Which Provides Better Customer Service: Email or Phone Call? (Part I)


When it comes to communicating directly with a business, some customers prefer to shoot an email to a customer support rep, while others prefer to pick up the phone. Between a phone call versus email, does one have a faster resolution time than the other, and which delivers better customer service in the long run?

Let’s look at how quickly a customer’s question or issue can be resolved via each channel. A good bit of how efficiently a customer’s inquiry can be resolved depends on how quickly the email or phone call is received and responded to.


Many people believe that email is faster than a phone call because it eliminates the chance of getting into a conversation that was longer than anticipated. It’s straight-forward—a customer emails a question and hits send.

However, response time then depends entirely on how frequently the other party checks email, and how much time they have to craft and send a response. Often hours, if not a day or maybe two, can pass before the customer receives a reply.

If the customer is satisfied with that email reply, the issue may be considered resolved. But if there are follow-up questions, the process continues until the matter is fully laid to rest, which until it may be a day, or two or three. Essentially, the rate of resolution depends on when the email is received, how quickly responses are sent, and how many back and forths are needed.

Phone Calls

Similar to email, customer service efficiency via phone calls depends on how quickly that call can be answered. If a customer’s call goes to voicemail, the response is once again dependant on when that message can be heard and returned.

For some companies without adequate staff to answer all calls while keeping pace with the daily workload, it may take hours or a day or two to return a call. For others, such as those with virtual receptionists at a live answering service, all calls are answered promptly, with no long hold time or voicemail lag.

In those cases, a customer’s question can usually be answered in real time, including any follow up back and forth questions. Appointments can also be made quickly, or orders can be placed, to advance any further interactions that may be necessary to complete customer service.

Both Email & Phone Calls

There are often times when it’s helpful to recap what’s discussed on a phone call, including any agreements about actions that will be taken, and then email that information to the customer for their records.

This delivers another level of customer service, solidifying the customer’s sense that they are being follow-up with and taken care of. A well-trained professional virtual receptionist will know when to layer phone call interactions with email follow-up information.

At the end of the day, whether emails or phone calls are better for delivering top-notch customer service depends on how quickly the email or call is received and responded to, and how much back-and-forth is needed for complete resolution.

The friendly virtual receptionists at Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. have the technology, time, and training to respond quickly to phone calls and emails, and are dedicated to responding to your customers as if they’re their own.

Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. has been providing exceptional customer service solutions for more than three decades. We offer month-to-month service agreements to meet your unique needs, with no hidden costs or fees. Our excellent reputation, expert staff, and state-of-the-art technology will exceed your expectations. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.