opinion pieces

Are Your Customers’ Voices Being Heard?

No matter what kind of business you may be, there is one thing everyone can agree on: the customer is king.

Olivia Maier

· 4 min read

Making current, and potential, customers happy is a key part of business success. There’s even more pressure when it comes to small and medium-sized businesses because when people chose SMBs over larger businesses they’re expecting a more people-centered experience.

It can be a tough balancing act trying to employ several people that makes sense for your business, without giving up that personalized and individualized customer experience. One area where this is becoming increasingly noticeable is in voice communication.

In a recent report done by Twilio, 81% of consumers have reported that they find it difficult to communicate with businesses. This is an astounding rate, but what’s even more surprising is how only 34% of businesses acknowledge these challenges.

What is involved in communication?

Communication these days can mean so many things; from social media presence, online communication, in-person communication, and over the phone. One area that a lot of businesses are choosing to automate is over the phone communication. Unfortunately, for many SMB’s this means leaving customers with an automated “press 1 for option A, press 2 for option B”, or customers leaving messages that are never listened to. This type of voice technology has been around for a long time, which is surprising considering how no customer is thrilled to be met with either of these options.

A study done by Google shows how much the use of the phone plays into consumers purchasing process. 61% of mobile users in the buying cycle will chose to call a business when they are in the purchasing phase. Consumers are choosing to do this because they either want to talk to a real person (57%) or they are looking to get a quick answer (59%).

Customers want to have conversations, and over the phone should be the easiest way to do that. The Twilio report shows that this isn’t always the case. Customers report that they are frequently frustrated with long menu choices, long wait times, and having to repeat information multiple times in one call.

Graphic from Twilio Report
Graphic from Twilio Report

To break this down…

Having frequently frustrated customers can have a big impact on your business, and the numbers definitely reflect that. After a poor communication experience, 66% of people will tell a friend about that negative experience, while 41% stopped doing business with that company.

Those numbers are scary enough, but unfortunately, they don’t reflect the true cost of poor communication. You would also be missing out on the benefits of good communication experiences, which include 71% of customers recommending your business, 67% purchasing more products, and 49% leaving a positive review. Poor business communication leaves you with missed opportunities for positive benefits, as well as leaving you open to the negative effects.

This is something that larger companies were able to recognize and do something about. Many large companies realized that internet-based phone systems can save money while providing a more positive customer experience than the typical phone call could. That is why companies including Bank of America and Allstate Insurance have poured money into developing and implementing internet-based phone systems.

These phone systems are extremely beneficial to companies of all sizes. Instead of simply automating a phone message, these systems allow companies to guarantee a positive experience for their customers. It also is notable that once these systems are implemented, they can lower communication costs for a company. There is less of a need for employees dedicated to answering the phone, without sacrificing a quality call. It also provides an easy way to direct calls to the right people, without wasting time playing phone tag.

The area of phone communication that is most important to consumers is a fast response time. Businesses that are too slow, or don’t respond at all, generate a negative reaction from consumers. That is one of the areas internet phone systems can help. These systems can direct calls to the correct person, and use technology to send responses right away even if employees are too busy to answer the phone.

But for an SMB, investing in developing an internet phone system would be unrealistic at best, and most of the time simply not possible. That’s why Yodel.io is dedicated to giving SMBs access to this technology, at an affordable price. Yodel.io provides customizable plans to ensure SMBs can compete and provide the high-quality communication you and your customers deserve.

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