Why eMarketer Says The Phone Is The Most Frustrating Channel

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Why eMarketer Says The Phone Is The Most Frustrating Channel

This month eMarketer reported that consumers say the phone is the most frustrating channel for customer service. Callers are a company’s most valuable leads, yet they aren’t taking care of these potential customers and are losing business because of it. Marketers, we’ve got to fix this before it’s too late.

In this month’s Customer Experience Roundup, eMarketer shed light on the most common pain points in the customer journey and what marketers are doing about it. It turns out, the phone is a huge problem area. Here’s what you need to know:

Marketers Have to Facilitate a Better Omnichannel Customer Experience

In the age where customers rule, the companies that deliver a customer experience that is personal, consistent, and convenient will win. According to eMarketer, 68% of decision makers said that an omnichannel strategy has had a positive impact on sales. Meanwhile, a  bad customer experience is affecting digital conversion rates according to 43% of decisions makers and 38% believe it damages their reputation or brand image.

But what is really interesting is that marketers seem to think they’re doing a better job than they actually are when it comes to omnichannel. Only 5% of decision makers report that when it comes to providing a consistent customer experience, they need great improvement. Compare that to the 20% of consumers who think the customer experience needs great improvement.


Poor Caller Experiences Are Driving Away Customers

As digital marketers, when we think about the customer experience, our minds immediately jump to the online channels -- websites, apps, email and social.

The truth is, customers often prefer a phone call to a digital interaction. In our report, The State of the Mobile Experience, Invoca found that 65% of people had called a business within the last month, versus only 24% who had contacted a business through a web form. It turns out, while we’re focused on optimizing the digital journey, our customers are busy offline, and that’s where we’re dropping the ball.

According to eMarketer’s survey data, 32% of internet users say the phone is the most frustrating channel for customer service. That’s more than double of the people who said a company’s website, live chat service, or email was the most frustrating channel.

phone is the most furstrating customer service channel

The phone is supposed to be our friend. It’s where customers can get one-on-one help, and have their most important and personal questions answered that they can’t anywhere else. The problem is not the phone, it’s us. According to eMarketer some of the biggest complaints include:

  • Having to repeat information at every step
  • Waiting on hold
  • Navigating the phone tree

This is costing companies, especially retail, telecom/cable, travel,  and financial service companies, big money as customers are ending their relationship with a company after a bad experience.

emarketer lost business

What We Can Do To Fix It

As marketers, we have to start paying attention to the entire customer journey -- from the digital interaction to the phone conversation and beyond. Call intelligence technology gives marketers that kind of visibility so they can align the caller experience with the digital experience.

When a customer makes a phone call, call intelligence captures things like the marketing campaign they’ve interacted with, what web pages they’ve visited, what keywords they’ve searched, if they're a repeat caller, their geographic location, and more.

These data points are captured in real time and can be used to guide, automate, and optimize the caller experience. For example, knowing a person’s keyword search and the landing page they are calling from provides clues into what product they are interested in or have questions about. With this information, you can use call intelligence to make sure they are automatically routed to the right person or department, who will have all the caller’s details in front of them. This not only eliminates the need for a complex phone tree, it also provides call center and sales agents with the information they need to have personal and relevant conversations.

Call intelligence also gives companies the insight they need to properly staff their call centers or sales floors so customers won’t be stuck on hold. With call intelligence, you can track peak times and days for phone calls. And once you know how your marketing efforts drive phone calls, you can set expectations and be prepared when your next big marketing campaign goes live.  

Marketers have no excuses when it comes to creating a successful caller experience. With the right tools in place, you can turn one of the most frustrating channels into a successful part of the omnichannel customer journey.

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