Using an automated phone attendant as your first point of contact with a caller is like committing business suicide. This is one of the worst things you can do because customers hate automated phone attendants.
Even though it’s not a good idea to use an automated machine to answer your calls, businesses still do it. When people utilize these services, about 80% of first-time callers will hang up and call a business with a live person answering the phone.
An automatic phone attendant communicates a clear message to a caller. When you use this as a first point of contact, you are telling the caller that your time is too valuable to be bothered with their call. This is arrogant and a horrible example of customer service.
If using automation for answering the phone is so bad, why do so many companies still do it? The simple answer: It’s very inexpensive, and they care more about saving money than gaining customers and sales. It’s the lazy approach to saving money within a company, because the executives/owners in charge don’t want to figure out a better solution.
Cheaper rarely equals better, especially when it takes away from the customer service you are providing. Automated phone attendant companies will tell you they actually provide better service, but that’s simply not true. When you call with an issue, to schedule an appointment or to place an order, would you rather deal with a machine or a live person?
A Better Solution
Even though using an automated phone attendant is a horrible idea, turning your incoming calls over to a professional service isn’t a bad idea. Most small to medium businesses count on a traditional receptionist to take calls, or they count on the entire team of employees to answer the phone. This may seem like a good solution, but it costs you both time and money, which most small businesses don’t have.
A better way to get the right customer service and provide a live person to answer the phone is with a virtual receptionist service. This type of service will provide a live person for every caller and will ensure you have a professional trained in customer service and reception to handle every incoming call for your business.
Since this type of service is charged by the minute, you only pay for the time a virtual receptionist is actually on the phone with callers. This helps you save both time and money.
Boost in Productivity
If you count on a receptionist to answer the phones, who is also in charge of filing, organizing and managing the office, this individual could be wearing too many hats. Instead, you can boost their productivity in other areas by allowing a virtual receptionist to handle your incoming calls.
When a business counts on a team of employees to handle the phones, it causes distractions and interruptions. These can be eliminated and productivity can be gained when a virtual receptionist service is employed.
Using an automated phone attendant isn’t the answer. It will make your company look bad and cost you far more money than it will save. Instead, choose a virtual receptionist service to ensure you get the most out of every incoming call.