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Talking Your Way to Top Notch Customer Service

Despite Growing Popularity of Social Networking Sites,
Consumers Still Want to Speak With Customer Service Agents

There is an old saying, "There's a time and a place for everything." When it comes to customer relationship management, this is especially true. In the age of social networking, there is a time and place for managing customer relationships via Facebook and Twitter, but not always.

According to a recent Consumer Reports national survey on the stateDialAmerica Dialogue of customer service, one in five people favor the phone for resolving customer-service issues. Consumer Reports also found that 71 percent of survey respondents were extremely irritated when they couldn't reach an agent on the phone. Additionally, 67 percent were angry enough to hang up when they were unable to speak to a person on the phone while seeking customer support.

In an increasingly competitive world, there's no room for poor customer service. Despite the advancements in applying social networking to customer service offerings - and consumers willingness to engage in these areas - sometimes even the best social channels cannot replace the experience of speaking directly with a customer service agent.

Given all of this, it's surprising that 47 of the Fortune 50 do not include telephone contact information on their homepages, according to a recent Advertising Age report. The article states that America's biggest companies don't make it easy for consumers to call them, despite the fact that:

  • 61 percent of smart phone users call a business
  • 93 percent of smart phone users use their phones at home
  • 82 percent of Americans report that they've stopped doing business with companies because of poor customer service

If consumers want to speak (not type a message) directly with companies and have no way to do so, that is a major barrier to creating a positive and long lasting relationship with customers. One single negative experience can lead a customer to disengage entirely from a brand and, even worse, communicate that experience to others.

Bottom line - Providing the highest level of customer service means offering customers the ability to connect with you via all touch points, including the option to speak to a trained agent and receive responses in real-time in a highly personalized way.

A skilled customer service agent is one of the most important factors in customer satisfaction. Having a dedicated contact center with highly skilled agents ready to respond to your customers needs can effectively ensure brand loyalty.

We hope you found this month's Dialogue informative.

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