The Importance of Telephony in Customer Service in a Digital World

The importance of telephony in customer service

Although communication is increasingly shifting to digital channels, telephony remains an important part of customer service. In the age of WhatsApp, chatbots and other digital interaction options, you may be wondering what value good old telephony still has.


Personal and Human Customer Service

Telephone customer service offers an invaluable advantage: personal interaction between customers and customer service representatives. Unlike automated bots, the telephone enables a direct dialog in which customers feel heard and understood. It offers the opportunity to discuss complex problems, clarify questions immediately and offer individual solutions. The human voice builds trust and can create a connection that is often missing in digital channels. For building a customer relationship, telephony is “king”.


Fast and Effective Problem Solving

Another advantage of telephony is the immediate solving of problems. Customers can discuss their concerns directly with a customer service representative without having to wait for written responses. Complex issues or urgent questions can be handled in real time, resulting in fast and effective problem resolution. This is especially important when dealing with customers with urgent concerns or urgent service issues. Dealing with a technical issue, for example, often leads to email ping-pong in the email channel and the request has to be touched multiple times.


Complementing Digital Channels

Although digital channels such as WhatsApp or chatbots offer many advantages, they cannot cover all requirements. Some customers prefer to discuss their concerns by phone, especially when it comes to confidential information or complex issues. Telephony can serve as a valuable complement to digital channels to enable comprehensive and diverse communication with customers. Those with a customer-centric mindset will need to offer a sensible mix of channels. Depending on age or personal attitudes, sometimes a customer may prefer to chat – but sometimes they may simply want to call.


Integration of Telephony in Omnichannel Solutions

An important step in modernizing customer service is to integrate telephony into your omnichannel strategy. By linking telephony with digital channels, you can provide seamless customer interaction across different communication channels. For example, customers can use a chatbot to start an inquiry and switch to phone support when needed without having to provide their information again. This integration enables a holistic approach to customer service and offers customers a choice of preferred communication channel. Traditional phone systems can often be integrated as well.


Next-level Possibilities in Telephony

There are companies where telephony often accounts for more than 50% of all inquiries. Here, too, there are telephony solutions that can increase efficiency significantly. Here are a few examples:

  • Digital callback requests for the customer – Instead of waiting on hold, a customer is called at their preferred time. Often increases customer satisfaction. A modern system ensures that the call is also made at the desired time.
  • Call context or the enrichment of the call with customer information. If the ERP system knows that the customer placed an order 3 hours ago, there is a good chance that the customer has forgotten something or wants to cancel. Or it is your most important customer? This information can be used to prioritize the call over other calls.
  • Intent recognition and voice bots are not limited to chat as a channel. An intent can also be detected in the telephony channel without the customer having to work through countless key combinations (IVR menus). Based on the customer’s request such as “adjust meter reading” or “when will my package arrive”, a voice bot can solve this task directly before an employee speaks to the customer.


Although digital channels are becoming increasingly important in customer service, telephony retains its importance. It enables personal interactions, rapid problem resolution, and uniquely complements digital channels. By integrating telephony into your omnichannel strategy, you can provide a diverse and customer-centric customer service experience that meets the needs of different customer groups. Remember that telephony is not just a standalone channel, but should also be considered as part of a seamless and comprehensive customer experience. By combining telephony with other channels such as WhatsApp, chatbots and email, you can give customers the choice of their preferred communication channel and deliver a world-class service experience.

Telephony is often seen as an “expensive” channel in customer service. While that may be true at first glance, since you can’t, for example, talk to two customers on the phone at the same time – you do, however, significantly increase FCR (first-contact-resolution) rates, which leads to greater customer satisfaction. One-touch tickets can also be cheaper than if the customer had sent an email.

Modern solutions also allow voice bots to be used in telephony. The importance of telephony is thus still high, but can usually be implemented far more efficiently.

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