The Value of Voice
As technology leaps forward, the number of communication channels available to us seems to keep growing. From phone calls and email to instant messaging and even social media, it can be hard for businesses to know which channels customers truly value and prefer.
Salesforce research found that 80% of customers now consider the experience a company provides to be as important as its products and services, so the importance of getting this right for your business cannot be understated.
But with so many communication options out there, and ever-increasing customer expectations to meet, how do you know which tools to adopt for your business? Luckily, here at Gamma, we’ve done the research for you. We asked consumers how they want to communicate with businesses and what they value most, as part of their customer experience (CX). We also asked SME leaders which methods of communication are business critical and which enhance the customer experience they provide for greater growth.
Reliable voice communication is a massive driver of digital transformation across the tech and telecoms landscape. It is, and always will be, a core aspect of effective business and personal interaction, especially given that remote and hybrid working has become so common. It is important to remember that voice is just one aspect of that landscape. A considerable portion of interactions – 39% – take place via other mechanisms, making the need for a comprehensive approach obvious.
This is where Horizon Contact comes in, seamlessly blending voice with other channels, and offering a holistic communication experience. Managing the voice experience is integral too, alongside incorporating those other forms of contact. Horizon Contact covers this, ensuring that every interaction, whether through voice or other mediums, is managed with efficiency and effectiveness, providing a well-rounded, superior communication solution for 21st Century businesses.
Read on to see the results of this research from customers like yours, and leaders like you.
Which communication methods do your customers prefer?
Despite the many digital communication options now available, consumers told us that direct phone calls are still their preferred way to contact a business. This highlights the continued value of voice communications in business today. Does your organisation facilitate this need with business-grade, simple telephony systems?
69% of customers say they are likely to contact via phone call first before trying other methods when seeking assistance from a business. A further 38% say that direct phone calls are the preferred method of communication with businesses when seeking customer support.
35% of SME leaders we surveyed believe that human to human voice calls are preferred by their customers when contacting their business. This was followed by 33% who believe emails are the customer preference.
How important is a phone call?
More than just being the preferred method of communication, our research tells us that voice calls are hugely important to the customer experience and can even make it more likely that you gain and retain customers too.
In fact, 87% of SME leaders agreed that voice calls were important to the customer experience their business provides, with 51% saying they are ‘very important’ to this service.
Why do customers value being able to reach you over the phone?
Voice calls are a valuable customer service tool for any business, but don’t just take our word for it. Customers told us why they value being able to call your business for customer support.
Communication for every generation
Over half (54%) of those aged 65+ value being able to call a business on the phone because they feel better understood this way, while 48% of 18-24 year olds value phone calls because they believe they are quicker and easier.
While it’s clear customers value voice calls, it’s important to note that SME leaders also see the value of human to human conversation tools internally.
84% of leaders surveyed agreed that superior customer experience over the phone is likely to support the growth of their business.
How else can you improve the customer experience?
Feedback is vital, so understanding what your customers don’t like when contacting your business is important too. We asked customers what their biggest frustrations were when contacting customer support.
On the topic of improving the customer experience…
Our research finds that 87% of SME leaders believe that customers are likely to choose a business that has a business phone line and voice services to call, with good connectivity, over one that doesn’t.
With this in mind, it’s clear that voice calls not only have a place in business today and in the future but also that having phone services available to customers is critical to business success and growth.
If you want to implement flexible voice technology in your business, try a free 7-day trial of Gamma’s CircleLoop solution today or take a look at the many ways that we can enable your business to deliver great experiences for your employees and your customers here.
The consumer research, commissioned by Gamma Communications with 3Gem, was undertaken in October 2023 with a sample of 2,000 adults, balanced across all 12 UK Government regions to ensure valid representation.
The business research with SME leaders, commissioned by Gamma Communications with 3Gem, was undertaken in January 2024 with a sample of 500 SME leaders, balanced across a range of UK sectors to ensure valid representation.