If you depend on phone automation to keep your business running, you are going to have to rethink your strategy this year. People are starting to fight back against the idea of phone automation because believe it or not, people want to work with a real, live human on the phone. They want the personalized experience, the conversation, the banter, and the opportunity to connect with someone else for just a moment.
The automated phone systems prevent people from this connection and makes people feel that access to your company is only going to be through a robot. Even though you’ve managed to update your social media pages, you never miss a call, and you send out reminder emails for appointments, your customers still need that voice on the other line of the phone to make your brand feel more real and relatable. Here is a look at why this year will probably be one of the last you’ll see companies using phone automation.
Why the change?
People are straying away from phone automation after seeing that their customers prefer to talk to a live person. People pick up the phone specifically to be helped while those that prefer to handle it through a robot choose to email or message on social media. Picking up the phone is supposed to result in interaction with a person from your company and it’s the preferred method for many consumers. A live operator is one of the most preferred methods of contacting a business according to consumers.
What do consumers want from the phone?
You may think it’s not very important to offer a live person on the phone but this is where your company gets the opportunity to provide excellent customer service. When your customer calls in and someone from your company answers the phone in a cheery tone with a slight bit of conversation, it may be just what brightens up your customer’s day.
When a caller has a complaint, your customer service representative may have the ability to go the extra mile just because they took that call and did everything in their power to correct a situation. Your robot on an automated phone call can’t go the extra mile, get that warm smile, or offer a professional experience that feels at all personable.
People choose the phone to get their issue resolved quicker than an email or social media request. Some people don’t have time to wait for a resolve and just want to solve the problem or get their question answered now.
When you don’t offer a way for them to do this, they may decide to move on to a company that they know will offer that. If your customer has to wait for an email in a frustrating situation, you may find that your customer is even angrier by the time you received the message and had time to respond.
Along with feeling more valued on a phone call, your caller wants the chance to more clearly state the question or concern and to get a clearer explanation. It’s important that your customer service reps have the chance to be helpful, clear, and compassionate. Your customers may struggle to explain their question or concern via email or they may not understand your policy from the literature you provide online.
People simply want to speak to a human in an already much automated world. Make sure you have someone answering your phones, whether that be a staff member or a virtual receptionist, that can offer a professional and friendly tone, be of assistance, and possibly brighten someone’s day. Your customers will be more satisfied that their issue was handled quickly and efficiently.