The modern call center is about so much more than calls. Numerous platforms allow contact center agents and their supervisors to connect with consumers and clients. This multichannel approach to communication has revolutionized the way that contact centers operate - and the way consumers feel about them.
However, in the age of chatbots and SMS, it is important to remember the origin of call centers: phone calls. They still account for the largest percentage of information exchanged between consumers and customer service agents. For that reason and many more, they are still the top priority for most call centers around the world. But did you know that they are still a top preference for many of your customers, as well?
Take a look at why your consumer base - even the modern, millennial customer - may still prefer phone calls to every other channel you offer:
Phone Calls are Easier
Have you ever wondered why so many people - especially older adults - prefer to use the phone rather than engage via text services such as email or instant messaging? For most, the response they would offer when asked for their reasoning would be that it is easier.
This doesn’t just mean that it is easier for older adults who are simply used to the technology associated with telephony. Many people - including people from all age demographics - feel that live voice exchanges are optimal places for information to be traded because of the speed, clarity, and potential for empathy the channel provides.
What’s more, phone conversations are inclusive. A much larger percentage of the general population can access and use phone technology than can do the same with text-based services. Even those who have access to and can use text messaging, email, or instant messaging may prefer spoken word conversations because of the increased comfort and familiarity they have with the platform.
Those with language barriers, literacy issues, reading disabilities or visual impairments will also typically gravitate toward traditional phone conversation - and will be glad that your call center makes these conversations a priority when providing great customer service.
Phone Calls Can Be Faster
Many people under 35 would say that text messages or instant messaging is faster than traditional calling, if asked. While making a call, waiting for a connection, and explaining your reason for calling can be time-consuming, they feel that using a text-based alternative shortens the process and simplifies it on their end. However, this isn’t always the case.
Statistics show that if calls are handled properly, they can actually be shorter than exchanges handled over other channels, such as via email, messaging, and even text. Because voice can do in seconds what it may take several minutes to do in text, a live customer service agent is a great solution to most problems - and a phone call is the fastest way to engage with one.
There is No Delay in Communication with Phone Calls
When you send a text message or an email, you are forced to wait for a reply. For some people, this isn’t a problem. They go about their day and simply receive the reply whenever it comes. However, there are many situations in which this type of exchange just doesn’t work - and they all make the traditional call more attractive.
When you have an urgent issue that needs to be resolved, waiting for a response to each of your messages can be frustrating and unnecessarily time-consuming. Likewise, some people simply don’t like to wait for that kind of back-and-forth exchange. Telephone exchanges are a good solution since a live conversation offers instant communication and very little wait time. If a call center is optimized to reduce hold times, it can keep the time a phone call takes to a minimum, making it a faster, more efficient solution to communicating with a customer service agent.
Phone Calls Offer the Potential for Emotional Exchange
When working in the customer service industry, your agents and their supervisory team will encounter a lot of people who have elevated or varied emotional states. Whether these are callers who are contacting you in a state of panic or frustration over a concern they have, a state of confusion over a question, or a client who is in a state of excitement at the thought of what you have to offer them, understanding what kind of emotional space your consumer is in can help you solve their problems or make your sale faster and more effectively.
How can you intuit how a caller or consumer is feeling? Using the live exchange of voice provided by a traditional phone conversation, well-trained call center agents can use social cues and common patterns to determine how their consumer may be feeling. In turn, this provides the opportunity for an emotional exchange.
Via the phone, your agent can soothe an angry or frustrated caller or help maintain the excitement of someone enthusiastic but unsure of their decision. The telephone is perhaps the only medium that allows for this type of direct emotional interaction, making it perfect for closing deals and consoling upset consumers - and perfect for the contact center!
Don’t Forget to Keep Your Technology Up to Speed
Just because you’re focusing primarily on phone calls doesn’t mean your technology shouldn’t be powerful and capable. Most call centers that rely heavily on telephony do so with somewhat outdated technology. This isn’t only a disadvantage to their agents, it’s a disservice to their consumers and clients!
Give your agents the power to provide excellent service over the phone or via any other channel you offer by outfitting your operation in today’s best tools and technology. Contact the industry experts at ChaseData to learn more about what telephone can do today. You might be surprised at just how easy it is to make phone calls more efficient, productive, and effective. Give us a call today to learn more!