Customer Connects: You Can Never Go Wrong With the Human Touch

Customer Connects You Can Never Go Wrong With the Human Touch

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No doubt the digital transformation has changed how we do just about everything. It has certainly changed how small businesses manage inbound phone calls. Between voicemail and automated answering technologies, it is impossible to digitally staff the phones without ever having a need for human intervention. But when it comes to customer connections, you can never go wrong with the human touch.

Whether it is a doctor’s office, a property management company, or a contractor offering services like electrical or HVAC repair, it’s easy to justify replacing human operators and receptionists with technology. Digital answering technologies are efficient and cost effective. But how do your customers feel about them?

Customers Still Prefer Human Contact

Studies done over the last decade or so consistently show that customers prefer to talk to human beings when they make contact with businesses. One of the more prominent surveys from 2019 suggest that 88% of us prefer to speak with a human agent rather than navigating an automated menu. But that’s not all.

Approximately 72% of the survey respondents indicated that they either always or frequently end up speaking to a human anyway. Even after working their way through an automated menu, their ultimate phone destination is a receptionist, phone operator, or other representative of the business.

This tells us a lot about customer habits and the need for live answering services. If customers are persistent enough to continue working their way through menus until they reach a human, it would seem that reaching a human is the intent. Why make it difficult?

Someone Is Always Available

The primary benefit of an answering service for small businesses is guaranteeing that someone is always available. Customers might not be bothered by speaking with an answering service representative rather than an actual company employee or industry expert, especially if the alternative is leaving a voicemail in hopes of getting a response. It is the human touch customers are after.

When someone is always available to answer the phones, customers have more confidence that calling will make a difference. They are more confident that their inquiries will be taken seriously. On the other hand, callers tend to not be all that confident in leaving voicemail messages. They are somewhat justified. How many times have you left a voicemail that was never followed up with a return call?

Ensuring that someone is always available is more critical to some industries than others. Take property management. Many of the calls that come into a property management office are for service. And when people need service, they expect a quick response. The human touch is critical to making sure services are provided effectively and in a timely manner.

A Variety of Services

If you run a small business for which you think a live answering service might be appropriate, you should know that service providers offer a range of services depending on customer needs. Services include 24/7 call answering, call forwarding, taking messages, scheduling appointments, providing basic help desk support, and more.

You might be best served with a simple service to take your calls and record messages after hours. On the other hand, you might be better off with a more comprehensive package that includes half-a-dozen services. We can certainly help at Apello.

Surveys consistently demonstrate that customers would prefer to talk to human beings rather than automated machines. As a small business owner, do not underestimate the power of the human touch for customer connections. If you want to be a hero in your customers eyes, make sure a person is always answering your phone.

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