It’s a major understatement to say that the world is changing at a rapid pace. As we learn more efficient ways of communicating, newer methods continually replace older ones. For example, people can complete many errands such as shopping and banking online. Because of this, some marketers have the mistaken impression that the good old telephone call is no longer relevant. However, this is far from the truth.
Consider the tasks the typical person completes in a day and how he or she needs a phone for most of them. For example, this person may go out to start his or her car for work in the morning only to discover that it won’t start at all. This requires a call to the local mechanic to inquire about availability for appointments and a tow truck to get the car there for repair. While waiting for the tow, the person who’s now late for work may pull out a phone and schedule a few appointments. While he or she could also do that online from a smartphone, it’s often quicker and easier to just place a call when using a mobile device.
The above is just an example and people obviously may call business more often or less often than this typical person does. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that this form of communication that has been around for more than 100 years still works. It just looks a bit different. Instead of placing calls through a party line, people carry tiny phones with the same capabilities as a computer around with them at all times.
Far from making the telephone obsolete, the Internet has only increased its use. One reason for this is that more than two-thirds of people accessing the Internet from their smartphone search for a call button to reach the company in question right away. With this in mind, it’s important to consider how telephone calls still remain essential for businesses.
Smartphones Have Become an Essential Aspect of Everyday Life
More than 90 percent of adults in the United States own a smartphone and they keep it in easy reach all hours of the day and night. Within the next two years, industry analysts predict smartphone ownership to increase to more than six billion people across the globe. This accounts for nearly 80 percent of the population of the world. These are statistics that no company serious about claiming a major market share can afford to ignore. Yet another thing to consider is that nearly 95 percent of people who own a smartphone call a business after searching for it on their mobile device.
Customers Still Prefer to Communicate in Person
When people shop at a traditional store, there’s usually no shortage of salespeople available and willing to help them evaluate several products. Most people appreciate this and will go out of their way to look for a salesperson if one doesn’t approach them first.
However, it’s a different story when someone logs onto the Internet to do their shopping. They spend a lot of time searching through the various options and may eventually feel lost and overwhelmed. This would be a good time for a salesperson or shopping assistant to appear to answer such questions as the type of material that makes up the product or its dimensions. With a toll-free telephone number prominently displayed on every page of the website, the customer decides to speak to a real live human being to help them with their purchase decisions.
The ability to connect with someone by pushing a few buttons makes people feel like your company cares about their shopping experience. They feel valuable and heard, making it much more likely they will return to your online store when they need a similar product in the future.
Sometimes It’s Faster to Make a Purchase by Phone
Customers typically shop online by placing a call to the company or completing an online order form. With many people shopping directly from their smartphones these days, it can be awkward and uncomfortable to type in shipping and payment information on a small screen. It would be much easier and faster to press the click-to-call button and speak to a live agent who will take the order instead. Research indicates nearly 60 percent of online customers prefer this approach because it allows them to speak to someone who can quickly answer their questions and complete their shopping.
Customers Prefer to Talk to a Representative Before Purchasing a Complicated or Expensive Product
It requires a live conversation for sales representatives to pick up on a customer’s concerns and resolve them so he or she will proceed with the sale. Trained sales agent can also make personalized recommendations or offer an alternative rather than your company losing the sale altogether.
For items such as cars, home appliances, jewelry, real-estate, and other high-ticket purchases, people want to take their time to comparison shop to ensure they get the highest quality and lowest price possible. These customers prefer to speak to a sales representative as much as 80 percent of the time.
B2B companies that offer complex services or products should consider that personal communication is the ideal way for a customer to learn more about the advantages of their products as well as how they work. Otherwise, it might take a potential customer many months of online shopping to research and follow through with a purchase.
Despite the obvious benefits of phone calls, marketers continue to overlook their importance. Once a customer goes offline, it becomes very difficult to track his or her buying journey. This is where call tracking analysis from Call Sumo enters the picture. Your company can stop guessing and start mining real and useful data about customers who complete most of their transactions by phone. It also allows you to see which of your marketing campaigns are most effective at getting them to pick up the phone in the first place.
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