With the increase of low-cost online customer service channels, some corporations have decided to move away from phone support. One of these companies is Square, a mobile credit-card processing company. Aaron Zamost, a company spokesman stated, “We’ve experimented with phone support, but we believe there are more effective and efficient ways to help our customers get answers to their questions immediately.” They now recommend that their customers use online forums to find their answers, and if they can’t resolve their issues in that manner, to send an email or a tweet to the company.
What Square didn’t point out was how their biggest competitors are using Square’s lack of phone support to their own advantage; PayPal advertises 24×7 phone support and encourages their customers to call with any questions or concerns that they may have.
Both customers and companies are finding that Square, as well as other corporations making this change, may have shown a little too much haste when disconnecting their phone lines. Consulting firm Fifth Quadrant found that for 71 percent of consumers, talking to a live agent over the phone was still the top preference when receiving customer support. They also found that the phone has the highest query resolution rates, with live agents resolving 88 percent of issues on the first attempt.
While online forums and other customer service channels are becoming more popular, customers still prefer to speak to a live agent when they have a problem. Commonly, agents are able to understand exactly what’s happening, and are capable of solving the issue in a short amount of time. Online forums don’t provide the immediate resolution; if a customer is unable to find the answers to their problem in a previously posted forum, they must ask the community for help. Customers could wait hours or days to hear back from someone who is familiar enough with the software to provide a solution.
With so many companies focusing on a customer-centered business model, those who fail to provide the customer’s preferred channel will find their customers moving to another company who does.
Phone Support related information
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