You know the general reasons customers call your business – what are your hours? How does that product work? Why isn’t my product working like you said it would? But why does a customer choose to use the phone to communicate when there are other options available to them?

While technology advances and online communication increases, the phone still remains a familiar and commonly used means of communication between customers and businesses. It’s fast, easy, and doesn’t require technical expertise. It provides opportunities that online communication does not – hearing the voice of the person you’re speaking to helps you gain a better understanding of their meaning by listening to their pauses, vocal inflection, and volume.

Without these audible “cues,” providing the best customer care can be difficult.

The reasons customers call your business range from questions about products they’re considering purchasing to complaints about services they’ve received. But the deeper reasons are more important – what are the core reasons a customer chooses to pick up the phone rather than sending a quick email or responding to a chat prompt?

There are a several scenarios when the phone is the communication channel of choice for customers. We’ll highlight the 4 core reasons customers call your business below.

4 Reasons Customers Call Your Business


1. They’re thinking about buying from you

A customer might choose to call your business if they’re thinking of buying from you. They may want a few final questions answered before they make the purchase, and many prefer talking to someone one-on-one to get verified answers to help them make their decision.

If a customer is seriously considering buying from you, the call might include:

  • Detailed questions about specific products
  • Shipping and warranty inquiries
  • Return policy questions
  • Request for feature lists and fact sheets

2. They’re dissatisfied with something/something’s gone wrong

One of the reasons customers call your business is that they’re dissatisfied with something or because something’s gone wrong regarding your product or service. These calls are a bit more difficult to field because some dissatisfied customers are angry about the incident and treat the customer care agent poorly in response.

If a customer is dissatisfied with something or if something’s gone wrong, the call might* include:

  • Angry remarks about the product or service
  • Demands for refunds or replacements
  • Threats to write bad reviews and discourage others from using the business
  • Requests for upgrades or additional store credit

*Not all dissatisfied customers react with anger and malice. These examples represent some of the extremes customer care agents may encounter. Many dissatisfied customers are understanding and simply call to request that the company step up to make things right. 

3. They’re having trouble doing something on your website

A customer may call your business when they’re having trouble doing something on your website. If a customer is having trouble with your website, they aren’t likely to use the website as a means to contact customer service or management. Instead, they’ll opt to call and speak to someone who can help them directly.

If a customer is having trouble with your website, the call might include:

  • Requests for step-by-step instructions for website actions
  • Reporting of technical issues experienced on the website
  • Requests to handle business over the phone instead of online for convenience
  • Issues with computer connections or firewalls limiting website functionality

4. They need an exception and want to talk to a human

Finally, one of the most common reasons customers call your business is to seek an exception a rule or policy by speaking to real, live human being. The store policy says no returns after 30 days, but it’s the month after Christmas and the customer’s niece just received her dress that turned out to be much too small. Would you consider bending the rule and allowing a one-time return? Most customers feel they have a better chance of getting the exception if they speak to a customer service agent rather than filling out an online form.

If a customer needs an exception to a rule or policy, the call might include:

  • A calm (or alternatively, desperate) description of the situation at hand
  • A reason why the exception is needed/deserved
  • Appeals to the service agent to find a way to bend the rules
  • Requests or demands to speak to supervisor

The phone is used for many types of customer service scenarios, but these are the 4 core reasons customers call a business. Online options will continue to grow, but the phone remains a convenient and effective way to truly connect with callers and offer them personalized assistance that grows their loyalty to your company.