Call Me Surely: Having A Phone Number Still Matters

Customer relationship management is increasingly relying on written correspondence through various instant messaging platforms and social media. Yes, everybody seems to prefer text to voice these days, but does that mean you should ditch the phone altogether?

Well, don’t cancel your company’s plan just yet, because there is still some punch left in the old phone number. Harris Interactive survey has found that 54% of e-commerce site visitors surveyed prefer to experience some kind of human interaction before they complete a purchase. After all, it’s still humans we trust more than websites, especially when we are making a purchase.

To this end, you should have a phone number for customers and it almost goes without saying that you should make it highly visible. Not only having one, but displaying it prominently, will go a long way towards presenting your business as trustworthy and confident.

The customer service phone number should be placed above the fold on every page of your site. Make it responsive, so that smartphone users can simply click on it and get directly connected via phone. Data has shown that the conversion rate among mobile users was almost tripled when this feature was added to online stores.

Of course, just having a number is not enough – you have to have somebody answering those calls, at all working hours (which should also bi listed prominently right next to the phone number). Answer quickly and you are getting on the customer’s good side right away, without most even noticing it. Then you (or your customer support staff) can start providing your customers with the same professional experience on the phone as they would expect online right away. Script and record a welcome message, have hold music, make sure to employ a professional tone and have voicemail set up for hours you are not working. And always smile while talking. Not only because it can be felt in your voice, but because smiling will make you feel more cheerful, as it has been shown by psychologists to reinforce positive emotions, working as a sort of a feedback loop.

Ultimately, it is how you handle the phone call and what you do with it that counts. While simply having a phone number will increase trust for all customers, those who actually call you will become your loyal converts only if you handle them with attentiveness, respect and make sure to deliver on what you promise.