Customer service has increasingly become an omnichannel experience for both customers and the businesses trying their best to serve them. Trying to keep up with the evolving technological landscape, many companies are offering phone lines, social media messaging, email responses, and even live chat on their site.
With so many options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and shift your attention exclusively towards what’s newest, but new doesn’t always mean better.
Phone calls are still– and always will be– an essential part of customer service, and since 70% of consumers are willing to buy more with companies who they feel reliably offer great customer service, this is something to pay attention to.
If you’re wondering why phone customer service is still so important in today’s digital age, keep reading– we’re going to look at all the reasons why you should have it optimized for your business.
Because You Need to Be Where Your Customers Want You
If you want to create an exceptional customer experience, then you need to be able to meet customers where they want you. And in a lot of cases, they want to get in touch through the phone.
This isn’t to underestimate the importance of live or social chat, which has been popular with younger consumers, but it’s about striking a balance. While many like the convenience of live chat, 61% of consumers still prefer good old fashioned phone calls when they need customer service assistance.
This is particularly true when the concern the customer is calling about is seen as complex. An estimated 48% of customers would rather speak to a real person on the phone about a difficult issues, and 75% believe that calling is the best way to get a fast response.
Sometimes, people may even turn to phone after live chat or email has failed them. I’ve done this personally before; after getting frustrated with getting nowhere with a business’s live chat agent, which took too long and yielded nothing productive, I called and received instant, valuable help. It’s what kept me on on as a customer instead of sending me running away while telling everyone I could about my unpleasant experience.
Because Phone Customer Service is More Personal
Part of the reason that so many customers prefer phone to other communication options– particularly over complex issues– is that phone just feels so much more personal.
On a call, you’re talking to an agent who has your full attention as opposed to one typing to you while clearly trying to help three other people at the same time. During that call, you can hear emotions and form real human connections, which are exceptionally valuable when it comes to improving the customer experience.
That one-on-one time and immediate response allows expert agents (like ours here at PATLive!) to really tailor the conversation and the solution to the customer at hand. This is an important part of the equation; 66% of consumers will switch brands if they feel like they’re treated as nothing more than a number, and 52% are at least somewhat likely to jump ship if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize their communications.
You care about your customers’ experience, and a phone call is your chance to prove it and to create that lasting bond that’s a big part of fantastic customer service.
Because You Can’t Afford Not to Be
Customer service can seem expensive to maintain until you consider the cost of not having stellar service in place.
Those costs, after all, are astronomical. In the United States, companies lose more than $62 billion due to poor customer service, and 91% of customers who had a bad customer experience won’t do business with that company ever again.
While the thought of having more team members on staff just to answer phones can be stressful, it outweighs the cost of not having a dedicated support team in place. Even if you don’t, after all, your competition will.
Having strong support for your customers via phone is also now easier than ever with the right tools at hand.
PATLive, for example, is an answering service that only hires expert, US-based agents who we then train to help your customers in any way possible. We can resolve many client concerns within your company’s guidelines, process payments, offer purchase information or details, and more. We’ll do this all at a fraction of the cost it would be to hire a team to do this, and we’ll be available 24/7, 365 days a year so that your customers are in great hands no matter when they call. Learn more here.
Tips for Delivering Excellent Phone Customer Service Every Time
Customer service via phone calls can take more time and effort than other communication methods, but this is really your place to shine and make a big impact on your target audience. You can use the following tips to do exactly that:
Have a bright, shining presence. If people are calling you, there’s a good chance they’re concerned or frustrated already and your business is somehow involved in that. Having pleasant, friendly agents to help warm up your customers and give them a better experience than they’ve already had is crucial. Remember that people respond to other people; they don’t want to hear the equivalent of a human robot when they call.
Start with a custom greeting. Custom greetings can be branded and have some personality to them, allowing you to start the call off strong and make a great first impression. All of our agents at PATLive will begin each call with your brand’s custom greeting.
Use the customer’s name. They’ll feel like you’re taking them seriously and are paying attention to them; that they’re a person and not just a number.
Actually listen. Don’t assume anything, and let the customer do most of the talking. Ask questions when needed to help you clarify, and sympathize with the customer. Apologize at the appropriate time if necessary.
Close the call well. Once a solution has been offered and agreed upon, make sure you ask if the customer needs help with anything else. Offer information for how they can follow up or take any next steps needed so they know where to go from there.
Without outstanding customer service, your business doesn’t have much of a chance of surviving, let alone thriving. With so many options and so much competition, consumers now have the ability to flock only to the companies that offer customer service excellence every time.
Having a strong phone line for customer support is going to be a key part of that, even if you’ve also got live chat and social responses up and running. People are turning to phone for help with right-now and complex issues, and you don’t want to give up that personal one-on-one bonding that can happen on a phone call.
Enlist answering services like PATLive to help you deliver that great customer experience every time without draining your time, energy, or resources by trying to do it yourself. We’ll treat your customers like they’re our own every time, so that they’ll have an incredible and consistent experience whether it’s your team or ours answering the phone.
Want to learn more about how PATLive can help you guarantee a great telephone customer service and a flawless client experience? Start your free trial here!