Gone are the days when the phone was the only communication channel that connected clients with brands. It’s fair to say that telephone directories are a thing of the past.
These days, email, social media, instant messaging, and who-knows-what-else are competing with the telephone as the preferred method of customers in communicating with customer service.
To put a finer point on it, it’s an omnichannel world out there. And it goes without saying that businesses have to keep up to thrive.
That’s not to say we have to start looking at the phone with nostalgia-tinged glasses. Because guess what? Voice channels aren’t going away. Not anytime soon. Maybe not ever.
In short, as a business owner, you have to ensure that you keep your telephone communication lines open.
Here are the most notable reasons why.
1. People still use their mobile phones for calling
These days, people use mobile phones for nearly everything, be it media consumption, internet navigation, instant messaging, and fitness — just to name a few.
But here’s what the newer generation of customers may find surprising: people are still using their mobile phones as… well, phones. They do this thing where you type on the telephone keypad to dial numbers and… you get the picture.
Now here’s a statistic for you concerning mobile phones: According to Google, 48% of local mobile searches end with a call.
To put it simply, it’s necessary for any business to keep their voice channel active to maintain a great business relationship with your client base.
2. Customers still crave the human connection
One thing that gives voice support the edge over other communication channels is that you can hear people smile over the phone.
A smile can convey a lot of things. It can make your customers feel welcome and make them feel that you’re willing to help. That’s just for starters.
It establishes the human connection that builds and maintains a good professional relationship with clients and brands.
In fact, extensive research about brands made by HBR suggests that “the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level.”
If this proves anything, it’s that people want that “fuzzy feeling” when they communicate with agents. And the best way to give them that is by having agents talk to them over the phone.
3. Complex issues are best handled over the phone
The phone is still the best communication channel for discussing and resolving complex problems. This, is even more, the case when the customer on the line is not technically-savvy.
There’s always a shorthand or an easier way of explaining complex issues, and more often than not they register better when delivered in person or over the phone. After all, non-verbal cues can be heard over telephone lines, lending additional context to what agents are saying.
4. A dedicated phone line is necessary for your brand image
A customer service phone hotline lends credibility to a business far more than any other communication platform.
A dedicated phone line conveys a sense of immediacy, as well as the overall impression that your business can be reached anytime.
Moreover, great customer experience over the phone can greatly influence overall perception of a brand. When you go to a website and find the company’s phone number in the Contacts page, you know that the brand can be trusted.
As a general rule of thumb, your customer service has to offer multiple communication channels for connecting with customers. For one, customer preferences vary according to demographic characteristics, and you might as well go the whole nine yards.
For optimal results, you must take the necessary steps to ensure that all communication platforms are working in perfect unison with each other to deliver a truly omnichannel experience to customers.