It would seem that some believe that the days are numbered for call centers and their client voice interactions, in favour of self-service via increased smartphone availability. Ask yourself this: Have you ever said the following…
1. “Oh my god, why am I stuck in this annoying IVR. I want to speak with a live operator!”
2. “I’m on a website and I can’t find the phone number to call them. What’s up with that!”
3. “What a great deal for those steak knives! I have to call in right now.”
Albeit I will admit that resolution to trivial customer service transactions via self-service are on the rise (and rightfully so), the aforementioned quotes bear evidence that we have all craved the personal touch of a voice interaction.
Smartphones, SMS, emails, and even blogs all fail in one respect. They fail, in the most part, to deliver the appropriate emotion to accompany the message. Little smiley faces just don’t cut it. People, especially those in the 35-80 age group, still favour voice interactions above all other types of interactions.
Of course it is convenient to order a pizza over the web, and I encourage you to do so…it keeps the overall price of the pie down. But try resolving a technical issue with your PVR during a chat session with an overseas agent. Sometimes, you just have to talk it out. Companies who still offer toll-free numbers for their customers to call them reap the benefits.
Being able to speak with your customers, and even convert disappointed or angry ones, back to being loyal customers of your products is paramount today. Successful companies continue to open the many doors of communications to their customers in an effort to making their relationship a long lasting one.
On a final note, call your significant others on the phone today instead of texting them some 6 word comment. Enjoy it and cherish it.