The year is 2019, and you could easily be forgiven for thinking that the telephone is dead. Oh sure, we’re all basically superglued to our mobiles, but out of all the things we use them for, making phone calls doesn’t even break the top 10 list. When it comes to business, it can feel as though we are all being pushed to communicate via chatbots, social media, emails and even instant messaging, instead of picking up the phone.
Now, at Verbatim we are all for progress, and adapting our methods to suit the way our customers interact and behave. And with the statement above, you might think that means we’re going the way of the dinosaurs. But with new research coming out all the time around how vital the phone is for businesses, we feel justified in sticking to our guns and letting you know that the telephone should still be the crux of your business. Research has shown time and time again that the question shouldn’t be ‘how useful is having a customer line for my business?’ but rather ‘what really makes a difference to my customer when it comes to our call handling?’ If you can answer that, then you’re really going to see results! And to help you out, we’ve pulled together some research for you.
Service With A Smile
There is an old saying: ‘you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’, and in the case of customer service that couldn’t be more true. Time and time again it’s been proven that customers prefer to speak to a real human being who can demonstrate compassion and understanding when they have a problem – which either means an in-person visit or a phone call. In fact, the latest research by Clutch shows that 21% of people consider actual human interaction highly important when working with a business, with friendliness taking second place at 19%. Having an actual person available for your customers to talk to can significantly improve the level of customer service you offer, and make your customers much happier at the same time.
Understand Why People Call
One of the reasons businesses are often quick to dismiss the value of the telephone is that they don’t know what it would be used for. After all, who calls these days? Doesn’t everyone email? Well, no, they don’t! and there are a huge variety of reasons a customer might want to call your business and speak to you. In fact, Clutch found that the most common reasons customers choose to telephone a business are:
- Scheduling appointments or meetings – 45%
- Asking questions about a product – 14%
- Handling billing issues – 12%
- Troubleshooting technology – 6%
- Making a complaint – 5%
- Getting help to make a purchase – 3%
Once you see the variety of reasons why people call businesses, you start to see why it’s essential that you have someone ready to answer the phone when it rings.
The Moral Of The Story
Do you remember when Kindle came along and took the world by storm because it reinvented reading? Do you also remember how people thought physical books were not long for this world? How about when the internet was hailed as the death of the newspaper? New technologies have always been labelled as a death sentence for the things they’re improving, predicted to completely replace them over time. But that has never been the case, including in telephone-based customer service. Whilst social media and AI chatbots have helped make customer service far more wide-reaching, they have not replaced the old-fashioned telephone call in the customer’s eyes. Phone calls are still seen as one of the most efficient and pleasant ways to engage with businesses, and will continue to be for one simple reason – human interaction never goes out of style.
But we know you’re sometimes too busy to answer the phone. That’s where we come in. At Verbatim, we help business owners provide that great customer service experience, without taking up any of your valuable time. Our range of call answering services are designed to give you the support you need to run and grow a great business, with prices starting at just 40p per hour. To find out more about how a call answering service could benefit your business, just get in touch with the team today.