Stop Calling The Customer
What happens when your customer doesn’t want to talk to you? You are probably picturing the worst case scenario. Perhaps they are rejecting your recent proposal, maybe they are going to the competition, or they just don’t like to talk on the phone. By some estimates, up to 25% of adults rarely, if ever, use the phone function of their smartphone. As that number continues to rise, let’s look at some alternatives to traditional phone calls that will satisfy your customer’s desire to communicate and, possibly, reduce your costs.
Text messaging has evolved greatly in the last decade. We have gone from 10 keys to represent the entire alphabet to speech-to-text and a full keyboard. The transformation has not been without speed bumps. Whole websites are dedicated to the unfortunate mishaps of texting. Combine that with an ability to significantly misread the tone of a message and you begin to understand how deeply flawed text messaging is as a primary form of communication. That said, it remains the lowest friction way to communicate transactional information. For messages like order confirmation, shipping notifications, satisfactions surveys, and requests to reorder, text messaging can provide a quick, non-intimidating mode of communication. It can also be an inexpensive form of communication as these tasks can often be automated using a communication service like Twilio.
Many companies are quick to write off social media as a problem for the marketing department to solve, but nothing could be further from the truth. Today, people are using social media for everything from cat memes to reviews to customer service requests. Social media is one of the best ways to meet your customers where they are and allow them to interact with your company in the same honest, open form they communicate with their friends. Depending on your vertical and target market, this could mean being super responsive to DMs on Twitter while being witty in your public replies or it could mean providing thought leadership on platforms like LinkedIn.
Ok, I admit, this one is just a fancy name for a phone call, but bear with me. Sometimes, text based communications are simply not enough. There are topics that are time-sensitive or complex enough that they warrant a phone call. In these instances, allow the customer to initiate the conversation in the mechanism of their choosing and provide ways to escalate the conversation in a fast and simple way. Regardless of the medium the customer is coming to the phone from, the escalation to a phone call should be quick and painless. No hold time, minimal repeated authentication, and straight to the point. The customer should feel that the representative they are speaking with is familiar with all of the conversation that led to the call and are ready to help.
Obviously, these are not changes that are made overnight and there are regulatory and other considerations that need to be taken into account before fully committing to not picking up the phone. Need help taking the first step? Reach out to us today!