Phones have changed immensely over the past couple of decades, and these changes have had a great impact on the business world, besides on just our personal lives.
And yet, despite advances in phone technology, the introduction of email, texting, and online chat may seem to have reduced the importance of over-the-phone communication with customers. But that is not at all the case, for a number of reasons – five of which we’ll explore just below:
1. A Professional Face on Your Business
Having a toll-free 800 number, a variety of local numbers, or a vanity number is about more than just providing a phone-portal to your business. It also contributes to the aura of professionalism that you promote to your customers. Done right, a good business phone system says to clients and prospects, “We have it all together. We are here to serve you. We are a trustworthy, professional company.”
If you can’t afford VoIP or expensive business phones and systems, don’t despair. By using a Cloud-based business phone system, like that provided by UniTel Voice, you can use your cell phone(s) for business purposes without seeming the least bit unprofessional to your callers.
2. A Real Human Voice in an Age of Impersonalization
The fact is, there is no means of communicating with customers (other than in-person) that is so personal as over the phone. The presence of the human voice makes phone calls much more personal than texting, online chat, or emails.
And to make the most of this advantage of business phone calls, minimize the use of “robots” and never outsource customer service to foreign countries, so people don’t hear their native accents and may even find it hard to understand what’s being said.
Use short, introductory messages and voicemail as needed, but don’t squelch out the human voice – and learn good phone etiquette and practices to ensure your customers won’t dread to call your business.
3. Phone Calls Are More Confidential
People are much more worried about entering information in an online form or of posting sensitive information in online chat boxes than they are about talking to a real human being over the phone.
And overall, phone conversations are indeed safer and more confidential. That’s another reason why many customers prefer to call you than to contact you another way.
So ensure your business phone system is professional-sounding and only ask for essential information when verifying account holders or making a sale. That will enhance the confidentiality advantage even further.
4. Speed of Response and Resolution
Normally, calling in to solve a problem or make a transaction will lead to a speedier response and resolution than by other means of customer-company communication.
Customers know this, and they aren’t going to stop contacting you by phone as long as this is so. When a customer service rep is on the phone and looking right at their account information on a computer screen, things get done as quickly as possible, generally right then and there.
5. Customer Retention Rates
Most businesses lose large chunks of their customer base every year, and consequently, have to keep gaining a lot of new customers just to reach equilibrium or make slight progress.
Poor customer service is the number one reason for customer loss by far. But good customer service has the opposite effect. And the experience customers have talking to your company over the phone is one of the biggest pieces of your total interactions with customers.
Give your customers the best possible phone experience, and you will boost customer retention rates and avoid that dreaded “filling a leaky bucket” syndrome.