A customer can have many options available to them as far as reaching a company’s customer service department or representative, but many times, the choice comes down to a customer service phone call vs email. Between a phone call vs email, which channel is preferred by customers, and does one have a faster resolution time than the other?

Customer Service Phone Call vs Email: What’s Preferred?

Comparing a customer service phone call vs email starts with the speed of resolution – how fast the customer’s issue can be resolved. While email may at first seem faster than a phone call, the total resolution time is higher due to the nature of this channel of communication.

A customer writes an inquiry by email and hits Send. You receive it, but may not check your inbox right away. When you see the email, it takes time to formulate and send your response. A day or more could pass in between replies.

Compare that to the efficient nature of customer service phone calls, which take place as soon as the customer calls the company and poses his or her question.

Because the phone offers instant communication rather than delayed responses like email, the issue or question can be resolved immediately without sitting in an inbox to be opened. That creates higher customer satisfaction and frees up you and your employees’ time to deal with other issues or tasks.

In favor of phone calls

The Harvard Business Journal wrote an enlightening piece on the subject titled ‘Don’t Send That Email! Pick Up the Phone.’ In it, author Anthony Tjan outlines 3 ways the phone beats email for professional usage. The 3 points he outlines are:

  1. It is hard to get the emotional intelligence right in emails
  2. Email and text often promote reactive responses
  3. Email prolongs debate

Emailing just doesn’t substitute for a phone call and makes it very easy to misread or misunderstand the intention or meaning of another’s statements. In most cases, Tjan argues, making a phone call instead of emailing makes the most sense.

Research agency eConsultancy completed a study of U.S. customers’ preferred support channels. These were their findings (participants were free to choose more than one option):

  • 61% said PHONE
  • 60% said EMAIL
  • 57% said LIVE CHAT
  • 51% said FAQ
  • 34% said CLICK TO CALL

Calls are king

The phone was the most preferred channel of support among participants, though by a very slim margin. But aside from being customers preferred channel, the phone is better for your business, too. As Conversion Sciences succinctly put it, “Calls are king.”

  • Phone calls are 10X more likely to lead to a sale
  • 57% of people automatically consider email spam unless directly relevant to them
  • 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call
  • 52% of mobile ad clicks result in a phone call
  • Inbound calls are 15X more likely to convert than web leads

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