End of the Line? 5 Reasons Phone Numbers Are Still Essential
In today’s digital world it may seem that phone numbers don’t matter nearly as much as they used to. We have social media messaging, online chat programs, email, and other forms of communication that mean a phone line might just be out of date. However, that doesn’t mean they are unnecessary.
Communication is the key to customer service and keeping customers happy, and communication is a two-way street. Digital methods can seem distant and impersonal. Sometimes the only thing a customer needs to feel better about a complaint or to complete a sale is a simple phone call.
This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank installing an elaborate system. Simple business VoIP phones are affordable and easy to set up, using a dedicated internet connection, or if the one you have is fast enough, your existing one. Here are five reasons it is still essential that you have a phone number.
1. Customers Expect Them
One rule of business is to meet or exceed customer expectations, and the truth of the matter is that customers expect a real business to have a phone line, and a number that is easy for them to find. When it is not that way, trust issues are created. Once that happens, it is hard for a company to earn that trust back.
A phone number shows that you are genuine and a customer can reach you if they need to. Simply having one is a solid way to meet their expectations.
2. Customers Want Them
Not all customers are fans of online chat or email as a way to communicate. Many still want the ease of picking up the phone and talking to someone. In fact, some customers will not shop with a company who does not have this option.
This also means that customers want your phones to work. They expect to get information, whether from a real person, a recorded message that promises a call back, or something similar. Having a phone that works poorly is just as bad or worse than not having one at all.
3. Perception Rules
This all comes down to perception. Customers expect and want certain things, and even if they do not use them, they like to see that they have the option. It gives them a certain peace of mind.
Think of it this way: if you were to visit a website that had no phone number, little in the way of contact information, and you found it hard to find that contact information, would you be inclined to trust them with your money? The answer is probably not.
When you look at things from the customer’s perspective it is easy to see why having a phone number as an option is essential even when you have many other methods of communication at their disposal.
4. The Web Is Not Perfect
Internet service sometimes goes down. Your site can get hacked, or simply be running slow due to an overflow of traffic. Even sites like Apple have crashed when overwhelmed by traffic on product launch days or by holiday shoppers. If a large site is not exempt, neither is yours.
This means that if an email gets lost, if your chat is down, or if you are simply having website issues, it is desirable from both your perspective and that of your customer that they can call and get some kind of resolution. In this case a phone number can help save the order.
A customer can probably just as easily get products or services from your competition, and if your website is down, and they have no other choice, they may. That can turn a customer for life into a customer for your competition. On the flip side, if you offer reliability and customer services your competition does not, you can be the go-to-choice for your goods and services.
5. A Personal Touch
Sometimes the obvious answer is the best one, and the option of a phone call offers a personal touch, showing a willingness to interact with the customer on a deeper level than chat and email can achieve.
It can be hard to be successful in your customer service efforts. That personal touch when it comes to complaints or other issues can save a bad review or a really angry customer dissing your brand everywhere they go. An opportunity to vent and an understanding voice, some good technical advice, or even just the answer to a question can be priceless.
With all of the other technology we have to communicate with customers, sometimes a phone can seem unnecessary, but that is far from the truth. It is not yet the end of the line for phone service, and using it the right way can set you apart from your competition, help you avoid a bad review, and better a customer’s perception of you and your business.
Do you still use a traditional landline in your home or business? Leave us a comment in the section below.
The post End of the Line? 5 Reasons Phone Numbers Are Still Essential appeared first on Home Business Magazine.
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