expensive to hire and build a support team from scratch. It is expensive to hire a receptionist. However, you can get better support at a fraction of the cost by hiring a team of professional live receptionists.
  2.  
    PATLive is much more affordable than having an in-house support team or receptionist, and the agents are trained to know your business.

     

  3. “Email and social media are going to cut it. I can manage those myself.”
     
    Email is an inefficient way to reach support unless you have someone hired to man the inbox non-stop, and the same thing goes for social media. When you offer only these channels for support, your customers expect super speedy turnaround – within minutes in some cases.
     
    If you don’t have the manpower (or womanpower) to manage support issues efficiently through these channels, you will actually end up in a worse off. Phone support is much faster.
  4.  

  5. “No one is calling after business hours.”
     
    Perhaps you’ve found that your customers aren’t leaving voicemails after business hours. That doesn’t mean they aren’t calling. Maybe they aren’t leaving you a voicemail; according to Forbes magazine, 80 percent of callers forgo leaving a voicemail out of fear it will never be heard.
     
    Using an after-hours answering service increases customer satisfaction by providing your customers with the human support they want. It also boosts business since human support reduces churn.

It’s time business owners rise and make a pact. Repeat after me: I solemnly swear to make it easy for my customers to contact a human being on the phone. Read on to learn which companies provide human support and how to reach them directly.

Recommended Reading: Six Reasons an After-Hours Answering Service Can Grow Your Business.

 
The True Value of Reaching a Human on the Phone, phone support, customer service, live answering services 24/6 free trial
 

Connect With a Human at the Largest Companies in the World

Many companies are passing up human support in favor of support over email, live chat or social media, regardless of what their customers prefer. Check out this list of companies that provide human support to their customers and directions for reaching them right away.

Don’t see a company listed below? Check out the site GetHuman.

The True Value of Reaching a Human on the Phone, phone support, customer service

This list was originally published on PCMag.com and was written by Jordan Minor.

Cable Providers

Like wireless networks, having your account information for your cable provider ready will get you to a live contact sooner.

AT&T U-verse: Call 1-800-288-2020. Wait through all of the messages, and you’ll automatically be connected to live person.

Cablevision (Optimum): Call 1-866-218-3025. Pick your language, press 1 or 2 depending on whether you’re a subscriber or not, and wait to be connected.

Charter Communications: Call 1-866-472-2200 and keep pressing 0.

Comcast: Call 1-800-266-2278 and keep pressing #.

Cox Communications: Call 1-888-566-7751 and wait for an agent to pick up.

DirecTV: Call 1-888-777-2454. Say the word “Yes” and then keep saying “Operator.”

Dish Network: Call 1-800-333-3474. Press 1 and then keep pressing 0.

Time Warner Cable: Call 1-800-892-2253 and keep pressing 0.

Verizon FiOS: Call 1-888-553-1555 and keep pressing 0.

Manufacturers and Services

Acer: Call 1-800-571-2237, describe your problem, and wait.

Apple: For iPod/Mac, call 1-800-275-2237 and keep pressing 0. For iPhone/iPad, call 1-800-694-7466 and keep pressing #.

Asus: Call 1-510-739-3777 and keep pressing 0.

Belkin: Call 1-800-223-5546. Dial 2263, then press 1, then press 0 three times.

BlackBerry: Call 1-877-255-2377. Press 2 then 4.

Brother: Call 1-800-284-4329, press 7 or keep saying “Other.”

Canon USA: Call 1-800-828-4040 and press # twice.

Dell: Call 1-800-624-9896. Press 3 then say the word “Agent.”

DJI: Call 1-818-235-0789, press the number for your question topic, and wait.

Epson: Call 1-800-533-3731, press the numbers for your product type, and wait.

Gateway: Call 1-949-471-7000 and keep pressing zero.

Google: Call 1-855-836-3987, press the numbers for your product type, and wait.

Hewlett-Packard: Call 1-800-474-6836 and press 0 four times.

HTC: Call 1-866-449-8358, and you’ll be directly connected to be a live rep.

Hulu: Call 1-877-485-8411 and press 5.

Lenovo: 1-855-253-6686, and wait for an agent to pick up.

LG: Call 1-800-243-0000. Press 1 twice and then pick your product.

Logitech: Call 1-646-454-3200. Press 1 then 0 four times.

MakerBot: Call 1-347-334-6800 and press 3.

Microsoft: Call 1-800-642-7676 and keep pressing 0.

Motorola: Call 1-866-289-6686 and press # three times.

Netflix: Call 1-888-638-3549 and keep pressing 0 if you don’t get a live representative immediately.

Nikon: Call 1-800-645-6678. Press 1 then 4 then 1.

Nintendo: Call 1-800-255-3700 and keep pressing 0.

Nokia: Call 1-888-665-4228, wait, press 1, then 3.

Olympus: Call 1-888-553-4448 and press 1.

Panasonic: Call 1-800-211-7262 and keep saying the word “Customer.”

Philips: Call 1-888-744-5477 and keep pressing 0.

PlayStation: Call 1-800-345-7669 and keep pressing 0.

Razer: Call 1-888-697-2037, press the number for your question topic, and wait.

Samsung: Call 1-800-726-7864 and keep pressing 0.

Sony: Call 1-800-222-7669 and keep pressing 0.

Sharp: Call 1-800-237-4277. Pick your language, then press 1.

Swagway: Call 1-844-299-0625 and wait for an agent to pick up.

Toshiba: Call 1-800-457-7777. Pick your language, press 2 then 4.

Vizio: Call 1-888-849-4623 and press 2.

Xbox: Call 1-800-469-9269 and keep pressing 0.

Retailers

For the tech-savvy, many retailers offer help through email and online chat, and they will ask you to fill out the nature of your problem online before calling. But here are the numbers you should directly try regardless.

Amazon: Call 1-866-216-1072 and keep pressing 0.

Best Buy: Call 1-888-237-8289 or 1-888-BEST-BUY and keep pressing 0.

Costco: Call 1-800-955-2292 and keep pressing 0 (this one takes a while).

eBay: Call 1-866-540-3229, press # and describe your problem.

GameStop: Call 1-877-676-4263, press the number for your question topic, and wait.

Target: Call 1-800-440-0680, pick your language and keep pressing 0.

Valve: Call 1-425-889-9642, press 0, leave a message, and wait for someone to call you back.

Walmart: Call 1-800-925-6278. Press 2, then 1, then 1. Be careful, pressing 0 drops the call.

Wireless Networks

Wireless networks will typically want you to have your account or device information ready before being connected to a live representative.

AT&T: Call 1-800-331-0500 and keep pressing 0.

Boost: Call 1-888-266-7848. Press 5 then 2 then 4 then 0 then 2.

DirecTV: Call 1-888-777-2454. Say the word “Yes” and then keep saying “Operator.”

Dish Network: Call 1-888-284-7116. Press 1 and then keep pressing 0.

Metro PCS: Call 1-888-8METRO8 or 1-888-863-8768 and keep pressing #.

Sprint: Call 1-888-211-4727. Press 4 then 0.

Straight Talk: Call 1-877-430-2355. Press 1, then 4, then 4.

T-Mobile: Call 1-877-453-1304. Say the word “English,” then “representative.”

Time Warner Cable: Call 1-800-892-2253 and keep pressing 0.

Verizon: Call 1-800-922-0204. Press 0 then # four times then 0.

Virgin Mobile: Call 1-888-322-1122 and keep pressing 0.

Verizon FiOS: Call 1-888-553-1555 and keep pressing 0.

Have any thoughts to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

infographic customer retention for small businesses cta

Author:

Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones is a content writer and the social media manager for PATLive. She works from her cave, er, her home in Fayetteville, Ark., with her trusty dog and curmudgeonly cat by her side.

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