Automated answering system to promote customer service

Do you want to act like a “big” business? I can’t remember any large companies who haven’t been using automated answering systems, and it can keep expenses low while providing customer service if a business can still hold on to the personal touch. Probably the most annoying and infuriating automated answering  systems are the ones where the caller gets stuck with menu after menu. We’ve all been there.

A small business can customize and greet customers directing them to their intended connections with a greeting such as this:

“Good day and thank you for calling. If you know your party’s extension, please enter it now followed by the pound sign. For a company directory by name, please press 1. If you would prefer to speak with an operator, please press ‘0’ at any time.” Here you have a simplified method using technology, but still maintaining the personal touch so many customers still appreciate.

You might want to grow into a virtual PBX, which can be directed to enter an extension, and if the contact doesn’t answer, the call can ring for another extension or go to voice mail. During the “hold” period, you might opt to use music on hold, deliver a daily marketing message; for instance what’s on sale for the day or  the latest market quotes, etc. The trick is not to keep your caller on hold too long. When all lines are busy or no one is available however, there’s much to be said when a live attendant comes on the line and spends a few moments with you. You can even direct calls to your cell phone; again, another opportunity to supply the personal touch. The best advice would be to have a live attendant available after a message such as this:

To speak with an operator, please press “0”.

Very popular now are Interactive Voice Responses ( IVR). Many callers find IVR with its variety of options totally frustrating. The customers/callers make selections from a menu by speaking into the phone or using their keypad. Callers can have more options. The more sophisticated companies who don’t want to lose customers and clients through the maze of IVR, have had the programs now able to recognize certain key word phrases. Sometimes a list of common swear words have been programmed in, and when the caller is on their last frazzled nerve and starts to swear, a polite IVR message comes on to ask:

“Did you want to speak with a customer service agent?”

It’s a smart company to realize once a customer is so frustrated, she could very well take her business elsewhere, it is time for the personal touch again.

Use technology to increase efficiency, but let’s not forget that customers still want to know that you care.

photo credit: mangpage

One Response to “Automated answering system to promote customer service”

  1. office phone service said:

    Apr 02, 10 at 11:56 pm

    With the Voip and Virtual PBX services, communication system has become more sophisticated at a very budget friendly price. Since these systems does not require additional hardware and software, housing the it is very convenient.