The Internet age and mobile revolution have made way for web-based tools to invade the customer service trade. Today, we can use email, live chat, and even social media to contact businesses, but despite their prevalence, contact center solutions remain to be the most dominant approach most companies use to stay connected with their customers.
The public has a vast selection of customer service tools to choose from, with each providing round-the-clock accessibility convenience, and its own brand of even innovative functions that the phone cannot offer.
On email, people have great control over their time, making it easy for them to understand text instructions and saving them for future reference, while live chat gives instant answers without putting the customer through complicated menus and long waiting periods. Social networks, on the other hand, give the best of both worlds, offering email s save-for-later capacity and instant messaging s promptness.
Web-based tools are indeed superior than the phone in many ways, but why do people still have a preference for voice services when it comes to settling concerns and doing business with brands? It s because of the better connection and customer experience that they could only get through real conversations.
Excellent service lies mainly on connection. But connection doesn t necessarily depend on the tools being used to deliver the service. You may be using the most high-end communication technologies, but in the end, it is still the agent who makes a connection with your customers; the equipment is only there for the smooth experience, which the public associates with clear lines and fast processes.
On the customers end, hearing a voice representing your company s name means that they are valued. Having a real person to answer calls gives the assurance that you acknowledge their effort to connect and do business with you.
You may argue: Web-based tools also let your users, audience, or consumers connect with you. True, but that connection is limited.
There are many ways to give your brand a face, personality, and voice online. It is even a winning practice to write responses in a tone that displays the image that your brand wants to uphold. However, that s only as far as it can go. In social media where interactions are bound by character counts and file/posting formats, conversations are often downgraded to mere exchanges of text. Answers and solutions are usually delivered in a straightforward manner, taking away empathy and care that customers always look for when contacting businesses.
While conciseness is also encouraged in phone-based customer service, representatives are still able to exude empathy through the tone of their voice. Furthermore, exchanges on the phone are made real-time, whereas those made online are often interrupted by necessary delays. Through conversations, agents can listen for cues and clues on customer needs before even callers put those demands into words.
Email, live chat, and social media are still effective customer service channels despite people s favor for voice-based service. Customers usually turn to Web-based tools for the convenience, but if they want customer care in its true essence, there are other channels where they can feel a real person assisting them.