The modern business has a multitude of choices of tools to communicate with their customers, potential customers, and internally with their team. The list of tools ranges from traditional phone calls to automated chatbots.
But new technology requires time and money and with a small team, you don’t want to overcommit to more communication channels than you can manage. As a small business, how do you decide which tools will appease both your customers and your team? These eight communication statistics will help you land on an integrated solution that works best for you and your business.
People Want to Talk to People
Despite technological advances, business phone calls are still superior in many ways. Consumers prefer talking on the phone for complex matters and they’ll count it against you if you don’t give them a way to do that.
- 40% of customers prefer talking on the phone for customer service issues.
- Out of all the frustrations involved in a bad customer service encounter, the number one complaint was not being able to reach a live person for support.
Texting is the New Email
While email remains a top collaboration channel both internally and externally, research shows it may not be the fastest or most effective way to get your message across. Texting is quick, and brevity is valued, especially among millenial business communication.
A 2019 Workplace Communication survey conducted by SlickText found:
- 92% of U.S. adults carry text-enabled phones, 98% of smartphone users use text on a regular basis, but only 14% of companies text with consumers. There’s a huge opportunity few brands are taking advantage of.
- 61% of respondents ignore emails at work and 44% say sending a text as opposed to email is the best way to reach them.
Your Customers Can & Will Self-Serve
Customers want answers now, not tomorrow. That’s why offering self-service options like chatbots or a help center on your website can save you customers and save time for your support team.
- 70% of customers now expect a company’s website to include a self-service application.
- 88% of people have been able to find a solution for themselves via a self-service resource.
Omnichannel is Best
There’s more ways to communicate than there used to be. Evaluating a mix of the top communication channels based on your audience and your employee base will always be the best practice.
- 15 years ago, consumers typically used two touchpoints when buying an item. Today consumers use more than four on average.
- The same study found that companies with omnichannel strategies retain on average 89% of their customers compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement.
Communication for the modern business has evolved with more people working remotely, rapid technology advances, and increasing customer expectations. Although phone communication reigns superior in many scenarios, research shows that a healthy mix of channels is the way to go.
The two most important things to keep in mind are providing a smooth customer experience and the tools necessary for effective internal collaboration. However, you’ll only want to adopt the tools your team can effectively manage. It doesn’t help to have a live chat option if you don’t have the resources to man it during peak traffic hours. Analyze your audience and identify your team’s preferences to determine the mix of communication channels that fit your business best.
Tresta offers business phone numbers with unlimited calling and texting. It’s completely free to try. Improve your internal and external business communication today with a virtual phone system.
Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master’s degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Besides working as a contributor writer for TrustMyPaper and Studicus, Diana also runs her own 3to5Marketing blog. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.