Are Automated Phone Systems Hurting Your Business?
We’ve all been there: maybe you need tech support, customer service, or even just an answer to a single question, and much to your dismay after you dial the company’s number, instead of being met with a human on the other line, a robotic voice answers your call. From there you’ve probably had to go through the dreaded phone tree, being presented with several irrelevant options that don’t even touch on what you need. If you’re lucky, after having several minutes of your time wasted by a robot, maybe you’ll finally reach a human.
It’s easy to understand why businesses do this - it cuts down on costs and in theory sounds like it could be more efficient. However, it’s even easier to understand why an automated customer service system will do more harm than good for your business. It puts the onus on the customer to try to find what they need, instead of providing service to them directly. Furthermore, this system is almost guaranteed to frustrate your customers and drive them away.
According to Forbes, customers form an impression of a business within the first seven seconds of interaction with the company. If their first impression of your company is of an automated system and not a human, it’s not likely to be a favorable one. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, 72% of callers who are greeted by a phone tree system will hang up, and perhaps even call your competitor!
The solution to this problem is simpler than you might think - you don’t have to get some of your employees to stay at work outside of normal business hours! There are many services your business can contract to do this job for you, such as Call Ruby, AnswerConnect, and more. Giving your customers a human connection right off the bat will undoubtedly improve business leads and help prevent losing potential customers to competitors.
If your company is so large that always having a human answer the phones is simply not an option, do your best to avoid needless phone trees. Step into the customer's shoes - try calling your own business and navigating the automated system yourself. Is it simple and straightforward? Could it be frustrating for the caller to navigate and find what they need? Remember, the key is to simplify the experience as much as possible, and to connect your customer with a live person as quickly and painlessly as possible. Doing so will minimize customer frustration while maximizing the positive customer experience!
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