The drive of business is profit and community betterment. To accomplish this goal, efficiency must be pursued. Automated customer service attracts business owners with the hope of streamlined processes and magnified manpower. But, does this promise bear out actual results in customer service? Research indicates live customer service reaps benefits over automated voices.
According to a poll by Harris Interactive, 75 percent of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent. Frustration with options that do not meet needs or address problems causes issues for consumers and, therefore, businesses. An American Express Survey (2011) reported that 67 percent of customers hung up the phone in frustration when not reaching a live voice. Living in a “Please listen carefully as our options have changed” world does not fit the fast pace of the society in which companies conduct business. Consumers want issues handled efficiently and to know their voice has been heard. Live customer service addresses these needs. Competent service representatives and personalization create a happy customer according to the Genesis Global Survey in 2009.
Customer service is the heart of a company’s business. An excellent product grabs the attention of a potential investor, but service holds that attention and leads to loyalty. According to McKinsey, 70 percent of product purchases are based on how customers feel they are treated. A difficult task for the automated voice is to sense and respond to a customer’s feelings. The inability to perceive and react in positive ways hinders profits. In fact, 78 percent of consumers have opted out of an intended purchase because of a poor service experience and 59 percent of Americans switch to a new brand or company for better service, according to the American Express Survey.
Superior customer service
While 80 percent of companies say they deliver “superior” customer service, only 8 percent of consumers of those same companies agree, according to Lee Resources. Talking to the customer is vital in assessing a business’ track record. Connecting with the consumer and identifying areas for improvement fit the role of the live customer service representative in ways automated systems cannot. This role becomes even more valuable considering data from Ruby Newell-Legner. Only four percent of dissatisfied customers voice complaints, and yet, many of the dissatisfied will not return. Businesses desiring positive outcomes must create natural opportunities for customers to offer feedback. Also, a live voice on the phone can gauge customer reaction and resolve issues in the best interest of both company and customer.