Looking for an easy way to boost business profits, improve brand affinity, and drive customer loyalty? All you have to do is pick up the phone.
In today’s omnichannel world, you might think inbound phone calls are a thing of the past. We’ve all heard about how millennials and members of Generation Z hate picking up their phones. Or how the ongoing robocall epidemic has damaged trust in business telecommunications overall. Surely, by now, most customers would prefer to send an email, fill out an online form, or contact a company via social media—right?
Wrong. In fact, calls today are more important and valuable than ever.
Our technology-driven society has created a higher premium on authentic conversations and human contact. According to a BrightLocal survey, 60% of US consumers prefer to contact local businesses over the phone—and 15% prefer to visit the business’s physical location. That means a mere 25% of consumers favor email, web forms, social media, and other forms of impersonal communication.
It’s not just phone calls. Any form of immediate, personal connection is a powerful differentiator and catalyst for business results. A Bold360 report found that online shoppers who engaged in live chat support are 4.6 times more likely to convert than other shoppers—and will spend 60% more than they would have otherwise.
Why personal connections make all the difference in customer service.
As the world approaches 2020, personal connection is still the heart of great customer service. People are tired of bots and interactive voice response systems (IVR). They want—and increasingly, they expect—to be able to call or chat with a business and speak to a live, friendly human being. If your business can’t provide that, your customers will go elsewhere.
This isn’t only about customer experience for big-name brands. Small businesses need to be ready to effectively handle inbound phone calls when those calls come in. You can’t afford to send people to voicemail or an automated phone tree.
Do you know how much potential revenue you’re currently losing by not picking up the phone? How about the customer relationships you’re missing out on?
Consider what happens when a customer can’t access your business the way they want to:
- You waste marketing dollars—i.e. your customer acquisition cost (CAC).
- You lose revenue from the missed opportunity to speak with a customer…
- …as well as potential future referral business from the contact.
- You’re deprived of revenue associated with the lifetime value (LTV) of the client.
- Your competitor wins business, damaging your position in the market one customer at a time.
Let’s do the math.
To understand the return on investment (ROI) of personal connections, let’s put some numbers to it and break everything down into a digestible example:
Say you average $1,000 per sale. You receive about 10 calls per day, and approximately 30% of those calls result in sales.
If you’re able to answer and capture prospects 100% of the time, that means three out of every 10 calls will lead to a sale, for $3,000 per day in revenue. If you manage to do this every business day of the year (252 days in 2020), your business stands to earn roughly $750,000 through inbound phone calls alone.
Now let’s add live chat into the mix. Imagine three people reach out to your business via chat per business day, and 40% of those chat prospects become customers. Taking the average $1,000 sale, you’d earn $1,600 per day. By the end of the year, you would have made a little over $400,000.
Altogether, that’s more than $1.15 million. I’m sure you could think of at least a few ways to spend that.
This is just the beginning.
Keep in mind that these are very basic calculations. We’re not taking into account the impact on your customer satisfaction rates, brand perception, and competitive edge—all of which can improve your business’s performance in ways big and small, today and well into the future.
Your organization can become a leader in your industry and market. It starts with an investment in personal connections. Give the humble phone call and live chat box their due. Don’t abandon your technology or omnichannel customer experience strategy, but make sure it’s founded in the basics: customer service that’s friendly, responsive, and—above all—human.