* This following blog post is a guest article by Imogen Reed. *
With so much focus on the Internet these days, it’s no surprise that fewer and fewer of us are talking on the phone. It seems that e-mailing, tweeting, and Facebook messenger are the order of the day. But in business, it’s not always so clear cut. In fact, the companies that seem to do the best are those that are able to do a little bit of everything. So in a world where every business is preoccupied by sending emails, is there a solid gold opportunity to boost your business by actually talking to your customers?
A lost art
There are plenty of people out there who now regard conversation as something of a lost art, and the dominance of the web seems to play no small part in that. But having a conversation with a real human being is one of the best ways to make progress in business and personal relationships – so why aren’t more companies doing it already? The telephone is one of the key components of good customer service, and most consumers will tell you that they’d rather speak to a person than send an e-mail any day of the week. This means a couple of different things for existing companies: first, it means that if you’re not already using the phone as part of your customer service process, you should be. And second, it means that you can actually gain a competitive advantage by doing so.
Start talking more and get the edge
By now, consumers are used to much customer service being carried out over the Internet. People are in fact more surprised when a business suggests they give them a call rather than sending an e-mail or using a web form to get in touch. Even the online ticket systems that apparently make things more efficient can be frustrating and time-consuming to use. But implement a call center, or a team of phone-based customer service reps, and you’ll find your customer satisfaction skyrockets. Couple that with the fact that so many other businesses are focused solely on the online field, and you’ve got a recipe for CRM success. You’ll give often jaded customers a refreshing surprise by offering them a real human being to attend to their issues, rather than a template e-mail which (as we all know) is one of the most impersonal ways to be treated by a business.
The benefits of the spoken word
One of the great things about telephone customer service is that it doesn’t necessarily require any additional work than any other form of customer service. For example, if a customer sends an e-mail to make a complaint or raise an issue, your company might start acting on it right away, but it could take 48 hours to reply via e-mail. This can leave the customer feeling frustrated and annoyed. On the other hand, if that customer is able to pick up the phone and speak to you directly, they’ll feel reassured in the knowledge they actually spoke to somebody about it – even if they leave the conversation with no more info than they started with.
Talk is cheap (and effective)
Considering the huge roster of benefits that telephone customer service can bring, it’s a very affordable solution. It’ll almost always result in an uplift in customer satisfaction levels, and it’ll improve your reputation. Plus, you could always combine your use of telephone customer service with its online variants, meaning you’ll have all the bases covered. After all, it’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan in place, so if one form of customer service ‘goes down’ somehow, the other can pick up the slack. Why wait for your competitors to get the edge and start speaking to your customers when you can quickly and easily arrange for a team in a call center to be the voice of your company? In an ever-changing world, speaking to a human being to solve problems will always be the preferable choice for your customers. So if you’ve spent a good proportion of your company’s history tending to customer concerns only via e-mail and the web, you may well be missing out on a golden opportunity to take your customer service to the next level.
To learn how Tacamor call center agents can help you build better relationships with your customers, contact us today.