Getting in touch with a “real” person at some companies is getting more and more difficult. Numerous companies, particularly those that are primarily web-based such as Microsoft, Google, or Amazon, make it nearly impossible to find a phone number for a customer service line. In part, this transition is due to increased Internet access by consumers. With more customers online, companies have an easier time directing customer service questions to forums or frequently asked question pages. But, is this increasingly popular tactic the right choice for your business?
Your company’s ability to handle customer service requests well can increase sales, satisfaction, and build loyalty. In fact, customer service can be a key component for distinguishing your business from the competition. Consider Zappos.com. By instilling legendary customer service, primarily via phone, they have been able to grow sales beyond shoes and expand into new markets such as clothing and purses.
Dedicated customer service through toll free numbers can help your organization:
- Convince reluctant consumers. Customers may feel skittish about buying from or signing up with an unknown businesses if there’s no way to contact the business. Even if they don’t need to call you, just the comfort that the option exists is a powerful signal that your business cares.
- Be available when the customer needs you. With Halloo Receptionist service, you can have your calls answered by a live human 24x7x365 for a tiny fraction of the cost of hiring your own customer service rep! You can pick up your own phones during standard hours and let Halloo pick up after hours. Most startups will not be deluged with calls, so the after hours expense will be relatively minimal. Having this service available is a powerful draw. You’ll be signaling your customers that you are there any time that they need assistance.
- Solve customer problems quickly and efficiently. Turbocharge your phone handling with Halloo’s Virtual Phone Service so that you can handle routine calls using an interactive voice response system (e.g. store hours and location). You can also enable features such as roll-over hunt groups to ensure that you pick up more calls, leading to higher first call resolution for your customers.
Online access is increasing, allowing a wider range of consumers (about 78%) to go to the internet for a wide variety of services, including problem-solving. While this can be very helpful to consumers and companies alike, don’t forget that nearly 95% of the U.S. population has access to a telephone and many prefer the personal touch associated with reaching a “real” human on the other side of the line. Make sure to carefully consider your target audience and their preferences when determining your company’s customer service solutions.
Does your company handle more customer service through web or phone? We’d love to hear your perspective.