Monday 1 March 2021
Home      All news      Contact us      RSS     
- 1 month ago

Customers prefer phone calls in many cases. Here s how to break through and use calls effectively.

Summary List PlacementWith much of the country suddenly forced to work remotely, the massive rise in video calls became a big story in 2020. At the same time, there has also been an upsurge in phone calls. In April, Verizon said it was handling an average of 800 million wireless calls a day — more than double the number typically made on Mother s Day, normally the busiest day of the year. Later that month, AT T reported a 94% increase in WiFi calling minutes on its network compared with a weekday last year. But calls were popular even before the pandemic and are an important part of an omnichannel support strategy to engage with and help customers. People often prefer phone calls when it comes to handling customer-service issues, particularly when in-person interaction isn t an option, according to surveys. There s a myth out there that phone conversations are the last resort for customers seeking help, says James Garvert, the senior vice president and general manager of caller identity at Neustar, a telecommunications-services company. When someone notices suspicious activity on their credit card or needs to rebook a flight at the last minute, a phone call is almost always their preferred method of resolution. It s clear that people appreciate the phone channel for customer service, but businesses should also recognize the power of the outbound phone call as a means for customer relationship building and sales generation. To use phone calls and reach customers effectively, companies need technology that ensures customers know the call is legitimate. People are afraid to pick up the phone Unfortunately, wanting to talk to your company and knowing that your company is calling are two different things. In 2019, robocalls in the US increased by 108%, with the average consumer receiving 14 unwanted calls every month. (Those numbers continued to increase throughout 2020.) And spam callers are using ever more sophisticated technology, like call spoofing, to make it appear that their calls are coming from a trusted brand or even a neighbor. Meanwhile, well-intentioned call-blocking lists and tagging efforts are less effective than ever, ultimately doing more to block legitimate callers who play by the rules than spammers. The result? At a time when consumers want to talk to your company more than ever, they are also hesitant to answer calls from unfamiliar numbers. Today, 88% of business calls to consumers go unanswered, according to Neustar s research. For companies, this has driven down contact rates, call-center efficiency, and customer satisfaction, while driving up operational costs and customer churn. Use technology to improve phone channel ROI Companies can improve the customer call experience by ensuring customers know who s calling, and why. Smartphones provide this opportunity with their rich media displays that allow for images and other contextual information. The amount of verified information you can now display on a consumer s screen before they even pick up the phone can go a long way toward separating the legitimate businesses from the scammers, says Jon Peterson, a Neustar fellow, security and network-routing expert, and coauthor of Secure Telephone Identity Revisited, a Federal Communications Commission framework for interconnected standards. Companies no longer have to settle for showing up as just another unknown phone number. One of the more popular products introducing this technology is Neustar Branded Call Display. The innovative solution transforms the visual call experience and lets organizations display their full name, number, logo, e-business card, and social-media links on the screen of the person they are calling. It can even display the reason you re calling, like appointment confirmation or account security alert. Recently, Neustar partnered with a large social-research organization whose outreach efforts were being severely hindered by challenges brought on by rising robocalls and scams. It was becoming increasingly difficult for them to get survey respondents on the phone to help inform their research, much of which was aimed at serving the public interest and improving societies. After implementing branded calling alone, researchers noted a 56% increase in answer rates compared with nonbranded calls. While consumer call behavior differs across industries and use cases, Neustar expects other enterprises to leverage branded calls in the battle against robocalls and illegal call spoofing to see similarly improved answer rates. Improve caller ID security and callbacks But adding contextual visuals is not enough. Without the ability to verify the identity of the caller or ensure that the phone number is not being spoofed, a branded call product could simply help spam callers do a better job fooling consumers. But Neustar s call-identification solution uses digital certificates to certify that the caller ID has not been compromised. The entire process, which works on all leading mobile carriers, takes place in the blink of an eye, adding no additional time or lag to completing the call. Even if consumers choose not to answer the call, Branded Call Display provides post-call content like callback numbers and URLs, increasing the likelihood that they ll respond. For consumers, the process erases any doubt about who s calling and makes them much more likely to answer. That means fewer missed appointments and service calls, greater call-center efficiency, and, most importantly, the restoration of the customer s trust in your brand. It also elevates the phone call to the modern, digital experience consumers have come to expect on other channels. Voice is an essential part of customer relationship management. The damage caused by robocalls and scammers can make it easy to forget that, Garvert says. But for the sake of your business — and your customers — it s vital not to cede the channel to those who abuse it. Learn how your company can use Neustar to improve phone effectiveness. The post was created by Insider Studios with Neustar.Join the conversation about this story


Latest News
Hashtags:   

Customers

 | 

prefer

 | 

phone

 | 

calls

 | 

cases

 | 

break

 | 

through

 | 

calls

 | 

effectively

 | 

Sources