The customer journey is growing increasingly complex.
According to Microsoft, the average customer uses at least three touchpoints to connect with a brand. Around 41% of customers expect live chat on your website, and many are beginning to experiment with SMS and social as ways to get answers to their questions.
We’re living in an omnichannel, digital world, where clients are finding more ways to reach the brands they buy from than ever before. Yet, despite all of this innovation, voice still rules.
In an age of constant digital transformation, self-service, and AI, customers still widely say that they would choose voice to reach a company when dealing with specific issues.
This is why a voice strategy is still (and will always be) crucial to your CX.
The Most Important Moments for Voice
Phone calls have always been an essential part of customer service, sales, and support. However, as the contact centre evolves and new generations emerge, it’s easy for companies to be seduced by the latest and most exciting channels.
Offering your customers a range of ways to communicate with your team is great, but only if you can ensure that you still offer a high-quality voice experience when your customers need it. Remember, 61% of customers still say they prefer old-fashioned phone calls for service.
While voice communication can be valuable in any scenario, it’s particularly important in certain situations. Here’s when you need voice most.
1. When Empathy Is Essential
One of the reasons that customers tend to prefer phone conversations to other methods of communication is that the human voice just feels more personal. On a call, you’re speaking to another human being who’s (hopefully) giving you their full attention.
In a live chat session, you’re more likely to be chatting to an agent who’s handling five conversations at the same time.
During a call, you can also hear the empathy in another person’s tone of voice, which makes it easier to believe that they care about your problems. That one-on-one interaction feels more human when your customers are upset or angry about an issue.
When 66% of customers say they’ll switch brands if they feel they’re treated like a number, being able to show your human side is crucial.
2. When the Conversation Is Sensitive
Although customers are growing more comfortable with the idea of getting service from bots and AI these days, they still don’t fully trust machines.
Even with the emergence of chatbots and voice assistants that can respond to the words you speak, you might not want to discuss an account issue or a sensitive problem with a bot.
When customers want to feel more at ease, they want to talk to a human being. Studies even show that we’re more likely to trust human voices than machine voices when translated from text to speech.
If your customers will ever need to address a sensitive issue, it’s important they can speak to a real human being about it.
3. When You Need to Leave a Lasting Impression
Having to request assistance or help from customer service can be quite a headache. However, if your company is offering the right kind of customer service, you can also use it as a way to make your brand stand out.
If you need to leave a lasting impression on your customer, voice can be an excellent way to do that. You can address your client by name, and even use analytics tools to examine the sentiment in their voice as you chat.
With the right customer service tools in place, you can also set yourself apart from the competition. For instance, you can include a “call-back” option within your contact centre strategy for people who don’t want to sit around and wait for someone to answer the phone.
4. When the Issue Is Complicated
Some problems are more difficult to explain than others. According to the study we mentioned above, around 48% of customers say they would rather speak to a real person over the phone when they have a complex issue.
Additionally, 75% of customers say that they believe calling a company over the phone is the best way to get a quick response.
Human beings are a lot better at explaining themselves to other people. You can discuss a difficult issue with a professional and get to the bottom of the problem a lot faster than you would with a bot. That’s because most bots are only equipped to handle a small number of words or phrases.
The longer your client spends trying to get a bot to understand them, the more frustrated they’ll become.
5. When You Want to Retain Your Customers
Voice is still an extremely powerful tool for customer service and CX. Whether you’re responding to a client query, or helping them sort through a problem, they’re more likely to be left with a positive lasting impression of your company if they talk to a human being.
The positive feelings that your customers feel when they’re connecting with another person over the phone translate into a better reputation for your brand and more chances of repeat custom.
Think about the last time you tried to solve a problem without using a phone call. You might have started off by searching for answers online and tried messaging the company over chat. However, when all else failed, you probably still went back to the “good old” phone call route.
Failing to provide that option to your customers, even when they might use another mode of communication first, could mean you miss out on repeat clients.
Voice Still Matters
No matter how the CX landscape continues to evolve, voice is still a must-have for customer success. When you need to empathize with clients, or give them a unique, human experience, nothing quite compares with voice. Of course, you do need to make sure that the quality of your voice service is up to scratch.