The internet has made life easier in many ways. Information is more readily available, purchases can be made at the click of a button, and communication can be seamless. Recent developments in online chat and machine learning has opened up new ways for businesses to connect with their customers. But according to Google, a whopping 61% of searchers on mobile believe it’s important that they can call a business when they’re in the purchase phase of the buying cycle.1 With so many alternative means of communication available nowadays, why are customers still picking up the telephone?
You might already have some answers to this question. Perhaps people want that 'personal touch' so often absent from digital technology. Maybe they find typing out an email very time-consuming and would prefer an instant response instead. For a lot of people, both answers would be correct. According to Google's 'Click to Call' research, 59% of customers prefer to call because they want a quick answer, whilst 57% call as they want to talk to a real person.
Times when speaking to a real person and getting a quick answer are very desirable are when high value, specific products are being discussed. Big ticket purchases such as holidays, cars, property, or financial services may need customising, reassurance, or fine details, all of which may require a lengthy discussion. A customer will therefore want to speak with a real person who knows the product inside out and can provide a quality of insight that gives the customer confidence to make the purchase.
Another reason phones are still relevant is because digital support channels can't fix every problem. It’s helpful to have information in text format on your website, but some issues are too complex to be solved by an FAQ or a chatbot. Identifying the more basic issues responsible for calls into your call centre will mean you can solve them on your site, allowing you to give more attention to customers with more in-depth problems. A call deflection strategy to reduce basic support calls will save you money and provide a better experience for your customers (see how Sky is already doing this).
Statistics show that phone use shows no signs of slowing down. Although online chat, social media and email are widespread, 'click to call' is actually one of the most effective calls to action a business can have on its website. According to Quick Sprout, a click to call CTA above the fold can increase the conversion rate of a site by 200%.2
This shows that when given the choice, many customers will shun other means of communication when enquiring or purchasing, and actively pick up the phone. Why? Because people are hungry for conversation when making a tricky purchase or big spend. A well-trained and knowledgeable phone sales team is therefore vital to customer satisfaction and business growth, complimenting your digital services.
Are your phones ringing?
If you’re already driving business via phone calls, or would like to generate more, you need to know what’s causing people to call you in the first place. Start a conversation with Infinity today to see how our advanced call intelligence drives more of the calls you want, and fewer of the ones you don’t.
This is a guest post by Stephanie Rowe.
1) The role of click-to-call in the path to purchase, Google, (2013)
2) How to get more sales from your mobile visitors Quick Sprout (May, 2015)