It's ironic how customers want to talk to companies, however most companies don't want to offer phone support.

So, why is this happening? Let's start with the customer.

A confused customer

This picture is worth a thousand words:

Quora question from users - Why do companies don’t offer provide phone support
Source: Quora question from users asking why do companies don’t provide phone support

Sounds familiar?

Have you, as a company been in a position where you have to explain a customer why you do not offer phone support?

Is your diplomatic response working so far? Are clients satisfied? Are you addressing their concerns?

Customers ask themselves all the time why it is so difficult to reach a company and have them on the phone. When there is something urgent or a complex problem to deal with, why seems so hard for companies to provide decent phone support?

The reasons why companies don’t offer phone support

We decided to investigate and gather all the reasons why companies chose to shy away from this support channel. And how today is possible to address these concerns with the help of new voice technologies:

#1 Not knowing the customer identity beforehand

Source: Kinsta help center on why they do not offer phone support

Quick reason: Kinsta, a premium managed WordPress hosting solution, states to only offer online customer support, through their online messaging system located at their dashboard. One of the reasons is within their online chat, they can allocate the customer name instantly through the ticket information.

Myth uncovered: long gone are the days where phone support remains a separate channel from ticketing tools. Using SnapCall widget on Zendesk support, each time an agent receives a call, the customer information pops out (even before picking up the call), and all the ticket history is in front of the agent eyes:

Agent dashboard using SnapCall widget on Zendesk support - agent receives the call with a quick preview of the customer identification and details.

Reaction:

Agents reaction when they stop receiving anonymous and non-contextual calls

#2 Not having enough details about the customer during the call

Source: Square help center - on why they don't offer phone support

Quick reason: SquareSpace, website builder and hosting software, states their online support allows their team to allocate information about customer's accounts efficiently.

Myth uncovered: phone support can be easily integrated to support platforms, and therefore each call is an automatic ticket with all the information at the fingertips of agents. Running simple customizations, the SnapCall widget on Zendesk  can push instantly customer data in the call and key information about their account.

Agent dashboard using SnapCall widget on Zendesk support - customer data in calls

Reaction:

Customers reaction when agents don't ask their personal information but instead focus on solving their issues

#3 Difficult to take on the conversation, when the other agent left off

Kinsta help center on why they do not offer phone support

Quick reason: Kinsta says they prefer online messaging tools to go back to details when several agents interact with the same customer, avoiding repetition and certainly reducing time for both parties.

Myth uncovered: one call = one ticket. When a customer calls and automatic ticket is created thanks to the SnapCall app on Zendesk. This means agents can go back to phone interactions as they would go back to any regular ticket. All the information would be at the fingertips and also they would be able to play the call recording located on each ticket:

Reaction:

Agents not having to ask the same questions using SnapCall

#4 Calls demand instant attention and affect the agent's productivity

Source: Barn2plugins - on why they don't offer phone support

Quick reason: Barn2plugins, a WordPress plugins maker, states unplanned calls can quickly become a synonym of interruptions. Calls demand instant attention, hurting the productivity of agents while they are focused on other tasks, such as taking care of one particular queue.

Myth uncovered: the phone channel hours can be easily limited according to preferences of agents, like blocks of time or specific days providing flexibility to agents and teams, giving them the power to define when is a good moment to receive calls.

Here's an example of setting the hours of phone support:

Schedule creation per call button on SnapCall dashboard

Here's also an example of an agent turning off his availability:

Agent setting availability off - SnapCall App on Zendesk

This option adds flexibility to agents. When there are no available agents, the call button won't be displayed on the customer side.

Suggested article:

Step by step guide to reduce agent Average Handle Time (AHT) with data

Reaction:

Phone interruptions at the workplace

#5 Difficult to create seamless workarounds with other support channels as chat or email

Quick reason: HAAS Avocats, a french platform to find certified lawyers was cautious about opening phone support for their services, since agents on the line where certified lawyers that did not want to spend time solving trivial queries. They did not have at that point, a scalable and smooth workflow where web visitors that wanted more specific information could be helped through the phone.

Myth uncovered: today, it is possible to offer many kinds of support to the same customer on a smooth workflow. Let's take as an example the support workflow that HAAS Avocats put in place.

Workflow:

  1. The hellomybot chatbot solves the most asked queries promptly.
  2. The hellomybot chatbot qualifies the web visitor according to defined criteria.
  3. The hellomybot chatbot triggers the SnapCall call button, offering the qualified web visitor the option to talk to a lawyer.
  4. The SnapCall call button is activated, and the web visitor can place a call within the live chat.
  5. The lawyer of HASS Avocats receives this pre-qualified call.
  6. The web visitor has a smooth journey where all the general queries are answered quickly, and a specialist addresses the more specific ones.
Source: Hellomybot chatbot + SnapCall call button at HAAS avocats platform

Reaction:

Humans and chatbots working in harmony

#6 Having distributed teams or remote workers

Source: Barn2plugins - on why they don't offer phone support

Quick reason: Barn2plugins also provides specialized services to its customers through a distributed team located in different places. They state that due to this, a phone system would be tricky to get implemented.

Myth uncovered: digital phone solutions allow companies like Barn2plugins to have flexibility, no matter where their teams are located at. Flexibility means calls can be distributed anywhere and also according to each agent availability:

Agents can log from any part of the world and get into phone queues when available

Reaction:

#RemoteWork

#7 Phone support is expensive

No Caption needed here. Source: Quora

Quick reason: $$$. Phone systems and offering phone support is synonym of high costs, both on technology and human resources.

Myth uncovered: SnapCall pricing starts at 30 USD per month, having access to calls, data & analytics, and smart plugs. Regarding agents on the line taking calls, you don't need to start with a big team or to make it grow uncontrollably. More the opposite, since the beginning you can limit how many calls you want to receive and from who, allowing companies to have small teams.

Reaction:

SnapCall pricing starts at 30 USD/mo

#8 High volume of calls - unmanageable

Quick reason: the moment phone support is open, there will be a crazy amount of incoming calls for everywhere in the world. Demanding more resources and a complex process to deal effectively with urgent requests.

Myth uncovered: companies can have many possibilities when it comes to the way their phone support is offered. Flexibility for agents, pre-qualified calls, smarter escalations, are examples of what is possible with a digital call-solution like SnapCall.

Here are some use cases:

  • Phone support only for high-value clients.
  • Phone support only for customers on paid plans.
  • Phone support only for pre-qualified leads.
  • Phone support only for shoppers with high-value shopping carts.

Suggested article:

Step by step guide to reduce phone support calls by 80%

Reaction:

Not bad.

Final thoughts...

A lousy phone support experience is a roadblock to your mission on creating a strong relationship with customers and building your brand reputation.

This is how ridiculous bad phone support looks when applied to your family relationships:

Source: Zendesk on bad phone support in real life

Do you have more reasons not to offer phone support that we didn't cover? Join the comment section here or tweet us.

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