The Human Element: Why Phone Calls are Still Important to Your Business
Digitization gave businesses a wealth of benefits in terms of efficiency. Automation, for instance, speeds up many manual and administrative tasks. This gives the staff more time for other more important matters.
Among the common examples of automated business processes is automated customer service. Chatbots, interactive voice response (IVR), and online request forms are popular methods for automating customer service. These solutions allow companies to reduce the cost of human support representatives and increase business efficiency.
However, a study found that customers still prefer agent-assisted methods of communicating with companies. They’re used to speaking with real people, whether on the phone or through digital channels. Plus, they’re looking for a personalized and responsive level of customer service, in case they have follow-up questions or concerns.
The problem is that customer service automation leaves little to no room for personalization. If you automate your customer support, there’s a chance that you’re not providing the kind of service that your audience wants.
Lingo, a trusted provider of business phone line services, shares how having the human element in your customer support can help your business and your bottom line.
1. Resolve complex issues with customized solutions
Automated customer support methods often group issues into predetermined categories, then follow templated responses and actions for each kind of complaint. These solutions fail to consider the nuances of complex customer problems that don’t fall into fixed categories.
In these cases, the customer often finds it difficult to explain their issue in clear detail. When your support staff doesn’t fully understand the problem, they might not be able to offer the best solution. This kind of miscommunication can prolong the resolution, which can frustrate the customer.
Through agent-assisted phone calls, the customer can explain their complaint in detail within a few minutes. Your representative can then offer a flexible, personalized solution that resolves the issue on the first call. This eliminates the need for multiple interactions and increases your first contact resolution (FCR).
Plus, your staff can allot time to answer more calls, accommodating more customers.
In short, talking to a human agent improves call quality and saves customers hours of frustration, potentially improving your satisfaction rate.
2. Effectively handle irate customers on a private channel
Dissatisfied customers sometimes leave negative reviews on your social media channels and website. These negative comments impact your brand image, making your business appear unreliable.
However, angry customers are also critical to your business. Their honest, straightforward feedback helps pinpoint weaknesses in your products and services. Listening to their complaints gives you a chance to improve your offerings, filling in the gaps in your services that hinder customer satisfaction.
With agent-assisted phone calls, you offer customers an avenue to voice their complaints privately. This gives you a chance to properly explain why their bad experience happened. Furthermore, you’re able to provide specific solutions to address the issue and prevent similar cases in the future.
However, your support staff must be thoroughly trained in handling irate customers. Otherwise, the caller’s frustration might become worse.
Discuss an escalation protocol with your customer service representatives. This will guide them on what to do and who to talk to when they can no longer handle the irate caller. This training not only reduces your customer churn but also gives your support staff more confidence when dealing with stressful conversations and situations.
3. Increase brand loyalty
Customers develop stronger relationships with businesses when they feel that their needs are well taken care of. Having positive, successful interactions with your support staff helps customers build more trust in your brand. When people trust that you can provide them the service they expect, they’re more likely to become repeat customers.
Additionally, phone calls allow you to deliver personalized customer service. Personalization is critical to curating pleasant customer experiences, making sure that each patron stays engaged with your brand. Customers have higher chances of staying with your brand when the service they receive aligns with their personality, needs, and purchasing habits.
Remember that customer loyalty is a critical indicator of business success. It shows that the products, services, and overall customer experience you provide continue to delight your target market. Having loyal customers also helps your bottom line. Repeat customers spend more on each purchase because they’re already sure of the quality of your products and services.
4. Improve your customer support processes
Finally, having call receptionists allows you to measure and improve your customer support processes. By recording and reviewing each client call, you can identify problem areas in how they talk to customers as well as your overall processes.
Call recordings are invaluable tools in upskilling your support staff. They help ensure that your employees are following the scripts, using the right language and tone, and successfully addressing customer needs.
Reviewing each customer call also gives you insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each of your support staff. Knowing their strengths lets you designate roles more effectively, such as assigning the best people to handle irate customers or resolve technical complaints.
Also, when you know the weaknesses of each representative, you’re able to design a training or coaching program customized to their needs, helping them become more effective in their roles.
Recorded calls provide insight into your customers’ habits as well. You may see that a large portion of the callers are complaining about a faulty product feature or are suggesting new products they wish you’d offer. These kinds of feedback give you an opportunity to improve your products and services, giving your customers better satisfaction.
Although efficiency is important, brands shouldn’t sacrifice customer satisfaction just to speed up their processes. Businesses are about creating delightful experiences for their target audience. You can achieve this more easily through personal, individualized interactions with each customer.
Ultimately, having the human element in your customer service is all about putting your customers at the heart of your business, which is an effective way to future-proof the company.
Delight Customers with High-Performing Communication Solutions
Lingo Communications provides small-to-medium-sized businesses with efficient cloud-based call center technologies. We equip your customer support team with equipment and tools that help them win customers. With our modern communication solutions, you’ll blow the competition away and become your target audience’s top choice.