Date published 07/08/2018. Written by Rachel @ DataKom

5 reasons why phone calls are still important for businesses

There are many ways for businesses to connect with customers: social media, help desks, online support systems to name a few.

This might may indicate that phone calls are no longer important. But are they?

Other means of communication may be available, but nothing can replace the personal touch and the reassurance a customer can get from making a phone call.

According to research, when a consumer is making a significant decision then their communication preference changes, with the majority wanting to speak with a real person.

Furthermore, the average call time duration has increased by 113% from January 2017 to January 2018, indicating that customers are generally more interested in having a conversation regarding a potential purchase.

Communication over the phone is also the fastest way to provide effective customer service, especially in urgent situations when the customer needs immediate contact.

We take a look at why phone calls are still very much important for businesses.

1. Smartphones are popular

A huge 91% of the population have their mobile devices within arm’s reach 24/7 and it is estimated call traffic from smartphones to businesses will reach 162 billion by 2019.

Many of these mobile user’s research unfamiliar companies on the internet. But when a person is in the purchase phase of the buying cycle, 61% will call a business to speak to a real person for further information.

Businesses are investing more in their responsive websites including click to call technology. A “call us now” button can convert mobile website traffic into direct communication. 39% of consumers use “click-to-call” over any other call of action for instant contact with a qualified expert.

2. Instant communication

If an issue with one of your products or services directly impacts your customer’s business then a phone call allows enquiries to be resolved promptly.

Customer service enquiries can be resolved instantly via phone.  63% of consumers prefer to speak directly to an advisor with any customer service queries.

Additionally, consumers are more likely to call a business when making a high-value purchase such as applying for a first-time mortgage, where their enquiry can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. As a new customer, an initial conversation can build a relationship of trust and specific questions answered.

3. The personal touch

Text-based communications can be perceived as impersonal and the tone of conversation can be misunderstood.

54% of buyers prefer human interaction when making a purchase. People like to be reassured that they are making the right choice, especially when making an expensive purchase and require a piece of mind. It is also an opportunity for your business to gain a deeper understanding of your customer needs and enhance the service you provide.

Customer loyalty is generated if a business supports their needs and is reassured during the purchasing process. Personalised communication results in more productive relationships that lead to enhanced customer service. 

4. Having a dedicated phone line is highly important for your brand image

47% of mobile search users will call a competitor if they can’t locate the company phone number. You should ensure that your phone number is clearly visible on your website to make it easy for prospects to reach you.

Using the right tools for your business will bring a major impact to businesses. Phone systems are valuable communication tools for promoting your business and interacting with customers.

The best way to differentiate yourself as a trustworthy brand and stay ahead of the competition is by providing outstanding customer service. Optimising inbound calls allows you to focus on your customers’ needs and problems, rather than on your product.

5. Marketing

Mobile marketing will drive over 100 billion calls to businesses this year. Click to call digital ads are an excellent way to drive results with 3 out of 4 phone calls made with an intent to purchase.

Digital marketing uses location-based targeting combined with demographic and behavioural targeting to reach consumers on their mobile devices. Many ads allow the consumer to click to call, as well as click for directions, specials etc. All click to call conversions are then reported so the ROI is extremely clear.

The rapid expansion of the mobile market and the increased amount of phone calls businesses receive has resulted in inbound calls being 10-15 times more likely to convert than inbound web leads. This means that calls are still extremely valuable for improving user experience and increasing your company revenue.

While other methods of communication can save time and offer efficiency, they’re not always the right solution. It’s important to take the time to reach out to customers in direct, more personal ways.