7 Reasons Why Businesses Still Need a Phone Number

There’s a dramatic shift occurring in how businesses keep lines of contact open with their customers. Executives are making the decision to focus on automation instead of personal contact, leading to a rise in AI, whether it be chatbots, automated support, or pushing customers towards e-mail or other forms of digital communication.

While this may make good financial sense — automated support is much cheaper than hiring live support — the data shows that consumers still by and large like to talk to an actual person. Below, we’ve shared seven key statistics which illustrate the need for a phone number even in the digital age.

1.

75% of consumers believe a phone call is the quickest method of contact (Source: NewVoice Media). Customers appreciate online or automated support for some basic tasks. After all, no one wants to sit on hold to ask a simple question or make a quick change. But for more complex customer interactions, non-phone support begins to become tedious.

2.

61% of smartphone users believe ‘click-to-call’ is important while purchasing from their device (Source: Google). E-Commerce has revolutionized the retail economy, We’ve also become much better at it, streamlining the process and eliminating most pain points. Customers however still like the idea of having a real person a phone call away even when shopping online. Including a phone number may stop the loss of a sale.

3.

Phone calls have 30-50% conversion rates, versus 1-2% online (Source: Avoca). Overcoming objection is a sales tactic taught to every salesperson. Most consumers are leery of large purchases, and sometimes even though they know they need the product or service, may need some assurance that they’re making the right decision. A website can’t do that, much less a chatbot.

4.

At least half of consumers still end up calling via phone after doing a mobile search (Source: Luma Partners). You’d think a consumer using his or her smartphone would probably prefer to contact you digitally, but data indicates otherwise. As we’ve said before, online support fails in more complex situations, and a large number consumers are going to need some coaxing to complete the sale. Don’t leave this money on the table.

5.

Half of mobile searchers say they either always or frequently need to call a business after seeing a mobile search ad (Source: Google). The clickthrough is the primary goal of mobile advertising, of course. However Google is finding that customers are still calling businesses anyway after clicking through, and at a surprising frequency.

6.

At least 50% of every age group — Millennials, Gen X’ers, and Baby Boomers — say they have stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer service (Source: Conversion). The customer service experience is key to your overall perception. While some may think having an expansive support or sales site and an automated chatbot can answer almost any question a customer might have, nothing’s more frustrating than when these methods break down and there’s no way to get someone real to help them out. You’ve likely permanently lost that customer.

7.

Providing customers with a local number doubles conversion rates on average (Source: Ruler Analytics). Even after you’ve decided to focus on live support, using a toll-free number might not always be the best choice. Data shows that consumers respond more favorably to seeing a local number, and are more likely to not only reach out but do business with you.

Don’t let sales get away: employ a multi-pronged strategy to interact with your customers. While digital marketing should be part of your arsenal, it’s still just as important to be a phone call away.

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