Granted, customer engagement has gone through massive changes in recent years. The digital age has propelled brands’ omnichannel presence across phone, chat, self-service, SMS, and so on. But still, one thing remains, customers prefer the phone above all other channels.
Why do customers still prefer phone support over any other channel? If we’re in the so-called digital age, how is voice still king? Here are three simple reasons why:
1. It’s a mobile-first era
Cellphones are so prevalent, they might as well be an extension of our hands. That may seem like an exaggeration, but according to recent data, mobile phones generate more web traffic than desktop activity does. Whatsmore, that trend has increased by 10% just in the last year.
Customers already use their phones for calling, texting, browsing, scrolling, watching, and more. It’s a no-brainer that brands should continue to service their customers where they are most active – on their phones.
And this trend isn’t going anywhere. Millennials and Gen Z are the biggest mobile users, spending on average 4 hours a day on their phones.
2. People like to multitask
We’ve all been versed on the importance of effortless customer experiences. And now, we’re seeing how this plays out as human behavior dictates the way customers choose to engage with brands.
It turns out that calling customer service over the phone is a lot easier to do than chatting, texting, or doing some self research through a rabbit hole of FAQs. So much so that you can leave your phone on speaker while driving, working, making dinner, or even using another channel in parallel.
Customers are choosing to call customer service because they can easily multitask and perform other activities while on hold or actively talking to a representative. It would be very ill advised to text or chat customer service while operating heavy machinery, but talking on the speaker phone is low effort.
3. It’s just faster. Period.
In addition to being able to multitask, talking on the phone is just plain faster than having to type. Typing back and forth with a live or AI agent is time consuming, and if you’re doing it on mobile like many users are, typos caused by fat-fingers can be an added frustration. Also, most customer service pages offer click-to-dial where you don’t even have to type in a phone number. How can it get any easier than that?
How to Improve Customer Service Over the Phone
Now, the popularity of the phone channel doesn’t guarantee that customers love the service they’re getting. In fact, there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to customer service delivered by phone. Here are some quick tips for delivering a greater customer service over the phone:
Resolve transactional calls with Voice AI
The majority of reasons why customers call brands are for transactional reasons: getting a status update, making changes to their account, scheduling a service, and so on. All of these types of calls can now be easily resolved by voice AI technology already available on the market, saving the high empathy or high EQ calls for live call center agents.
Eliminate hold times
Customers hate waiting on hold. By leveraging voice AI, customers never have to wait on hold again. Live agent time is freed up because now 50% of transactional calls are being handled by voice AI, and voice AI can also pre-qualify customers with authentication questions which can further carve out time for agents to handle the calls that require more ingenuity and empathy, faster.
Resolve issues faster
Modern technology has come a long way, voice AI included. When servicing millions of transactional calls across industries, and through machine learning, voice AI is able to learn how to resolve common issues even faster than human agents. Take scheduling, for example, where a human agent has to look through calendars and scroll through availability, an AI integrated with internal tools can search availability in a fraction of the time.