Getting millions of customer service calls? Google and Apple might have something to do with it

Josh Snider, Sr. Manager Product Marketing

Can everyone have your number?

Google your brand’s name on your mobile device and see what search results pop up for your locations or customer service contact info. Now try the same thing with Apple Maps or Spotlight search on iOS. See anything interesting? Google and Apple give your brand’s phone number out every chance they get.

In their endless pursuit of making our lives easier (which, if you’re reading this Google or Apple, I do sincerely appreciate), they’ve realized that most consumer search intents can be resolved by making it easy to start a conversation. Those easy-to-tap “call” icons and easy-to-click blue phone numbers drive massive call volume to your service team and contact center. In fact, 48% of people on mobile devices start with a search when they’re trying to find your business or get help.

The bottom line here is that Google and Apple really are making it easier for customers — and that’s a great thing.

Running up your phone bill

The problem is that those calls get really, really expensive for brands, and that call volume is only continuing to go up. Not only because of the consumer behavior changes accelerated by the pandemic — but also because Google and Apple are masters at helping people contact you.

And, they own search.

And, they’re getting better and smarter at it every. single. day.

You’re probably thinking “yeah, yeah, this is the part where you tell me about the holy grail of deflecting calls into messaging again.” I don’t blame you for rolling your eyes. This journey toward messaging transformation isn’t easy. It’s hard. You’ve probably seen failed attempts. We have too. Maybe you’re too young to remember when fax or email was pitched as the solution to high call volume, but you might remember when live web chat and social interactions were supposed to save us from calls. Wrong again!

Call Deflection with ABC Webinar Blog Banner

Okay, but messaging is different this time — I promise

Here’s the thing: this is Google and Apple we’re talking about. These are the industry leaders who revolutionized how we think about communication, information, and our experiences with technology at large. Computers. Music. “Google it.” Maps. Smart homes. If anyone can make digital transformation easier, it’s these guys.

And it turns out they’re doing a lot more than just driving customers to call you. Apple and Google have each rolled out highly sophisticated rich messaging channels: Apple Business Chat and Google’s Business Messages. These channels are absolute game changers. Here’s why.

Both channels directly target the customer journeys that result in calls, and make it easy to message instead — even easier than it would be to call. Imagine a stream of search and app-generated call traffic coming at you like, well, rush hour traffic. Now imagine that Google and Apple can put a traffic cop right in the middle of that stream to divert large percentages of pricey phone calls toward cost-effective, rich messaging experiences instead.

Traffic Cop

This is not about setting up yet another messaging channel with a wish and a prayer that customers will magically make the jump from a call to a message. This is about literally taking your customers’ trigger-happy fingers OFF those call buttons that Google and Apple are serving them — at the exact moment they want to contact you.

Why we’re so excited about new and emerging messaging channels

1. You control the volume

That diverted stream of traffic toward messaging can be controlled and dialed up and down. You decide how often want that traffic cop to appear and push people toward messaging. Nervous about getting too much volume? No problem — start small and try it before diving in.

2. The data and measurability are real

Apple’s Chat Suggest feature, for example, can give you exact numbers for how many phone call clicks were deflected into messages instead. Extrapolate out your cost-per-call vs. cost-per-message, and now you have a hard dollar value of how much money you saved. Let the data speak for itself.

Apple's Chat Suggest Feature

3. Apple and Google rarely miss

They already control your biggest sources of call volume, and they’re serious about helping you re-shape customer experience toward messaging instead of calls. These companies lead their industries, continuously changing our lives for the better — and they’re poised to do it again with messaging.

Start showing your company that you’re saving them thousands of dollars now by setting up Apple Business Chat and Google’s Business Messages in Khoros Care. Let our Khoros customer teams help guide you in activating and testing these channels in order to measure cost savings and business impact. Implementation and set-up is easy and it’s low risk to try. Please get in touch; we’d love to tell you more.

Would you like to learn more about Khoros?