Even though we live in a technology-focused world and there are multiple communication channels available at our fingertips, that doesn’t mean the old standby, the telephone, has lost its customer service relevance. In fact, according to a 2015 Customer Service Report compiled by cloud communications provider Corvisa, 41% of respondents picked a phone call as their top choice for everyday customer service activities. That number increases to 56% when they’re really frustrated or upset.
Despite technological advances, people still want to speak on the phone with another live, human being when they have a customer service issue or request. In other words, implementing technology isn’t always a good thing.
Here are some best practices to follow to ensure your organization is meeting customer service expectations:
Make Sure Phone is Always an Option
In an effort to cut costs, some organizations are downsizing their call centers and encouraging clients and customers to get in touch in other ways, such as via live online chat or social media. While investing in these other channels is a smart idea, it shouldn’t be at the expense of giving people the option of having a live phone call. It’s very important to make sure that the phone is an option for customers to contact you. Outsourcing customer service phone conversations to a firm is an option that ensures that someone will always answer, which eliminates customer frustration due to being on hold for long periods of time.
Ensure Your Customer Support Team is Prepared
When someone calls with a customer service issue or request, they expect to have it resolved in a timely manner. The customer support team must be prepared to handle all inquiries as they come in. Ongoing customer service agent training is required and it may also mean investing in higher level customer service professionals who are experienced at handling difficult situations. If they aren’t prepared, it can leave the customer feeling frustrated, which could lead to them taking their business elsewhere.
Make the Phone Number Easy to Find
It’s important to provide a positive customer experience at every step of the customer’s journey. When a customer wants to call, it should be easy for them to find your phone number. Be sure to list the customer service line across all channels, including the website and any other marketing or promotional collateral. There is nothing more frustrating for them than a phone number that they need to dig to find. Customers should always feel like they’re able to get in touch.
Good customer service, over the phone or any other channel, is an investment. However, it helps keep your customers satisfied and can promote customer loyalty over the long term. Since customers are the foundation of any business, it’s a worthwhile investment.