Why do you want to frustrate and anger your customer or potential client before you have even been able to talk with them? In today’s world, the last gadget you need in your establishment is a disgusted, mad, or frustrated potential customer or client when they call your company! Sadly, the “automated phone answering equipment” you are thinking about getting installed (or already have) will be one of the primary annoyances your calling customer will encounter.
You have heard the crazy sale pitches of all the reasons that automated phones are money-savers, time-savers, and way more efficient than a receptionist. Those people have convinced you that automated phones are ”the way to go” in today’s fast-paced and money-conscious world. Do you really want to be labeled like those big irritating cable companies or phone companies?
Today, it’s quite challenging to make or keep your client happy, so why start by irritating them on their call to you? Many customers feel “entitled” and expect a different level of service, so you can’t alienate them on the first phone call with a series of ‘hoops’ that they must jump through to get to the right person.
Often the “terminology” is confusing. (press 1 for collaboration tech support) or (press 2 for non-warranty technical help) or (press 7 if you would like to hear the menu again) “in case you weren’t paying attention the first three times, or you aren’t smart enough to know exactly which option you need.”
Some potential failures with automated phone systems:
- Public perception of these systems is negative.
- There are often too many unclear choices.
- Even worse is when “your choice” isn’t listed
- It’s even worse when they don’t work perfectly
You are putting all your trust in a machine and it’s highly likely that your “best first impression” fails miserably, so, when things go wrong on the initial answer, (machine pick-up) there is not usually a chance to fix the issue.
The opportunity to quickly engage your customer or prospect sometimes never happen – and they simply hang up rather than deal with the annoyance. Solving customer issues should always be a priority in your business, not installing a machine to do such important work People repeatedly say they want a live person.
Bottom Line: Automated phone answering machines encourage your all-important client to hang up! I don’t have a personal crusade to rid the world of this technology! Rather, I have experienced many negative calls into a company where the automated system was lousy or in many cases, so bad that I simply hung up and called someone else.
Writing this article was prompted by several recent major frustrations – trying to do business with companies that used an automated (and terrible) system.
If you have already or are considering an automated phone system, remember that in our customer-sensitive demanding business climate, we must do what it takes to ‘put the client first,’ and that includes their initial contact with your company on the phone. You feel that it’s a cheaper way to manage many incoming phone calls, but you really need to reconsider, but you’re going to annoy and anger many people.
Beth from First Choice Drying Equipment is ready to take your call in person! You can schedule a call by filling out the form on the contact page, or you can call us anytime at the number listed below.