There is so much emphasis on the digital in today’s business world that sometimes the simple things get neglected, and a company will go cheap on the basics of business. Things like physical marketing, signage, and business cards are neglected in favor of a stunning website, digital marketing strategy, and content marketing.

When phone customer service is outsourced, it often hurts a company’s reputation and can drive customers away. The simple truth is that customers want to be able to reach you in a physical and tangible way, and one of the most concrete ways to do that is over the phone.

In fact, your phone still matters a great deal in 2018. Fortunately, you have choices when it comes to phone systems. You can use a physical system with several lines, or you can use a business VoIP system that uses the internet to handle calls. No matter what system you choose, it needs to be reliable and able to handle the number and type of calls you will get.

Customer communication matters, and here are some tangible reasons your phone still matters in 2018.

Answering the Questions

Most of us know what it is like to have questions for a company that go more in depth than the FAQ page and don’t really fit into an internet chat box if we have time to sit and wait for a representative. Unique billing or customer service questions can be most easily answered by a phone call.

However, on many site it is difficult at best to find a phone number, and often when you do get in touch with someone, you can’t understand their accent. This is an immediate turn-off and can send a customer running into the arms of your competition.

Fielding Complaints

One of the most common issues a company will have is that a customer will leave them a bad review on Google, Yelp, or other common review sites. Not only can these reviews damage reputations, but they can also affect Google rankings and how your business appears in local searches.

Often the simplest way to avoid this issue is to have a customer service line where you can defuse the customer’s emotions while they are fresh, offer them a solution, and resolve the issue before it becomes public.

Reviews are often a gut reaction to an initial emotion and experience, and if they customer can vent directly with the company, it never gets to the point where they will leave a negative review. In fact, that negative experience can be turned into a positive one by simply answering the phone, listening, and offering a reasonable solution.

Finalizing Sales

We have also all experience the frustration of getting to an online shopping cart and having something simply not work when we get there. Often we don’t know what it is, or how to resolve the issue, whether it is something payment method related, a shipping issue, or simply a glitch.

The simplest solution? Making a quick phone call to resolve the issue and finalize the sale. Successful companies have discovered this a long time ago. There are customers who love to order online, but there are those who prefer to talk with a customer service representative, especially if something seems off.

The reassurance of a friendly voice at the end of a phone line can be the difference between a customer for life and a lost sale to the competition.

Technical Support

It is nice when things work exactly as they are supposed to, but sometimes that is simply not the case. Whether your company offers a product or service, it is certain customers will come across issues they simply don’t understand, or even problems with your product.

Want to repair both the product or service and the relationship? Answer the phone when they call. Offer them real answers and technical support and thank them for bringing the problem to your attention. If they need a repair or replacement product, send it to them promptly.

Yes, you can handle some of these issues through email support, and the value of online chat should not be discounted, but often the best way to reach a customer is over the phone.

Conclusion 

Your phone still matters in 2018. Yes, there are dozens of digital ways to reach out and interact with your customers. You should pay attention to and answer emails. And you should use an online chat program to answer inquiries. But you should also be conscious of the fact that your customers might want to hear a friendly voice.

Communication is key to customer retention, and the best way is sometimes the simplest. This is exactly where your phone comes in to the picture.

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