Are you starting to think the phone is no longer useful when it comes to your customer service needs? Believe it or not, the phone is still the king of customer support. People love interacting with customer service reps on social media, web chat, and email, but it wouldn’t be the same without the ability to call.
That’s because the phone is often an easy way to turn a frustrating situation into a nice interaction. While a text or an email can be quick and efficient, you can’t convey tone as well without the phone. You also lose the ability to make friendly small talk that may be what brightens a person’s day.
No other forms of communication can quite compete with the phone, even if they have their perks. Take a look at why the phone is still the king of customer support.
It’s the quickest way to get help
You may have thought that sending a text, email, or web chat message was the quickest way to get help from customer service. Think again. As soon as an emergency comes up, people grab the phone and make a phone call, whether that’s to an emergency operator, a car repair shop, their cell phone provider, or even to a friend.
Depending on the urgent situation, you can’t beat the fast ability to make a phone call compared to typing out a message. Some people will try to search online for an answer to their problems, but it’s never going to be as quick as a phone call to someone that can help.
Many times, customers just have to go through a few prompts to get assistance, which inevitably helps speed up the process. When you enter your account number, your name, your phone number, or select the option on the recording that suits your need, you’ll be directed to the right department quicker, and your information will likely already be pulled up on a computer.
When a customer calls a company angry and has to sit through many prompts, this will likely fuel the situation; but a quick menu screen and a smiling customer service representative will likely diffuse the situation. A customer that is frustrated about something will be harder to help, but the right representative will be able to calm down the customer with a desire to help, an apologetic tone, and a friendly demeanor.
Being reassured on the phone that the customer is important and that their problem is going to be resolved right away will calm down a customer who may have been considering stopping business with this company due to an unpleasant situation that occurred.
Why other modes of communication don’t compare
Many times a customer service rep will be able to use any hold times on the phone to improve a customer’s monthly plan, promote a discount that may be beneficial to the customer, or provide information that may have been missed had it been an email exchange. When you email back and forth, handle things on web chat, or reply to a comment on social media, there is likely no follow-up, and the phone gives you the opportunity to call back later to make sure the situation was resolved adequately.
Chat support is a great option for those that aren’t a fan of calling on the phone, but it’s not faster than a phone call. You have to wait for the agent to type back and forth to understand your problem and try to resolve it based on your typed messages.
A phone call is much quicker to try to explain something in multiple ways or offer different solutions. You also miss those opportunities to help with other issues that may brighten the customer’s day or to show your tone of voice is sympathetic and apologetic. The delay back and forth on a chat will likely frustrate a customer more and take longer.
Why not a visit to the store to resolve the issue? While that may be even faster than the phone once a person reaches the store, the drive to the store is not only time-consuming but forces the customer to make the issue a focus of their busy schedule. Some companies don’t even offer a store or building to visit and only handle their business online.
The key to making sure you are using the king of customer support and doing it well is to ensure you have highly trained professionals answering the calls, a short menu screen to increase the speed of talking to a representative, and to make sure your customer service reps are making use of the calls by improving customer’s days. Offer extended hours to make sure customers can reach you at their convenience and make sure you have empathetic voices on the other end.
Use the king of support as your primary form of communication with your customers while still offering multi-channel options, and be sure to handle your phones in the best way possible to avoid making phone calls a burden to your customers.