October 28, 2021

Overcoming phone anxiety

by: Olivier Cauderlier

Receiving a call from a hidden number brings up mixed emotions - sometimes panic, sometimes curiosity, and a lot of times, just plain annoyance.

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Overcoming phone anxiety

As we shift from a generation of voice callers to texters, we’re seeing a new set of emotional responses that brands need to navigate. A 2019 survey of UK office workers found 76% of millennials have anxious thoughts when their phone rings, compared to 40% of baby boomers. Because of this, 61% of millennials would completely avoid calls.

It has become so commonplace to ignore a blocked number that earlier this month a hiker in the U.S who had been lost for 24 hours ignored calls from rescuers because they came from an unknown number. It’s no surprise then that 8 in 10 people don’t answer a phone call from an unknown number. Instead, 65% of people say they prefer to answer a call when they see it coming from an identified mobile number.

This is evidence that brands need to change how they communicate with customers. Creating empathy, personalisation and trust is essential to not just being able to reach customers, but to meeting their expectations, too. This is especially true for interactions on the phone. We are seeing a shift from customer experience (CX) being transactional to conversational.

During the pandemic, contact centers have been at the front-line of communications, often offering the only human connection to the brands that are integral to our lives. As physical touchpoints remain somewhat restricted, the contact center will continue to be the primary touch-point for a business. This is why call center experiences need to be effortless and personable.

Presenting calls to consumers with a mobile phone number (CLI) is a simple but powerful solution to engage the right way. Not only does using a CLI increase your chances of the customer engaging with you, but it means every interaction comes with minimal friction. Rather than redirecting a customer to another number or missing an opportunity to connect, it allows prospects to call back with the same mobile CLI.

These are the simple touches that make all the difference in a customer’s experience. And when brands get this right, growth will inevitably follow. According to CX expect Esteban Kolsky, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people. On the other hand, if a customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their experience with 15 or even more.

Now that you know the reasons behind why customers respond the way they do to unknown calls and that simple, alternative solutions exist, would you still contact them with a hidden number that they are unlikely to answer and will be unable to call you back on? I hope the answer is, no. We are past the point of hoarding hundreds of SIM cards in a call center top drawer. Today’s consumers demand brands prioritise CX  and not having your call center technology up to scratch is a mistake too many continue to make.

To find out more about virtual mobile numbers, visit XX