At first glance, the drawbacks of using an automated phone answering system may not seem critical when compared with the potential savings it can provide for your business. However, a vital factor to be taken into consideration in terms of human psychology is the extent to which first impressions last in our brain.
Most of us prefer to interact with another human and hear their voice when we call a business; a voice which is ready to answer our queries. We often do not expect to hear a robotic voice repeating the same few sentences in a monotonous voice and playing a piece of never-ending ear-numbing music.
One of the stepping stones required to develop and sustain a successful business is providing excellent customer service. Poor customer support leads to dissatisfied customers, and this will inevitably bring about a decrease in sales and revenue. Below, we are going to discuss the disadvantages of an automated phone answering system.
Can create confusion for your customers
A certain level of patience and focus is necessary when dealing with automated phone answering systems. These sorts of systems typically guide the customer to choose from a long list of menu options. This can easily cause confusion as the customer is bombarded with an array of options when they are asked to press one number after another. It is always better to keep the interactions hassle-free and straightforward for your customers.
Long waiting times
An automated phone answering system won’t be able to sense the urgency of your call even you have a critical inquiry to make. This can lead to you spending quite a bit of time in waiting lines before you will get the chance to ask it. Now take this scenario mentioned above and multiply it with all of the incoming calls to your business each week. A majority of callers are going to be left frustrated even before the request is attended to properly. They might decide that it would be a better idea to call elsewhere.
The system can be inefficient
With the amount of options which are provided for the customer to go through, it already takes up a decent amount of time for them to search for what they require. This can slow down service because multiple calls will create a scarcity of available phone lines. This will occur if the business does not have enough phone lines to accommodate the incoming calls and the subsequent delays which are being created. Small businesses, especially, will face these problems as more often than not, they are not equipped with a large number of phone lines at their disposal.
There have been cases where the automated system is unable to understand the voice of the caller. If he/ she is calling from a noisy environment or is speaking in a regional dialect which is unknown to the system, for example. The reputation of the automated system among customers is hampered as a result, and can lead to them hanging up on the spot if they hear a computerized voice in the future. If you do decide on installing an automated phone answering system, be prepared to lose customers periodically.
Malfunctions can occur
Simply put, technology is great. To keep pace with the digitalising world, it has to be embraced. With that being said, if it fails, it can be a grim task for a business dependant on it to function correctly. If your company is equipped with an automated phone answering system faces a scenario where the phone system has malfunctioned, and your staff who are not trained to troubleshoot the problems which arise, you will potentially lose callers and loyal customers if the problem is not fixed quickly.
If the above factors frequently occur, with time, they will slowly killing your business. One of the alternatives you can consider is using a call answering service for your business. They can be a more economical approach in solving these issues while also providing personalised customer-oriented service. Good communication is an absolute necessity and key in sustaining a successful business. If the customers are happy and content, the company will grow into new heights of success.
Zane Todd is a freelance writer and an independent blogger who writes about communication, sustainability, technology, globalisation and home improvement. He aspires to become a professional writer and make a difference in society and the world we live in. @mezanetodd.
Customer service stock photo by lenetstan/Shutterstock