Do you remember when automated answering technologies for business first burst onto the scene? People didn’t know what to do with automated prompts telling them which buttons to press based on what they wanted or needed. They learned pretty quickly that pressing zero would immediately connect them with a human operator. That trick doesn’t always work today.
Here’s a question: are your customers pressing zero and getting nowhere? If so, it might be time to rethink how your phones are answered. Few things frustrate customers as much as not being able to reach human representatives when they attempt to contact a company. They expect the companies they do business with to be available. And by ‘available’, they don’t mean answering the phone with an automated machine telling customers how to press buttons.
Efficiency at the Expense of Service
We have no problem with automated solutions per se. Rather, we just believe it is better to give customers the opportunity to speak to human beings whatever possible. Back when automated solutions were first launched, the idea was to improve efficiency. It was believed that automated systems would make customer service more efficient by directing calls before anyone actually answered them.
The idea seemed reasonable in theory. But theory and reality seldom line up. It didn’t take long for consumers to get frustrated with automated systems. Having to listen to one menu choice after another quickly became frustrating. And if you remember, automated systems became the butt of jokes for standup comedians and late-night talk show hosts alike.
The lesson here is that sacrificing service to gain efficiency is not always wise. In fact, it is rarely wise to reduce the level of service a business offers. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about a home services company, a retail outlet, a medical office, or any other type of business, dialing back on service alienates customers.
Live Answering Services Still Work
So what can you do if your customers are pressing zero and getting nowhere? You can consider switching to a live answering service instead. Live services still work. They still guarantee that you don’t miss a message or prevent your customers from making appointments. Live answering services guarantee your customers can always reach you one way or another.
A basic service would take and forward messages. But why stop there? A good answering service provider can forward calls, make appointments, take orders, and even provide level 1 tech support.
What can an automated solution do? It can direct callers to specific departments or connect them with voicemail. That’s about it. If given the choice, which do you think your customers would prefer? We are willing to bet that most would prefer speaking to a live human being. Doing so is a lot more effective than pressing buttons while trying to work through confusing menus.
Simple and Effective
The bottom line is that live answering services make customers happy. They are simple, effective, and easy to deploy. If you want to know how easy it is, just reach out to the Apello team. We can explain all our services and how they work. We can even put together a customized package perfectly suited to how you do business.
Automated answering solutions are one option if you cannot staff the phones with enough representatives to handle the traffic. But investing in live answering services is another option. When you go live, there is no risk of your customers pressing zero and getting nowhere. Every call is answered by a trained professional who knows how to take care of your callers.