5 Things About Call Automation That Drive Customers Crazy

5 Things About Call Automation That Drive Customers Crazy

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Have you ever wondered how your customers feel about automated call answering machines? Just run a Google search or pop on over to Reddit. Better yet, actually poll your customers. We’re willing to bet that a majority will tell you they hate call automation. But why? What is the big deal?

No doubt automation does a lot of things really well. Answering calls isn’t one of them. In fact, few things can damage a company’s reputation in the short term faster than call automation. Whether you run a property management company, a home contracting business, a medical office, or any other type of operation that relies heavily on incoming calls, your customers want to reach a human being rather than a machine.

With all of that in mind, here are five things about call automation that drive customers crazy:

1. Having to Repeat Themselves

Call automation technologies have gotten better over the years. Still, automated machines are not experts at understanding human language. It is not unusual for a machine to ask customers to repeat themselves multiple times. It’s even worse when a customer needs to repeat himself without being prompted.

Having to repeat themselves while knowing they are talking to a machine makes people crazy. They would much rather be speaking to a live person, even if that person is a phone operator sitting in a remote call center miles from your business. At least a live person is a human being and not a machine.

2. Hearing That Their Call Is Important

Imagine having to repeat yourself endlessly only to be told that your call is important before being put on hold. How likely are you to believe such claims? If you think not very likely, you have something in common with your customers.

Being told that their call is important after having to navigate an automated menu doesn’t instill confidence in customers. If they are put on hold after being told how important they are, the negative feelings normally associated with call automation are only made worse.

3. Insufficient or Complicated Menus

Automated answering machines tend to offer menus people have to work their way through in order to reach the appropriate person. In some cases, menu options are so vague a customer doesn’t know which one to choose. The other end of the spectrum is a menu system with options so complicated you need a college degree to figure them out. Both scenarios make customers crazy.

4. Never Reaching a Real Person

In the most extreme cases of call automation, customers never do make contact with a real person. They find that discouraging. In some cases, customers even find it insulting. They picked up the phone with the expectation of talking to someone who could actually help them. No matter how intelligent a machine might appear to be, customers are smart enough to know that machines cannot solve their problems.

5. Long Waits

The proverbial icing on the cake is having to wait endlessly after being greeted by an automated machine. Listening to canned hold music interspersed with promos for your business only makes matters worse. Your customers have better things to do than hold the line while they wait for someone to pick up.

So, how can you avoid driving customers crazy? By choosing a live answering service rather than an automated machine. Live answering services make for happy customers without missing a single call. Such services are worth the investment because they pay off in satisfied customers who are more likely to remain loyal because you take care of them.

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