Why The Phone is Still The Most Important Customer Support Channel

03-Aug-2021
Why The Phone is Still The Most Important Customer Support Channel

Are you weighing up the best customer support channel for your business?

We’re here to help!

In an ever-digitalizing world, at Smiles we can provide full omnichannel support to deliver world class customer service.

As technology marches forward you may be wondering if phone support is still relevant?

In this blog, discover why we think it is, and will continue to be, (in most cases) the most important customer support channel.

Strategizing On What’s Best For Business

Of course, that said, there are many varying factors that come into play before stratigizing on the best customer support channel for your business.

These may include:

  • The reason for contacting your brand
  • Your brands demographic

If you’re not sure where to start, fear not!

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During our free no-obligation call with us based on your requirements we will be able to assist you in finding the right outourcing solutions for you.

The 3 Common Factors Across ALL Channels Needed to Deliver High-Quality Customer Service

Before we dive specifically into phone support, regardless of whatever channel you decide there are 3 key factors that are crucial to guranteeing high-quality customer service success:

  1. speed
  2. overall customer experience
  3. and successful problem solution

At Smiles, these 3 factors are the foundations of our offerings.

People Vs Tech – Which Customer Support Channel is Right For You?

It’s important to note that surverys across varying industrustries show different results.

Some claim that the phone has been surpassed as customers’ most preferred channel, while some still show the phone at the top of the list.

The Frustration of Not Being Able to Get Hold of A Human

For many people, there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to get through to an actual person when they have a complex problem they are trying to solve.

Vodafone we are looking at you!

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It’s baffling to them how in 2021 some of the biggest phone and tech giants out there will have you desperately keying in numbers, or declaring “speak to an agent” in an assetive tone, simply in the hopes of getting through to SOMEONE…anyone!

Of course, managing a large influx of customers effectively is crucial, so filtering out queries that can be solved via live chat is a smart approach to maximize time and the level of service you aim to deliver.

However, when it’s virutally impossible to speak to a human it can be incredibly detrimental to your brand, you’ll lose customers, loyalty, and respect.

The Perks of Tech and Live Chat

Our stats have shown that (typically) young people prefer customer support channels such as a live chat, and social media.

At Smiles we provide 24/7 coverage across channels so rest assured you’ll be covered from all angles.

However, to reiterate our earlier points, speed, overall customer experience, and successful problem solution argulably matter even more here.

Oftentimes, live chats are set up so customers are speaking to a robot (initially) which can be incredibly frustrating, more so when there are delays, and the customer doesn’t feel like they are getting the answers or solutions they are looking for.

customer support channel

When unsatisfied with your service and the world at their fingertips many customers will then head to social media to get your attention quickly.

Providing a direct phone line can avoid many of the complications and aggravacation this can bring.

Phone lines are a great starting point, and with growth success you can begin to diverisfy and optimize your customer service offerings.

Phone Is The Channel of Choice For Payment-Related Concerns

Through our experience we’ve also studied that people’s preferences seem to differ depending on their reasons for contacting a brand.

Phone is undoubelty the channel of choice for payment-related concerns, resolving issues, and account changes.

Why?

It’s difficult to say for sure but our human instincts whether they’re right or wrong is to trust people over tech, especially in a world of increasing fraud and security scams.

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Most consumers also think it offers the fastest way of dealing with problems.

If the main reason people reach out to you and your business is to handle payment-related concerns, we would recommend phone support as the way to go.

Again, differen channels can be added later down the line to diversify your offerings.

5 Advantages of Phone Customer Service Support Over Other Channels

1. Let customers hear your smile.

Good customer service is all about delivering a great customer experience at every opportunity.

Your basic goal should be to make customers feel welcome during their transactions with your brand.

The phone offers the rare opportunity to let customers know that you’re glad to talk to them.

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Through this channel, customers can hear agents smile.

They can deduce this from your tone of voice and enthusiasm.

Some may think this is such a small thing, but this can help you become friends with customers.

2. Solve complex problems.

The phone is still the go-to channel of all customers who experience complicated issues.

Self-service or email may be good options as well, but they have limitations too.

For instance, some may lack the technical know-how to solve their problems merely by referring to a self-service tool.

smiles service features

When it comes to email, on the other hand, it’s much harder to give instructions or describe complex solutions.

For this, the phone is the most effective alternative.

Customers can discuss in great detail the problems they’re experiencing, and agents can walk them through the steps that must be done to address the issue.

3. Make customer interactions more meaningful.

An essential component of effective communication, the human voice has a much more potent effect on the brain than written text.

Our voice conveys so much information about us—gender, age, and maybe even socioeconomic status.

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When we openly share these by talking to other people, we create a sense of “closeness,” making conversations much more meaningful.

This brings us to the next point.

4. Humanize and personalize conversations.

In the age of automation, lockdowns, and device-mediated conversations, people crave real human connections more than ever.

This is one of the biggest advantages of the phone.

It can add to your brand’s personality, as it’s directly handled by humans.

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Through the phone, call center agents can convey your brand’s personality more easily.

This allows you to create a good and lasting impression among customers.

5. Build trust.

All the previous advantages mentioned can help build trust between brands and customers.

But remember that using the phone as a customer service channel doesn’t automatically lead to trust.

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At the most, the phone can help you boost engagement, display competence, and create a good impression.

Still, you should place more importance on rendering consistent, high-quality services and getting things right the first time.

Additional Smiles Resources You May Find Useful

  1. 4 Smiles Service Features That Remove Risk at Every Stage
  2. The Pathway to Customer Retention for eCommerce
  3. 6 Tips That Will Give You The Most Success in Outsourcing

We hope you found this blog helpful.

Remember, if you’ve got a question for us leave your thoughts in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you.