In our personal lives, we’re used to communicating however we want.
We choose what we want to say, and pick the best way to say it - whether that be talking in person, texting, sending a voice note, using emojis or starting a video call.
Whatever the message, it feels natural.
But when you try to speak with a business, you've got homework to do.
First, you've got to navigate the website - only to find limited options. Then, you've got to think through what to say beforehand - speaking in their language, not yours. Next, you've got to wait until it's convenient for them to answer, and then hope they understand what it is that you need.
Too often, talking to businesses can feel like taking a test.
And if you make your customers take a test to contact you, you're not going to win them... or keep them... or have them shout to their friends about why you're great!
Marketing, customer service and product development teams can all benefit from making the customer’s voice heard – and that means combining convenient technology with a human touch.
Here, we’ll look at some of the customer experience trends making this possible:
Consumers are open to voice technology
It’s no secret that customers are becoming more comfortable with voice tech.
More and more consumers say they’d consider engaging with a brand using voice assistance technology, and according to one study by Perficient, voice search is now the number two choice for mobile search, right after the mobile browser.
Because some messages are simply easier to get across by speaking. Have you ever sent a sarcastic text message, only to be woefully misunderstood?
The popularity of WhatsApp voice notes goes to show that the written word doesn’t always beat a good chinwag.
If speaking comes so easily, you might ask why we don’t just pick up the phone.
But from a customer’s perspective, a phone call seems like a major commitment.
First, you need to hope that the call centre will be open at a convenient time of day. Then, you need to set aside an indefinite chunk of time where you won’t be distracted.
In short: It’s a hassle.
From a business operations perspective, inbound calls also require a dedicated space, and dedicated operatives. These operatives must commit an indefinite amount of time to speak to each caller. It stands to reason that by reducing the need for inbound calls, you can make significant resource savings.
For many interactions - non-urgent queries, giving feedback, or participating in promotions - a phone call requires a disproportionate amount of effort.
If you don’t provide another channel, visitors are likely to look elsewhere.
Customers appreciate chatbots for FAQs
Chatbots make sense for businesses who receive lots of similar queries. Automated instant messages are the ideal tool to provide more information and drive sales.
But while chatbots make a useful addition to your toolkit, they aren’t a silver bullet solution.
We’re still in the early days of bot technology, so most “digital assistants” rely on a set of rules programmed by humans. Decision trees are created using frequently asked questions and stock answers. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand” is an all-to-common reply that undermines the convenience of getting an instant response.
It’s no surprise that 85 percent of marketers say "a human touch is needed, in addition to technology, for a positive customer experience." In study of US internet users, almost half of respondents associated chatbots with unhelpful responses, with many complaining that bots often redirect to self-serve FAQs.
Then there’s the fact that, as with a phone call, chatbots require consumers to dedicate a chunk of valuable time. Closing a tab or getting distracted can put paid to the whole conversation.
The potential of asynchronous voice messaging
So what if you could deliver the human touch of a phone call and the convenience of a chatbot - all without interrupting consumers’ busy lives?
Voice messaging for the web is opening up new possibilities for communication. It’s now possible for visitors to record natural voice messages for you at the click of a button, right from within their browsers.
It’s easy for your business to listen, relate, and reply to your audience via a voice inbox that they can access on-the-go. That means no more typing for your customers, and no more waiting around for a response.
Whether it's for support or feedback, praise or complaints, voice messaging helps you give authentic human attention to your audience.
Customers and prospects can express themselves naturally and - more importantly - feel understood.
To find out how our voice messaging platform can supplement your existing marketing and customer support channels, get in touch with Telbee today!