The telephone has dramatically changed since Alexander Graham Bell spoke those famous words to his assistant, Mr. Watson in 1875. Today we have many ways of communicating-Email, US Mail, Social Media, Google, Automated Service, On-Line Calling, Cell Phones, Virtual Phones, Cordless Phone, Desktop Phones, Video Phones, and many more. However, according to most people when surveyed the preferred method of communication when needing information is still the telephone.

Small Businesses need to realize just how important the telephone is to start, grow, and keep their customer base. Most businesses must have either a single receptionist or a call center to effectively operate their business. Understanding your customer’s expectations for service is the first step in providing an amazing customer experience. It is essential that customer support contact centers develop a comprehensive understanding of what customers expect from them, whether their needs are being met and how they can improve their service to meet their expectations. Doing so could mean the difference between thriving and dying.

Most customers surveyed are dissatisfied with the service they receive from contact centers. This might not be surprising, but the number of customers who are dissatisfied with the service they receive is: 54%. This number is staggering and suggests that contact centers must immediately change the service they provide their customers, or they risk losing them.

What do customers want from support contact centers?

To meet customer expectations, it is important to know what their expectations are. When customers call a business, their priorities are to talk with a skilled agent and to have their problems solved quickly. Customers prefer a personal interaction with an agent. While your agent does not have to be at your physical location with the ability to work from home, and device mobility, customers want/need to speak with someone.  The initial call may provide a recorded message; however, the result should have a Customer service agent available to speak with.

What communication channel do customers prefer to use, and what do they use now?

Studies show that the telephone is still the most used and the preferred method to interact with customer service representatives. Customers will use email, voice mail automation, and US mail in that order, however, the telephone is significantly preferred and used. Thus, customer service contact centers should dedicate most of their resources to their call center, but also accommodate other channels of communication for support.

Conclusion, we all want to talk with someone when we need information, need a service, or have a question. While communication appliances may be changing nothing will ever replace good old fashion personal interaction~ Talk to Me Please!

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