In a world where digital is first, can the human voice pull its weight against the churn of social media channels, smart devices and new apps? Underneath all of this, the phone call is still a prominent part of the online world.
The most recent study by Deloitte Digital found that digital interactions influence 36 cents of every dollar spent in the retail stores, which is approximately $1.1 trillion in total. This illustrates how vital it is for brands to be aware of the online experience’s impact on offline sales.
What we’ve learned from our research is that customers still include and value the human voice as part of their journey; 61% of the public said that being given the choice to pick up the phone and call a company was extremely important to them. With the emergence of new forms of social media and the maturing of the Internet during the last decade, brands and marketers have logically focused on developing a strategy that could match the new requirement of a connected world, but while doing so, there is a chance they might have forgotten the ‘safe bet’ of the telephone along the way.
Now when customers enter a shop or fill up their online basket, their choices are based upon extensive research, conducted so the customer knows that they’re getting the best deal, meeting all their requirements and expectations. These potential customers are travelling from online to offline, and online again while doing it – and the phone is obviously a solid solution to fill the gap.
Indeed, when asked about it, consumers we’ve surveyed stated that the phone was still a key touch point for them – 64% of them get frustrated when they’re only able to interact with a company online. With a whopping 70% of people saying that speaking to someone makes them confident in that fact that they’re purchasing the right product or service; the phone seems to be an activation to purchase, reassuring people by confirming the information they previously collected is right.
While they may be using it for different reasons, the unifying trait is that all people value the human voice: indeed, 57% of the young audience recognize that they are often short of time, and as a consequence 43% of 16-24 years old will turn to the phone to save some time and verify they have the correct information.
For two thirds of the overall respondents to our surveys, the phone is set as their preference to seek help.
The customer’s path to purchase became more complicated and dense as new channels and tools appeared such as messaging apps, for which collecting data can be complexed – or sometimes impossible to analyse. Brands are starting to understand that the customer journey is now a giant connection between all available channels, with people expecting them to deliver a seamless experience. The phone should definitely be a part of it, with 33% of Brits and 42% of Americans confirming that they would be more likely to make a purchase after speaking to someone they can relate to on the phone.
Our most recent research highlights that omnichannel strategies will be a centerpiece of the year 2015: with messaging apps such as Whatsapp, and even smart TV including the power of voice in their features, the frontier between digital and human is becoming thinner. What do you think? Join the conversation.