Online VERSUS Telephone services – Which ONE is the BEST

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Today, we will be discussing about a topic that is way overdue to discuss about.

How many of you received a call from a service provider trying to sell a smartphone with a package to you?

How many of you received a pop-up ad on your smartphone or computer from a service provider advertising a smartphone you can upgrade or purchase?

Have you been happy with any of the above service you received from the service provider?

Well if you have not figured it out by now, we are obviously going to discuss about the online and telephone services which smartphone companies provide. I believe this is a topic that has been sidelined way to long and I am certain there is many users that can comment their experiences about these services.

Please feel free to share your experiences of these services in the comments below the article.

In this article we are going to discuss the following regarding the topic “Online VERSUS Telephone services – which ONE is the BEST” :

  • Define and outline the meaning of both services
  • Discuss the similarities both telephone and online services provide for customers
  • Layout the cons for both telephone and online services

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What is telephone and online services?


Basically telephone services is a service of which a company conducts all their services over the phone with their customers within a certain time period of the day.

Online services is a service a company provides over the internet with the intention to complete any transactions or queries with their customers which can be processed any time of the day or night even if the company is closed currently.

 

What are the similarities both services provide?


Both services aim is to provide the following benefits to their customers:

  • Removal the need for the customer to go into store to complete the transaction or order request.
  • Enable direct product delivery to the customer’s house or desired location.
  • Remove the requirement to sign many documents by the customer or request necessary  documents in order to complete a deal or customer’s purchase.

 

There is only two major differences between the two services. It is based on the following two points:

  • Service availability
  • Person interaction

 

For telephone services, these services are only available when the company is open and not after hours when the business is closed. Thus, if you try to reach the company after hours, no one will answer your call or the call will play a voice message stating when the company will be open to assist you. Person interaction of course is zero in telephone services physically. However, you still speak with person over the phone processing your query or purchase you want to sign up for.

For online services, you can access the service any time of the day or night even if the company is closed. If you sign up a contract or purchase a smartphone, it will record the process and notify the company to continue with next step in process by processing the customer’s order. Queries is exactly the same. Human interaction online is zero as you do not speak to a consultant directly or even see them physically.

 

Is there any CONS for these services?


There is sadly cons for both services and it is something a customer should know about. It might be shocking cons that may drive you away from these services from smartphone companies.

A) Telephone services CONS:

The telephone services always call any time of the day which annoying for a customer when it they are not interested to do an upgrade or purchase a smartphone. Only time they do not contact is on a Sunday which is a law in the industry to not disturb clients on a Sunday as Sunday’s is seen as a rest day.

Telephone sales consultants focus is to close a deal and increase sales numbers for the company. Their focus on assisting the customers’ needs is very low. I believe this is mostly caused do there is no physical human interaction and the customer has not come to the consultant first of which they want to upgrade or purchase a smartphone. It is vice versa. The telephones sales consultant is calling due the consultant wants to make a sale and increase the company’s profit.

Another problem telephones sales consultants cause, they may process a contract or purchase for client even though the customer has not agreed to the sale. This usually happens when a client said a yes to something to the telephones sales consultant. When the telephones sales consultant receives this “Yes” on the call, they use it as a confirmation to proceed the deal or purchase. This results action results the following effects:

    • A contract or purchase has been billed to the customer’s account.
    • A smartphone or device gets delivered at the customer’s location
    • A highly confused and frustrated customer.

 

When a customer purchases something by the telephone services and they want to cancel, the customer will have to go into a store to process the cancellation or call the smartphone company’s cancellations department. The worst part of it is the smartphone store will assist the customer by putting them on a call to the cancellations department which can take very long to process. Thus, it is best to call the smartphone company’s cancellations department. Sadly, even if the customer finished the call for cancellation of the contract or purchase, it could still not have been canceled. Thus, it is wise for a customer to follow-up if the contract or sale has really been canceled by the smartphone company. If not a surprised debit order might be processed to the customer’s account.

B) Online services CONS:

Not all packages or smartphones are always available on the online platform when trying to make use of these online services. Which causes the customer will have to go into store to en quire about the package or smartphone they want to purchase or sign up for.

Online platforms can now and then crash causing some transactions not to work properly.

If a customer wants to cancel the contract or deal they will have to contact the smartphone company’s cancellations department that sold the smartphone or package over the phone or email. They may be directed to go into a store to assist with this process or the smartphone operator will arrange a courier to pick up the smartphone that has been delivered at the customer’s whereabouts. Important to note even though the smartphone has been picked up, it does not mean the contract or purchase has been canceled. Please follow-up regularly to avoid unnecessary out of the blue payments.

 

Conclusion


Both services is a convenience factor for its customers. Basically the customer does not have to sign up paperwork and stand in line at a store to receive a contract or a smartphone. Plus the smartphone gets delivered to the customer’s home or location they desire.

However, there are downfalls for these services. With telephone service consultants, they can call you any time of the day besides Sunday which is very annoying. Secondly, these telephone service consultants are only focused on closing a sale than focusing on assisting a customer. Then thirdly, the telephone service consultants take any yes answer from a customer as an acceptance to a contract or purchase to a smartphone. This results frustrated confused customers which either need to call or go into a smartphone store to cancel the deal.

Even if the smartphone company’s cancellations department received the cancellation notification, it does not mean it is canceled. Thus, it is important as a customer to follow-up regularly to ensure the contract or purchase is canceled completely. Or else the customer may received a bill out of the blue or even a courier show up in front of their door step trying to deliver the smartphone which has been processed over the call. Sadly this usually lead to a loss of sale and potential customer for the smartphone company. As the customer lost trust to do any deals with the smartphone company due to the actions of a telephone service consultant.

With online services you do not experience so many headaches. You sadly still experience the same cancellation process which the telephone services follow. However, you cut out the telephone service consultant that tries to sign you up for a contract or purchase. Basically as a customer you have all the control to select the package or smartphone you want without the interference of another person. Sadly, as a customer you might experience some packages or smartphones not reflecting on the online platform causing the customer have to go into a smartphone store to complete the deal or purchase. Also, the online platform might be down due to maintenance support.

Now of course, which one of these convenient services is the best?

My honest answer in my opinion is the online services. As you will be in control of the contract or purchase fully without any other person interference of which telephone services is handled by another person that can sign you up to a contract you did not really agreed to.

I believe the telephone services is a good service as well. However, I believe there must be more protection or control for the customer to prevent a contract be signed up which they have not agreed to. Like example, the deal gets send by mail or phone where the customer must click onto the link in order to complete the application or purchase of the smartphone. If the link has not been completed, then no application or purchase can go forward at all.

The other factor that I highly believe must change for both services, is the way cancellations are processed. I strongly believe the cancellation process must be done in person as I have witnessed many times customers who processed cancellations over the phone to be billed still after that call. The worst part is when it is discovered the previous cancellation operator never canceled the deal and all the new operator says they apologize, but you still get billed which I find very unethical. Thus, I believe a big change must happen in the cancellation process.

Have you used one of these services from a smartphone company?

How was the service?

If you have, please share your experience in the comments below. If you have any questions please also comment below.

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16 thoughts on “Online VERSUS Telephone services – Which ONE is the BEST”

  1. I will have to say telefon services are more useful than online services. The only con I can find with telefon services are the queue and the availability.

    They are not in service 24/7 and sometimes the wayting hours are too long. Just a few days ago I contacted a company over the phone, and waited almost an hour.

    I couldn’t get my answers online, so I had to wait. Getting the answers are more important. For others an online service it’s actually better.

    So, it depends on people’s situations. Thanks for the good read. 

    Reply
    • Hi Fatoumata

      Thank you for your comment!

      Telephone services are useful, however especially in the pandemic time I have noticed that calls get way longer to answer. I believe the main reason for that is the telephone service consultant are working at home causing some not doing their job properly since they are not being monitored by a boss regularly.

      Sadly on online, you do not always get the information or deal you are looking for causing you either call the smartphone company or go into one of the stores to find the answers or deal. Thus, both services are good. However, have their flaws and I believe both services need an improvement. Especially the telephone services.

      Reply
  2. Hi. I have to say that the only time I have bought a smartphone with a service package I have gone physically to the store, waited in line for I don’t know how long, and then finally been served by someone. I should also say that the customer service representative was very knowledgeable and was able to help my wife and me select suitable devices and select a suitable plan. The result is we never had to go back and we have never received any unexpected bills or charges. I would never dream of accepting to conduct a transaction like that over the phone. Online I could imagine doing but only if the website had very comprehensive information about the devices and service packages. I can barely think of anything I would dislike wasting my time on more than physically going to a store to correct some error in either a service package or a smartphone that was sent to me. Thanks for this information. I will be careful to avoid any phone calls that sound as if they are trying to sell me any kind of phone service. Best regards Andy

    Reply
    • Hi Andy

      Thank you for your comment!

      I feel exactly the same in your first statement. Yes, I wait long in the line to be served in a store. However, I will be served correctly and most likely won’t return with funny problems. The online system might help to avoid standing in the line to be served at a store, but it must be up to date, knowledgeable and most of all easy to use. If not, then it is a big no no.

      Telephone sales consultants I avoid with a passion especially in my country. Reason being they are sales hungry and not focussing to assist me as a customer correctly. My family has gone through 3 times of a incident through this year alone that a telephone sales consultant just processed a deal even though my dad never agreed to the contract. He wanted more information and instead they send him notification the deal is on its way. The worst part was every time we cancelled the courier still showed up at his doorstep. He is avoiding any calls now from this smartphone company and will most likely never do business with the again and may convert to another smartphone company.

      Thus, these services may be created for convenience. However, it turns quickly around as a nightmare. 

      Reply
  3. Hmmm. I think one bit missing from the list of purposes served by these services is; The need for companies to put their hand in their pockets and actually pay for a workspace and employees to deal with the customers. However, in many cases, such as online banking, etc, many customers including myself prefer not to have to go away into the town to doa  simple transaction. But although i prefer online chat to phone chat a lot of the time, i find the online robotic systems they use nowadays are a pure cheapskate con with many companies. They seem to go round in circles getting you nowhere and the worst part about is is that it’s not the small companies that are forced to stick to a low budget that use these most. It’s the big companies that can well afford to employ staff and have a local call centre to deal with the very customers who made their company as rich as they are. Legislation needs to be passed demanding minimal responsibilities of Customer care. Otherwise, the more technology progresses, the more these companies will only use it to shave down their costs rather than using it to enhance the customers experience. 

    Reply
    • Hi Kwidzin

      Thank you for your comment.

      I agree with your first statement as a person can feel that something is missing in terms of the purpose of these services. That one part that is missing is customer service! Yes both services are there to provide a convenient service to the customer by not having to go into store to do a deal or purchase they want. The main problem I have when a problem occurs with these services, the support is horrible.

      You are right in terms of services companies purchase and use to provide these services. Some use specific robot software to do the calls and some use real life consultants. The problem with robots they are programmed what is limited by their creator. Thus, resulting not all questions can be answered. With real life consultants yes they can listen and try to answer your questions, but remember they are human and make mistakes which can cause very bad effect on customers that can lead even a customer to avoid doing business with the company in the  near future. 

      Thus, I believe a company must focus hard in improving its customer support services and specifically both of these services. In my experience, the telephone sales consultants process must be changed to give the customer more power for signing up a deal or purchase. Example: they receive the deal or purchase on mail or sms with a link or which they must sign to complete the deal and not let the telephone sales consultant just take any yes in a conversation as approval for the deal. This can be done.

      In terms of customer service support I believe also it must be slated in legislation there must be a proper customer service support not some cheap support which causese harm to customers still.

      Reply
  4. Sometime I feel it can all become a bit overwhelming in regards to how many phone ads for better servicing pops up on our mobile devices. In our society today, we can’t survive without our smartphones, and yet they have become a ‘walking billboard.’ We have to constantly deleted unwanted phone offers from our phones, so it doesn’t become too cluttered. It’s great if these offers for other phone services is of some value for all, but for many, it’s not!

    Reply
    • Hi rjkennedy

      Thank you for your comment!

      Yes ads can be very overwhelming sometimes online and be very annoying. Thus, I always have a ad blocker on my browser to avoid these unnecessary ads. 

      Smartphones have evolved quite a bit in our daily lives till a point we need smartphone in order to perform some action. Thus, it is good but also scary as some service levels reduce while other processes or sales grow.

      Reply
  5. Hi there, I am a person who loves human interaction. My opinion is that if the telephone service conducts its services putting the needs of the customer first and the number of sales second then, it will outperform online services. At the same time, there will be a large number of satisfied customers out there, who will never stop recommending that telephone service to their friends. Thanks for the great post.

    Nektarios Tsakas  

    Reply
    • Hi Nektarios

      Thank you for your comment!

      I agree with you 100%. Things will change if the customer’s need comes first. Many people prefer human interaction. However, people also care about fast reliable service. 

      Nobody likes to wait for a basic service no matter what the service is. The waiting period has increased quite a lot on the telephone services. Plus when you get through to a consultant over the call, you will hear a lot of noises as they are working from home or somewhere away from their work permises. I understand there is a pandemic, however some employees abuse the service to work from home and cause bad service for the customer. Which then leads to less future sales. Thus, I believe a lot of improvement is needed in the telephone service. Especially in the customer support section.

      Reply
  6. Great discussion. Honestly, I think it depends on the situation, as you mentioned. I personally do not like contacting anyone on the phone or going out to speak with anyone. If I can do everything I need to do via an online chat during business hours or through email I’m a happy customer. This is because I don’t like waiting on hold and I also get phone anxiety. I know not everyone is like this though, and prefers to conduct business via telephone or in-person.

    Reply
    • Hi Rachel

      Thank you for your comment!

      I understand you 100% and each person is entitled how they want to be serve by a company. I personally prefer quick transactions and no unnecessary waiting periods. If I wait, I just want to leave due I will believe all the services the company provide is slow. I love doing business online as the telephone I do not trust the other person over line since my dad has been tricked so many times costing me to step in to assist which cost time, energy and makes you frustrated at the end.

      Reply
  7. I greatly appreciate you have entered into details concerning the cons of telephone and online services. I feel that telephoning affects a brand’s image. I believe it can be negatively affect because a phone call is considered an intrusive channel. I would always prefer online, in my book. I know that some won’t agree with me.

    Reply
    • Hi Ann

      Thank you for your comment!

      I believe it is important to inform the community how both services work and what cons both have. I am with you for the online platform as I can access the online platform when I want to. The telephone services is very annoying and as you said intrusive. That is why I even install applications onto my smartphone to block any telephone sales calls as they just after one thing: a sale and not for me or any other customer.

      Reply
  8. Hi,

    This is a very interesting but at the same time informative article. I love how thorough and precise you are when comparing both traditional telephone services against the modern digital online service used by companies to reach to their customers and generate new leads. Personally, I’d prefer online service any day because I find with online services a customer has more control with user interface interaction

    Thank you for sharing this post. I will share it with my friends.

    Regards,

    Sergej

    Reply
    • Hi Sergej

      Thank you for your comment!

      Glad you find this article interesting as well informative. I am with you the online platform as it gives the user all the control and the user will complete the transaction and not someone else. 

      Reply

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