Pick up the phone: 6 times voice contact really matters

by: Custom Toll Free , April 25, 2017

Will the telephone ever disappear as a form of communication? Not in our lifetimes.

Analysts contend there’s no way the digital word will ever replace voice-to-voice contact, especially when it comes to discussing complex or emotional subjects. Certain demographics still prefer the phone for all their customer service functions, while others recognize a strong preference for the phone when it comes to transactions requiring speed, precision, extra patience or a greater amount of tact or civility. Some circumstances in which phone calls are preferable for consumers and businesses include:

1. When multiple details could cause confusion: Because only about 65 percent of humans are visual learners, many of us are better able to understand complex situations or scenarios when someone verbally explains them to us. That holds especially true at business call centers, where 73 percent of representatives worldwide recently agreed their daily customer-agent interactions are getting more complex. Fortunately, a phone call can often cut through the murk when another email would only complicate matters.

2. When you’re short of time: Unless you’re an unusually speedy typist, filling out forms online or typing out lengthy email explanations can be time consuming. That’s especially true when a glitch in the system won’t allow you to send a key form. Of course if you’re the business on the other end of the form, that means your people must be ready and able to take the order, provide the info or solve the problem by phone to avoid losing a sale.

3. When you need someone to walk you through a process: Not everyone is stellar at following step-by-step directions, which may be related to the fact the average human attention span is down to only 8.25 seconds. In such scenarios, there’s nothing quite so calming as having a live, knowledgeable human on hand to stave off frustration and guide you to success.

4. When you or the call recipient are upset: As a customer, a friendly voice on the phone can go a long way toward calming your nerves and assuring you your problem can be solved. Similarly, businesses that contact distraught customers by phone affirm their value to your company and set the stage for sincere apologies. Scientists note empathy is difficult to convey without the human voice, which explains why certain populations have reported a 40 percent decrease in empathy as technology use has increased.

5. When your response is way late: If you or your company have gotten woefully behind in responding to customer queries or complaints, that’s much easier to explain live on the phone than by email, no matter how sincerely that email is worded. A personal call can assure a customer you care about their patronage and their feedback, helping ward off bad reviews that can seriously harm your image.

6. When you need human insight: Despite the best efforts of website designers and the FAQ sections and chatbots they install, there will always be times when the written word can’t answer all customer questions or concerns. Businesses must realize that and offer up trained sales and customer service personnel who can tactfully and efficiently handle those conversations that go off script.

Talk to Custom Toll Free about optimizing your marketing toward the 95 percent of Americans who now own cell phones.

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