The groan and impatient facial expression give away an inkling that the man on his cell phone has just hit the first series of automated options, “Please press one to …,” or maybe the seventh series. The generic and complicated automated message tries the most patient of souls. Talking to a live person is becoming an anomaly. Businesses are choosing automated phone menus to offer efficiency and cost savings.
Though automated systems may save money, the real hit comes to a company’s customer satisfaction. Customer irritation arises with the wait times of automated systems averaging one minute and 51 seconds, while live voice wait times average 51 seconds, according to Stella Services. Add the mere annoyance of wading through endless options which “may have changed” and not reaching the information or department sought after, and irritation is magnified.
Live human customer service can begin a sales relationship that benefits a company. The voice, automated or live, which picks up the other end of the call is a company’s first impression. A live attendant reinforces that customers are valuable – a powerful message in an increasingly impersonal world, and something the automated voice cannot accomplish.
How do the options of one, two or three solve problems? Not very well. While the menu may direct a customer to areas of information, it is less likely that the options presented can answer the complexities of customer service questions or solve problems. Also, with automated phone menus, the caller is likely to be further agitated when the call reaches a live agent (if it ever does).
Agitations of wait time, feeling unimportant and not getting answers or solutions can lead customers to hang up. In a society pressed for time, the call likely will not be repeated. Perseverance may just equate to calling another company. This solution, nor the result, are things a company wants to hear. The bottom line: lost sales.
While many of the top Internet retailers use automated phone menus, calling 21 percent of the top 100 will take you to a live voice. Amazingly, substantial business is being done on both accounts. However, the question remains, does good business equate to good customer service? The typical customer service line does not employ a live attendant. To be seen as atypical, to make their mark in an impersonal, automated world, it stands to reason that a company benefits from a live voice at the other end of the customer service line.
If you are interested in hiring a virtual receptionist, adding a live voice to the other end of the customer’s phone call, contact GabbyVille today.