As technology continues to evolve, customer service needs to keep pace. It’s important for businesses to have as many options available as possible, so consumers can voice questions and concerns to a real person. By integrating online customer services with phone options, a company can offer more professional service.
A survey by the text message service TalkTo found that 53 percent of American consumers spent an average of 10 to 20 minutes on hold each and every week last year. That adds up to 780 minutes per year – or 13 hours annually.
The report also showed that 86 percent of consumers report being put on hold every time they call a business, and that 48 percent believe the customer service representatives who answer phone calls are not helpful.
“This research shows how poorly the phone performs as a customer-service channel,” Stuart Levinson, CEO of TalkTo, said via a press release. “Everyone’s calling less and texting more. It’s time for businesses to catch up with how customers want to interact with them.”
However, a Consumer Reports study from 2011 showed that customers still prefer phone calls, with 20 percent stating that as the best option. The second most popular choice was an in-person visit (16 percent). Just 2 percent of respondents said live internet chat was the best way to reach out.
No company wants to alienate customers through either poor service or inconsistent communication. Partnering with an award-winning answering service that offers phone, email and text messaging services can help lessen consumers wait time. With more available options for contact, customers have a better chance at reaching a representative at whatever time of day is convenient for them.