Marketers spend countless hours coming up with strategies to engage customers and prospects through content marketing. Yet, too often, when customers are trying to engage with a company, such as when they have a question or problem, we make it difficult. We relegate the answers to an 800 number, when we could be providing the information online. Here’s why 800 numbers are a turn-off:
1) The automated voice mail. If there’s a better way to make your customers feel like they are not important, let me know. When is the last time you heard a message that was engaging on an 800 line. “Listen carefully, we have changed our selections” is typically followed by an endless array of options, not one of which involves a human being. Companies may as well just scream, “We don’t want to talk to you!”
2) The wait is too long. I recently spent 10 or 15 minutes waiting to ask a question of GoDaddy.com. Another interaction with Lenovo took more than 30 minutes to resolve. And while you wait, you have to listen to annoying music, or sales messages.
3) People who can’t solve their problems. When you finally do reach a human, it never seems to be the person who can solve your problem. By the time you have been transferred to the right person, you have explained the problem at least three different times to three different people.
4) There’s usually no record of your conversation. Unless you count the confirmation number you scribbled on a scrap of paper. After a phone transaction, I am often left wondering if anything really will be accomplished.
Is it any wonder that your customers would look online for the answers to their problems? Studies show an increasing preference for online interaction.
Does your website content address your customer’s questions? Do you have an area for frequently asked questions? Can a customer chat with an operator online? Can they access a customer portal to see their account information?
Many b-to-b marketers fail to answer common questions online because they want people to call them. But will they?
What’s your strategy?