Thought Leadership Series

Boosting your Customer Experience: The Power of Phone Customer Service

Phone customer service in the contact center

Amidst the plethora of communication channels available, phone based customer service stands tall as a customer favorite. A recent Zendesk report highlighted this, finding more than 50% of customers across all age groups typically use the phone to reach out to a service team, making it the most-used channel for customer service. With its immediacy and personalized touch, it offers a unique bridge between businesses and their customers. This article looks at why the voice channel remains key in a high quality customer experience and explores the myriad benefits this can bring to your business.

A Personal Connection Beyond Text

There's a distinct warmth in hearing a human voice on the other end of the line. In a world dominated by text-based and digital communication, the voice channel stands out for its ability to create a genuine personal connection. When customers have concerns, questions, or feedback,they can often better express themselves by phone, conveying emotions that might be lost in a typed message. This human touch can turn an ordinary interaction into an exceptional one. Customers are more likely to remember and share positive experiences where they feel genuinely heard and understood. This sense of connection can foster loyalty to a brand, which all good customer experience strategies should aim for.

Real-Time Resolution

One of the key advantages of the voice channel in customer service is its real-time nature. Unlike emails or chat messages that might take hours or even days to receive a response, the voice channel offers an immediate avenue for customers to get their issues resolved. In fact, 90% of customers rate an "immediate" response as essential or very important when they have a customer service question and 60% define "immediate" as 10 minutes or less, a speed which channels like email struggle to meet. Whether it's a technical glitch, a billing inquiry, or simply seeking information, customers appreciate the speed with which their concerns are addressed. This enhances their experience and showcases a company's commitment to efficient customer service.  

Clarification and Understanding

Misunderstandings and misinterpretations are common pitfalls of written communication. Communicating by phone significantly reduces the chances of these issues occurring. When customers and support agents engage in real-time conversations, questions can be asked and answered immediately, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. This leads to clearer communication and a reduced likelihood of errors, resulting in a smoother and more satisfying customer experience.

Building Trust and Loyalty

Word-of-mouth marketing spurred by a poor customer service experience can significantly detract from a company's reputation as 26% of people will completely avoid a brand if their friend or family tells a negative story about their service experience. A successful business hinges on trust and customer loyalty. A quality voice solution can be pivotal in building and maintaining these crucial aspects. When customers receive prompt and accurate assistance via phone, they develop a sense of reliability towards the brand. Furthermore, positive interactions create a lasting impression, prompting customers to return and recommend the company to others.

Enhanced Problem-Solving and Data-Driven Insights

The voice channel is a dynamic platform for effective problem-solving. A study by KPMG showed that 90% of consumers worldwide consider issue resolution as their most crucial customer service concern. With phone based customer service, support agents can engage in real-time dialogue, probing deeper into issues and asking follow-up questions to understand the root cause of a problem. This improves agent efficiency and allows them to provide more targeted solutions, leading to faster issue resolution. Modern voice solutions also frequently come equipped with analytics tools that provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. By analyzing call patterns, frequently asked questions and customer sentiments, businesses can identify areas for improvement and tailor their offerings to better meet customer needs. This data-driven approach not only enhances customer satisfaction but also aids in making informed business decisions.  

Multi-Layered Solutions

Modern voice solutions go beyond the traditional call center setup. They encompass a range of options, including interactive voice response (IVR) systems, voice assistants, and callback features. These multi-layered solutions empower customers to choose the communication method that suits them best, providing convenience and personalization. For instance, IVR systems can offer self-service options, allowing customers to find answers quickly, while voice assistants can handle routine inquiries, increasing agent efficiency by freeing them up for more complex issues.  

A robust IVR system can assist in many ways, for example, by reducing routing errors and transfers between agents to significantly increase productivity, translating not only into cost savings, but also customer satisfaction improvements. Incorporating an IVR system will also reduce the rate of abandoned calls by allowing callers to quickly find the option they are looking for. This reduces the risk of losing customers due to a bad customer experience and may turn their experience with the brand around.

The Human Element in Automation

Automation has streamlined many business processes, and the voice channel is no exception. However, the human element remains crucial, especially in sensitive or complex interactions. A quality call-based solution strikes a balance between automation and personal touch. It seamlessly integrates technology to provide quick and accurate responses while allowing human agents to step in when emotional intelligence and critical thinking are required.  

The Engage Voice Solution is the Answer

Despite the rapid rise of digital channels in the contact center, phone customer service remains the channel of choice. As such, the Engage by Local Measure intelligent contact center places voice front and center in its offering. Providing an exceptional voice experience with a softphone or desk phone, warm and cold transfers, pause and resume call recordings, automated routing for IVR and more. Engage provides all the tools to boost Agent's efficiency and maintain a high First Contact Resolution rate. Engage also leverages skills-based routing to ensure that customers only deal with agents who have the skills to assist them. This means the most skilled agents can assist on complex calls without wasting their time and talents on basic interactions.

Another feature key to the Engage voice experience is Voice Transcripts. Utilizing Amazon Contact Lens, when agents are on a voice contact, Engage displays a live transcript of the interaction with real-time and post-call analytics that can be enabled in the contact flow. This functionality makes it simple for Agents to review what has been communicated and can help to overcome language barriers.

In Summary

The voice channel continues to be a customer favorite for its ability to create personal connections, offer real-time solutions, convey emotional nuances and foster trust, setting it apart in the digital landscape. By embracing a quality voice solution, businesses can unlock enhanced customer loyalty and problem-solving to data-driven insights. In an era where customer experience is paramount, the voice channel proves its indispensability time and again.

Want to learn more about what Engage can do for you business?

September 20, 2023

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