Automated phone systems are the operator’s equivalent of saying, “I don’t care.” In one full sweep the business detaches itself from the consumer by throwing away the one thing that connects its services with their user base – human interaction. Very few people who have called and interacted with an automated phone service never have good things to say about them.
This is partly because most businesses that deploy them use them as a cheap cop out to cut down on costs, not realising that there are economical live telephony services easily available. And partly because businesses that do have a use for them, such as e-marketing services (that process thousands of orders daily), don’t have an effective customer service department so an automated menu-based service is their back up. Businesses could just have an answering service as an overflow for those calls they can’t answer.
Let’s discuss some of the reasons, why an automated phone service isn’t really a good idea.
The list of choices goes on and on
While it is important to give your customers a healthy amount of choices, you have to learn to draw the line between offering an overwhelming number of choices. When the automated machine goes on to list an endless variety of options, it begins to weigh in on your customer’s already dwindling patience. Most people are racing against time and simply don’t have the resources to go through all these options, most of which might not even work for them.
Reaching a human voice is not so easy after all
As reassuring as the sound of a robot over the phone is (it isn’t ), your client wants to get in touch with a human as soon as possible. Every second they spend listening to a robot completing its pre-recorded message is wasted as money. Interactive voice menus (IVMs) that don’t let customers get in touch with a representative are cumbersome and could just be the last straw before your client slams the phone without any intention of calling back.
Some queries just can’t be entertained by an IVM. They need a human touch, which a telephone answering service can easily provide without you having to eat into profitability of your business. In fact a live answering service will increase your bottom line.
The voices are so boring
No one likes to listen to a boring automated voice that sounds bland. It reflects poorly on your overall business and your clients will take that into account the next time they decide to call your services. All it takes is one boring voice on the other side of the phone for the customer to switch your services in favour of a rival.
Giving too much information through the phone
Imagine listening to a boring lecture for one hour straight; without the empathy of a human face, without the trusting sound of a human voice and without the ability to communicate your own point across.
Any information that your IVR disseminates through the phone will be dismissed as nothing but noise over the phone. Your customer would be too caught up in focusing on getting out of the automated message than focusing on the onslaught of information.
Don’t make these four mistakes. It is so much easier to use a telephone answering service instead. These professionals need no elementary training sessions, space in your office and only utilise their resources when your business needs it. This saves your resources to focus on the things that matter – growing your business.