Dec 18, 2017
February 02, 2016
The telephone is still King for Businesses
So much talk in business is around using digital or online channels. Seen as a cost-effective means of contacting large numbers of customers, some might suggest that this is becoming the primary way to communicate with your market. Sending hundreds of emails in a working week, using blogs and social media to target and communicate with customers has become a norm. Is there still a place for the humble telephone in communicating with customers?
Telephony still dominates the business to business marketplace as the first tool of communication with customers. Even in the consumer market most people still choose the phone first when there is a problem. Critically, it’s direct & personal, making online communication seem slow.
Whilst many companies have already secured an online presence and are increasing their digital footprint using blogs & social media, many have not considered a voice contact plan & strategy. This may be more relevant to contact centres, but given the ubiquitous, one to one, direct nature of the phone, all companies should focus on how calls are handled. A small business could easily spend ten thousand pounds on a website that doesn’t sell a product online, they could spend time and effort discussing search engine optimisation, but would they spend the same money and time on how calls are made?
Well planned online communication & response mechanisms do work, but are they are faster in getting resolution than taking 5 minutes to talk through a query? Can you pick up buying signals from an email as easily as over the phone?
Despite the advantages of digital platforms, after face to face conversations, the best means of communication is to speak to a person directly by phone. If you have ever had long email conversations, resulting in a phone call to resolve the issue, then the power of the telephone is evident.
It is vital to find the balance between the communications tools your business uses. We see a lot of adverts, seminars and promotions about doing business online but rarely see government agencies running sessions promoting the use of the telephone to secure deals. The digital and voice worlds complement each other, not replace. Yet, how many companies consciously review their call handling regularly?
Making voice an integral part of an overall communications strategy is key. Digital & online communication is seen as low cost, but in business it’s not just the cost of contact with the customer, it’s the value derived from it and for many local businesses, the telephone is still king.