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Why customers don’t like phone calls… and what are the alternatives

Aishwarya Sankhé
|
4
min read
Why customers don’t like phone calls… and what are the alternatives

Whether it’s for lead generation or customer service, a customer’s first choice isn’t to have a chat with your sales or customer service representatives. Nowadays, calls are sacred- Reserved for wishing families and friends a “happy birthday,” or during festivals.  

Phone calls are extremely personal, so to receive a cold call from a business you don’t know can be extremely off-putting for some. It feels like an invasion of privacy to some, and a hindrance for others. On the other hand, when a customer is in crisis, their first resort isn’t to call a business’ helpline.

So why don’t customers like calls these days?  

Why customers don’t like phone calls

1. Customers think it’s spam  

The era of cold-calling is coming to an end. Our marketing efforts must align with the way technology evolves. Truly effective marketing feels less like an interruption, and more like an integration. When the majority of your customers, regardless of demographic, live on messaging apps on their phones, why would you want to call them?

This brings me to my next point-

2. The rise of social media

We all live and breathe in social media. So instead of going through a handful of user forms to find a phone number, reach out to your customers on the platforms they love. If they love your business, they won’t call you to tell you, but your customers might tweet about it.  

In the same way, if someone is having a problem with your product, they open their web browser and Google what’s going on first. Then they land on your website, look for an FAQ section to see if they can resolve it themselves. They might also find a form to fill out what’s going on. All of this is done on one channel- their web browser.

Customers don’t like jumping between channels. Imagine jumping from web, to email, to phone, back to email. That would be painful for your customers, and it might be enough to make them walk away.

3. Does anyone want to be put on hold?  

Now, say your customer has no choice but to call to your helpline. But all of your agents are busy attending other calls. Oh dear, that means assigning your customers to the dreaded waiting list.  

The waiting list, in tandem with cheesy music is enough to drive anyone insane. And as the wait time increases, the customers get angrier and angrier with each passing loop of the song. The message about their place in line doesn’t console them either!  

What they thought was going to be only a 5-minute call, suddenly takes up the whole day, and no customer wants to go through that.

4. No one wants to get transferred to agent every single time  

After 15 minutes of going through the menu to find the perfect agent to address their needs, imagine getting re-routed again. And again. And again, and again, and again. All of this re-routing to answer one question. That would drive your customer insane.  

Getting their calls transferred every time with no record of the previous conversation would mean your customer would have to explain the situation to every agent they speak to.  

5. An absence of instant gratification

And after this entire process, when the query does get resolved, there’s no feeling of satisfaction. It took that long to get here, so which customer would get satisfied?!  

That’s why both the marketing and customer service models are stepping away from phone calls, more towards digital CX platforms.

The alternatives to calls

It all boils down to going where your customers are. And with the right digital CX platform, this become easy.  

1. Social media

Instead of frantically ringing helplines, customers prefer using social media. Social media is almost like a blanket to customers. It’s where they spend most of their time, and if they say their favorite brands on there, the gap between brand and customer becomes closer.  

Calls might seem foreign to some customers, so when they’re already stressed out about a product, you’re subjecting them to more stress when you force them to call a helpline. Communicating with them on platforms like Messenger and WhatsApp makes it easier for them to get the help they require in a way that’s more comfortable.  

2. Self-service solutions

Some customers go straight to the source, so it’s important to have a comprehensive FAQ section on your website. To optimize the process even further, use a website chatbot! And train it by adding paths for FAQs. This saves your customers from scrolling through pages of information. The little chat window will answer everything, further reducing the resolution time, and increasing your customer’s satisfaction.

TIP: Update your website and your chatbot’s FAQs regularly to ensure maximum satisfaction.

3. Live chat

Every customer’s favorite solution- Live Chat! Here are a couple of reasons why customers love Live Chat software:

Available on platforms your customers love

Engati Live Chat is available on 10+ platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Slack, and more. Customers can simply message your business from their devices, and get the answers they need in seconds. No need to jump between email, phone, and channels. All queries get resolved in the palm of their hands.

Re-routing doesn’t take 15min

Re-routing to different agents is inevitable. However, on a digital CX platform, re-routing takes seconds. Agents can handle multiple conversations at the same time, so every customer is cared for. Plus, with Engati’s intelligent contextual routing engine, routing takes seconds with no human intervention.  

Customers also don’t have to constantly repeat the queries to the new agents. All conversations between customers are recorded, so the next agent has all the information to need to cater to your customers,

Instant gratification

Did you know that it takes less than 10 seconds to resolve a query with Live Chat?  

With FAQs and smart responses, agents can answer questions within seconds. There are no delays- agents scrambling for information while consoling customers. All of the information they need is in front of them, all they have to do is select the appropriate response, and case closed.

Ready to try out Engati Live chat? Register now for a free live chat demo.

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