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25thAug2016

Digital Machines vs. Live Answering Service Agents

Digital Machines vs. Live Answering Service Agents

Our live answering service was first established in June of 1986. Three decades have passed and we’ve seen many changes to the way business communications are handled.

Thumbing through the yellow phonebook has been replaced with scrolling through internet search results. Brick and mortar foundations have been overshadowed with eCommerce website structures. Squeaky shopping carts have been swapped for digital checkout carts.   

As a business owner, you may be curious to learn about the preferences and expectations of modern consumers. In this special article, we feature key statistics that help you understand what your customers want in 2016.  

Digital Machines vs. Live Answering Service Agents

It’s interesting to note that, 40% of global consumers said they prefer self-service over human contact for their future interactions with companies. So while this preference towards DIY purchasing is growing, 60% of global consumers still want to speak with a live person

When a consumer sends a question to a business on social media, 55% of them want a response in less than 4 hours after sending. However, if your business receives a phone call, 86% of modern consumers expect a response in 4 hours or less.  

Do people still call businesses when they have a question? They sure do. An independent study conducted by ISPOS shared that, “70% of mobile searchers have used click to call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page.” 

The top reasons (in order) mobile searchers call a business:

  • • To quickly get an answer or accomplish a goal.
  • • They want to speak with a real person.
  • • They have more questions or need more information than a website can answer.

So you have a contact form on your website that emails your users’ messages to your inbox. Know that, “65% of people prefer to contact a business by phone call versus only 24% who prefer a web form.”

Paid search advertising spending worldwide is forecasted to reach $83.06 billion in 2016.

After performing online research, “63% of consumers complete a purchase offline following their online search activity.”

Having a live answering service handle your customer’s calls and inquiries increases your bottom line. “Shoppers spend 50% more after talking with a brand ambassador,” and “41% of consumers expect an agent to make upselling recommendations.”

Exciting digital marketing trends and opportunities point to 22% of participators placing the highest importance on a customer experience.

  • • 22% Customer Experience
  • • 15% Content Marketing
  • • 13% Mobile Marketing
  • • 11% Personalization
  • • 7% Social

When considering future unique selling points (USPs) that’ll tip the scales in your favor, we go back to the customer experience. “By 2017, 89% of marketers expect customer experience to be their primary differentiator.” 

“If you resolve a complaint in your customer’s favor, he or she will do business with you again 70% of the time.” A real human has more compassion, empathy and caller control skills to properly handle negative feedback, complaints or suggestions. It’s nearly difficult to automate a completely tailored customer experience with a digital machine.  

When it comes to post sales preferred access and activity, 35% of consumers prefer to ask questions over the phone; 48% choose the self-service option.

Having an excellent customer service team should still be your top priority because; “Customers are 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related vs. price or product related.”

It’s difficult for digital machines and self-service options to convey personal feelings. “70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.” Perform a little test by looking at your website with a fresh pair of eyes. Stepping into a new customer’s set of shoes, how does your online profiles and landing pages treat your customers? 

eCommerce and self-service websites have high abandonment rates. “$4 trillion in merchandise was abandoned in online shopping carts in 2014.” 65% of retailers all share a shopping cart abandonment rate of 50% or higher. 

Studying consumer attitudes towards customer service we learn, “The average annual value of each customer relationship lost to a competitor or abandoned because of poor customer service is $243 (USD).” When a consumer does decide to switch to another brand, 66% of them so because of poor customer service.  

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Our Live Answering Service is here to help!

Although customer service is becoming more and more automated, your customers still want human interaction. Offer your customers the option to speak with a live person. That way, when they hit a wall with your self-service website, you still have the opportunity to convert that lead into a customer transaction.

If you’re shopping for a qualified and experienced live answering service to forward your calls to, give us a try. We offer competitive rates, month-to-month service options and other custom services that can assist your callers 24/7.

Give us a call today at 1-800-785-6161 to speak with an account specialist about what our award winning virtual receptionists can bring to your business.

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