Digital certainly has its place in the world and it’s a necessary part of your marketing and advertising strategy, but the phone call isn’t going anywhere. Eventually, customers tire of the digital drag and they just want some good ‘ol fashioned customer service, which begins with a phone call.
Ever feel like you’re being overrun with spam? Bombarded by flashy messages? Assaulted by digital ads? Customers are being emailed, chatbotted, texted, messaged, and overrun by social ads—and many are feeling the pain of digital fatigue. With digital becoming ever more present in work and personal lives, it’s easy to feel the exhaustion of digital drag. After all, what happened to a great customer experience?
Well, businesses are being told more and more that personalizing the digital experience is what it takes to truly win a customer. While we can’t argue with that, there is simply no substitute conversations and those human interactions are part of that personalization. Don’t misunderstand. Digital certainly has its place in the world and it’s a necessary part of your marketing and advertising strategy, but the phone call isn’t going anywhere. Eventually, customers tire of the digital drag and they just want some good ‘ol fashioned customer service, which begins with a phone call.
Digital Communication Tools Can’t Answer Every Question
The use of chatbots and AI-powered communication tools is rapidly spreading. The instant gratification of typing your question and receiving a prompt answer feels good. It’s nice to be the front and center of someone’s attention. But, as most of you know, these messaging tools are powered by AI and machine learning technology and can only respond to pre-programmed questions, and these tools do a wonderful job of helping to separate the quantitative questions from the qualitative ones.
Think about it…If you want to know the price of an oil change, you can navigate to a website or ask a virtual assistant and you get an easy answer. However, if you need a recommendation on why you should be using synthetic oil versus standard oil and how that will affect the longevity of your car, you probably want someone on the other end of a phone who can provide a real answer. Real people can help you understand the difference and offer context based on your vehicle, its age and maintenance history, and your budget. That’s the separation of qualitative versus quantitative.
Phone Calls Allow for Spontaneous Human Interaction
One of the beauteous things about human conversation is the twists and turns a conversation can take at any given moment. Those conversations and connections are what make us human. Will AI recognize that you are stressed by the tone of your voice and understand that perhaps you need more attention? Not today it won’t.
While you might be asking questions about car maintenance, perhaps you really need someone to tell you the benefits of a new vehicle or vice versa. A human can read context over the phone and guide you through your best options while helping customers feel heard and understood. Leave time for human interaction and you’ll provide a better customer experience. Additionally, your customers will leave the conversation with a more positive feeling that isn’t associated with digital drag.
Use Your Phone to Complement Your Omnichannel Strategy
We aren’t telling you that phone calls alone will take you to the finish line. In fact, we’re advocating against that approach. Phones are simply one piece of your omnichannel puzzle. But, the fact is that many companies are putting so much effort into digital that they aren’t putting enough toward the personal.
Your digital ads and social presence are great ways to get much-needed brand exposure and connect with new audiences. Your website is absolutely essential to provide critical information to prospects and customers. These things are needed. But especially in the automotive industry, phone calls are necessary to help support customers through the purchasing journey and maintenance history of their vehicle and digital alone won’t accomplish that task.
Personalization is Easiest on a Phone Call
Businesses are constantly being lectured about the need for more digital personalization, while having enticing stats dangled in front of them as proof of its power. Such as…
“80% of customers are more likely to buy from brands that provide a tailored experience.”
That’s powerful. But what we often forget is that the greatest form of personalization you can offer a customer is some personal time. Dedicating time to addressing your customers’ concerns goes a long way. True personal experiences are accomplished with a conversation. Your customers will remember a great phone call and turn to you for their follow-up questions and needs.