Customer Experience News & Trends

Who’s dropped phone service – and why it’s not a good idea for you

Imagine if there were no ringing phones in your customer service center. More and more businesses think the no-call model works, but is it realistic? Square, a mobile credit card processing company, is the newest to join the ranks of companies saying, “Don’t call us — and we won’t call you.”

Other technical firms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn abandoned the phone as a customer support channel long ago. They promise to support customers online with forums, YouTube videos and pages of customer FAQs. And if those don’t work, customers are encouraged to reach out through email or the companies dedicated Twitter handles, Facebook pages or company supported blogs and forums.

So if you adopted this kind of model, would everyone get more done behind the scenes or be able to support more customers at once on a digital platform? Or would you just upset customers who want to actually talk to someone?

Don’t hang up yet

You’d probably tick off more customers than you’d satisfy by shutting the phone lines down. One study by Fifth Quadrant found that 70% of consumers prefer talking with a live agent when they have technical questions. Two thirds of these customers also prefer the phone for making purchases and registering complaints.

Some businesses can probably make the online, no-phone system work. But the verdict isn’t in yet on the businesses that have adopted that model.

So don’t hang up the phone yet — especially in the business-to-business arena.

One company that’s refused to do so is My Corporation. Sixty-five percent of its customers make their orders online. And all of them could probably get what they ordered and move along without any interaction with a MyCorp employee. But CEO Deborah Sweeney knew online interactions alone wouldn’t support customer loyalty. So her customer service reps call customers after they make online orders to let them know:

  • their order was received
  • what documents to expect, and
  • how long delivery would take.

It works, too: MyCorp has doubled its customer renewal rate in the last five years.

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