The rapid rise of social media channels, like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn has given consumers new ways to reach a company, find information or make a complaint. Social media naming and shaming has become the norm with up to 21% (3) of people using this method to complain as opposed to writing or emailing. Perhaps the frustration of waiting in a call queue or not getting an answer to an email or simply the immediacy of social media responses has driven this trend.
Many companies have now adopted self-service automation, chat bots and an omni-channel approach to customer service, routing social media, e-mails and texts to the people with the best written skills to deal with them. But what about talking to a real person?
Research shows that 26% (1) of people ditched a company because they couldn’t speak to a real person and American Express research found that men tell 21 people and women tell 10 people when they have had a poor customer service experience.
Millennials don’t have the time for calls!
The 18-34 age group apparently process information faster than many of us, they don’t have the time for voice calls. They tend to want to communicate faster and get quicker answers. Using Twitter for example, as opposed to trying to find and talking to an expert will yield quicker responses, but the question is, will the quality of the response be accurate? Perhaps that’s why a 2017 (3) survey found this age group to be the most likely to ditch a company due to poor service.
Can trust be built by social media or text?
Whatever your age, after decades of lip service, ‘your call’ really has become important in that it provides a rare opportunity to build trust and loyalty — or not. Building lasting customer relationships involves handling sensitive emotions, empathising and providing meaningful responses, something which voice interaction still excels in above other channels. As a result, 40% (1) of customer service interactions still occur on the phone and 75% (1) of consumers prefer enquiries to be handled by a live person. 63% (3) said that if they felt they’d made a positive emotional connection with a customer service agent, they’d be more likely to do business with that company again
Talk to me!
There are times when nothing but talking to a real person is the best option. Up to 51% of respondents to a 2017 Accenture Internet Survey of 24,877 across 33 countries, expected more live or in-person options for obtaining service and support than are currently available (e.g., by phone, at store locations, in-home service, etc.)
It’s also difficult to build a real understanding of a persons medical or financial concerns and requirements without talking to them and between 75% to 82% (2) of people chose speaking to a live person as being the best way to deal with these subjects. Moreover 91%* (2) expecting technical queries to be solved by speaking to someone in person.
It’s essential that for companies who choose an omnichannel approach to customer service that this includes the option for customers to select for voice interaction. Whether this be via a live agent who answers immediately; Website Call Back where a customer can leave their phone number for a call back or Call Back in Queue which enables customers to input their number for a voice call back. Research shows that even in todays digital age we still crave personal one on one interaction and voice is therefore still king.
M247 can help you improve on all your customer interactions, improving service and building loyalty through our hosted telephony and unified communications services, just contact us for more information.
1- Forrester – About the American Express Customer Service Barometer
2 – Econsultancy – Six mistakes social customer service teams should avoid
3 – New Voice Media – Serial Switchers Swayed by Sentiment, Nearly half of UK consumers ditched a business last year following poor customer service
Why voice interaction is still indispensable in customer service
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