While we at Vocalabs provide a variety of customer feedback channels to our clients, we still think phone interviews are often the most important tool when it comes to using customer feedback to actually drive change in an organization.
That may sound strange in the year 2017. Isn't everything supposed to be online and automated now? Aren't phone calls going the way of the carrier pigeon? And what about those millennials?
Here's why we think phone interviews are not only still relevant, but often the best survey tool for improving customer experience:
- People still respond to phone interviews. Response rates for email and online surveys have been dropping for years, but remain significantly higher for phone interviews. Customers are more likely to respond to a request from a living, breathing human being than an automated email dropbox. And, yes, millennials do still use their smartphones as phones from time to time.
- Phone interviews capture depth and nuance. In a two-way conversation we can ask follow-up questions, and the audio recording captures not just what the customer said but how they said it, giving emotional depth and a deeper understanding of what happened.
- Employees respond to audio feedback from real customers. Hearing a customer tell their story packs an emotional punch you just can't get with written feedback and numerical survey scores. People respond and are more inspired to change when they hear how the customer experience affects individual customers.
- Phone interviews can be in the moment and real-time. Often you want customer feedback after a specific customer experience, like a customer service call or purchase experience. Calling the customer on the phone lets you get feedback immediately, not when the customer gets around to it.
- Person-to-person contact shows you care and creates a positive brand impression. Making the effort to have a real human being follow up with a customer sends a powerful message that you actually care what they have to say and their feedback won't just disappear into the machine.
Of course no one solution is always the right answer in every situation. Our experience with phone interviews is that if you want to collect feedback your organization will actually listen to, then most often than not phone interviews are the way to go.