Voice calls have always had a role to play in the connection between brands and customers. However, in recent years, it seems that many companies have forgotten about the advantages of voice calls for business. The rise of instant messaging, video chat and other modes of communication mean that voice is frequently overlooked.
But is a current shift changing all that?
As thousands of companies prepare for the return to the office following the Covid-19 pandemic, many have experienced a massive increase in call volumes. Phone calls are making a comeback as the ultimate way for customers to reach their favourite brands.
The restrictions of lockdown and social distancing are acting as a catalyst to ignite the demand for more personalised, authentic interactions. During lockdown, 43% of businesses said that phone calls were more critical than ever before.
Call Volume and Duration is Going Up
In times of crisis, people generally return to what they know and feel comfortable with. We rely on phone calls to provide a quick connection to another human being. More importantly, phone calls serve our need to be heard and understood.
Over the years, telephone calls have lost some of their impact. In 2004, over 90% of households in the US had a landline. By 2019, the number had fallen to less than 40%, with smartphones replacing home phones and people using their devices for texting, rather than calling.
Yet, when the pandemic struck, people began to remember the value of the phone call. Verizon reported an average of 800 million wireless calls every day. Not only has the quantity of calls that people make gone up, but the length of those conversations is starting to increase. People are staying on the phone for longer than ever.
Many experts believe that the uptick in phone calls and voice conversations aligns with a broader trend during the pandemic. When Covid-19 forced offices to close and confined people to their homes, we turned to all kinds of tools to increase communication. Telecoms companies have seen increases in text messaging as well as voice calls. Even video conferencing services are seeing a massive surge in usage numbers.
The 3 Biggest Advantages of VoIP Systems
Despite an obvious increase in online communications and social media platforms in recent years, the phone still reigns as the best channel for customer experience. Even before the lockdown, 56% of businesses said that the phone was their most powerful tool.
When companies ask themselves “What is the best business phone system for our business?” they are not just ticking a box on a list of must-have features. The advantages of voice calls for business revolve around the ability to create deeper connections with customers. During any period of uncertainty, it is natural for people to want to talk more and seek out human connection.
Even without a pandemic, phone calls often stand out as the best choice for customers who need quick solutions to problems. Here are some of the main reasons why customers still rely on voice calls.
1. Phone calls are simple
Text messaging, instant messaging and video conferencing are great, but to us as consumers, few things feel as natural as picking up a phone. With more consumers returning to the phone as their primary method of engaging with companies, simplicity reigns supreme.
A larger percentage of the general population feels more comfortable using voice services than text-based alternatives, in particular older adults who perhaps aren’t too comfortable with other technologies. In addition, those with language barriers, literacy issues or visual impairments may also gravitate towards traditional phone conversations.
The simplicity and inclusivity of phone calls ensures that anyone can interact with a business in a way that feels natural to them.
2. Calls are faster
Some younger generations might say that instant messaging and text messaging is a quicker way to get an answer to a question than a voice call. When you’re making a call, you need to wait for a connection, explain your reason or calling, and get routed to the right person.
However, if your team knows how to handle calls properly, you can make the phone experience more impressive for your customers too. One of the advantages of VoIP for business in the current landscape, is that you can access a range of features to improve customer experience.
IVR systems can route your customers to the right agent straight away, while intelligent systems access client information for an agent. Call analytics systems show where the gaps are in your service strategy so you can eliminate frictions instantly. Phone calls can quickly become more efficient than any other communication standard.
After all, there’s no delay in communication with a phone call as you don’t have to wait for someone to read and reply to a message.
3. Calls strengthen emotional connections
As companies continue to explore future communication strategies, especially around hosted telephony solutions, there are questions to be asked. “What is VoIP, and how can it benefit a business?” or “What are the advantages of VoIP?”.
Often, vendors give great examples, such as reduced costs for VoIP lines, or the ability to create a comprehensive system for unified communication in the cloud.
A bonus that is often overlooked, is that VoIP calls offer the potential for emotional exchanges between brands and customers. Customers frequently turn to service centres in a state of panic or frustration. A conversation with an understanding agent that knows how to say the right thing in the right tone of voice can ease the situation.
A human conversation does more to build your relationship with your audience than countless instant messages or texts. You can even record voice calls and use sentiment analysis to assess the discussion. This leads to better agent training and improved service opportunities in the future.
Contact Akixi and Discover the Business Benefits of Call Analytics for your VoIP System
It’s easy to overlook the advantages of VoIP for business in a world where countless new communication tools are appearing all the time. However, no matter how many new channels emerge, human beings will always return to voice communication when times are tough. The latest crisis is evidence of this.
The key to making the most of your telephony solution right now, is ensuring that you’re investing in the systems that will support these meaningful voice-centred relationships. Analytics software that highlights your business’s call management processes and identifies trends will boost your chances of keeping customers happy and keep your business one step ahead of the competition.
Remember, the communication landscape may be changing, but it’s still built on a foundation of voice.
If you’re looking for your business to take full advantage of VoIP systems in the current climate, please get in touch with Akixi team by sending us a message online.
Alternatively, you can speak to one of our business development experts by calling +44 (0)1293 214 624.
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