How companies can enhance their customer service using virtual numbers

November 15, 2019

Timely and accurate customer communication has been a big part of building a dependable customer relationship in any industry. 

Today, customer experience is not what it used to be years ago. It has evolved over time. By 2020, customer experience is expected to overtake price and product experience as a pivotal differentiator. According to a report, 86% of the users are ready to pay more for better customer experience (CX).

Communication is a crucial part of customer experience. In this article, we’ll look at how you can leverage virtual numbers to enhance the customer experience. But before that, let’s understand what a virtual number is?

What is a virtual number?

A virtual phone number is a number with no physical phone line associated with it. All the calls routed through virtual numbers can be tracked and monitored for performance. For example, businesses use virtual numbers to route incoming customer calls to the right agents depending on the customer’s input over IVR.

Here are some ways to use virtual numbers to enhance customer experience

1. Protecting the privacy of the customer’s through number masking

Protecting customers’ privacy has become imperative for any business. Industries are increasingly multiplying their efforts to safeguard their customer’s privacy. Most online transactions require customers to provide their phone number for communication. But since these numbers are shared with different partners and other individuals, do you know for sure that your number is secure and in safe hands? Cases related to spam calls and harassment are filed everyday by customers and there is a growing need to put an end to this. This is where phone number masking comes to the rescue. 

The phone number masking solution basically allows you to connect two parties without revealing either party’s phone number. This is especially important for E‐commerce, Logistics, Cabs on demand and Marketplace models of business. These are verticals where the customer’s phone number needs to be shared with a delivery person, a driver, a vendor etc.

Number masking is done by connecting your company executive (delivery person, drivers etc) to a customer through a virtual number instead of connecting them directly. This virtual number can now be programmed to connect to the right customer based on the person who is calling, the time, or any other relevant parameters and dynamically allocate the customer’s number. After the course of interaction, the customer will also be able to call back on this number in case they want to reach the executive. Once the company executive updates the status of the interaction to complete, this number will no longer connect these two people. Therefore, the executive and the customer will not be able to contact each other once the interaction ends.

2. Have a single customer care number

Having multiple numbers for a car dealership for example, means the customer has to go through multiple steps to find the number of the closest dealership. This also leads to mismanagement and loss of information for the company.

By using a single virtual number, you can advertise a single number for all your dealerships. When the customer calls this number, he/she will be automatically routed and connected to the nearest branch. This results in a seamless customer experience by reducing the number of steps the customer has to take to reach the company. 

Let’s see how it works –

Start off by connecting multiple phone numbers to a single, customer-facing virtual number. When customers call on this virtual number, Exotel intelligently distributes calls to the right agents by identifying the network circle the customer is calling from. Alternatively companies can use IVR input to understand region he wants to connect to. 

3. Prevent spam calls

Due to lack of resources, businesses often outsource their call center to third party agencies. While it helps them in managing customer support, it puts personal details of the customer like their phone number at risk of being compromised.

A possible solution to prevent this is by using a virtual number. So instead of sharing the original phone numbers, companies can share virtual numbers that are mapped to the customer’s phone number. After the transaction, the virtual numbers are unmapped. This protects the privacy of the customer, after the transaction period.

You can easily accomplish this by utilizing the User Virtual Number (UVN) technology.

The User Virtual Number technology assigns dynamic virtual numbers to users for the duration of the engagement. Here’s how this works:

  • A dynamic virtual number is assigned when the customer raises a service request. 
  • The agencies can reach the customer only through the virtual number during the course of their interaction. 
  • This virtual number is deallocated after the transaction.

Conclusion 

It’s very clear that Customer Experience is incredibly crucial for any business, irrespective of the industry or company size. If you’re looking to take it to the next level, you should start by making customer communication personalized and seamless. To achieve this, the flexibility and features of virtual numbers are very helpful.

I hope you found the above methods interesting. If you found something unclear, feel free to drop a comment below. We’d love to help you.

 

 

Varun Uday
Written By

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