The Importance of Speaking to a Live Person

No one likes talking to machines

In an era where impersonal technology services seem to run rampant, one of the number one complaints by customers is not being able to speak to a real, live person when they have a problem or a question.

This is true whether someone is leaving a simple voicemail or navigating a complicated, automated system in an attempt to reach the right person.

If your business relies on automated systems, or if it assumes that customers will leave a voicemail, it’s time to reevaluate the way you do customer service.

Why your customer service needs to be human-centered

Whole websites, articles, and forums exist that tell people how to bypass automated systems to reach a live person when calling a company, because people despise dealing with these frustrating systems. 

There are plenty of reasons why people hate dealing with automated phone systems. For one, they’re often confusing. Press the wrong option and you’re likely to get stuck in an endless loop of unhelpful choices. 

Plus, most people feel like they’re getting better service when talking to a real representative – even if their end-result is the same.

Is it ever okay to use an automated phone answering system?

Automated systems work fine for some types of queries. 

For example, if a person simply needs to check their bank balance the automated system is perfect. If their debit card, however, has been stolen or hacked, they want to quickly reach someone who can help them. They don’t want to wait 20-30 minutes to connect with someone.

If a person doesn’t get their needs quickly met, they may get angry and express that anger in public via forums or social media. This creates bad PR for the company and may drive some people away from ever using a company’s products or services.

How does a virtual assistant improve customer service?

Many small businesses often don’t have the luxury – or capital – to hire someone full-time to answer their phones. Instead, they rely on their voicemail quite a bit, and hopefully the person who left the message will be amenable to a call back later. 

Small businesses, however, now have an alternative, cost-effective option that doesn’t involve either a full-time, in-house receptionist or advanced voicemail options. Virtual receptionists offer the best of both worlds.

What do virtual receptionists and virtual assistants do?

Virtual assistants are trained to do a variety of office duties, including answering the phones and assisting customers with certain needs. 

For a small business owner, a virtual assistant can accept calls when the person is on the road, doing work or meeting with customers. Virtual assistants can take messages and pass along those messages that need to be taken care of immediately.

Virtual assistants ensure that someone is always answering your phones. That means no more customers having to leave a message or deal with an automated system. 

How much does a virtual assistant cost?

Virtual assistants are extremely cost efficient since they only work when the phones ring. Unlike traditional customer service reps or assistants, a business isn’t going to pay for health insurance, taxes, sick days, or office downtime.

In our experience here at Intelligent Office, most clients only pay a few hundred dollars per month as opposed to the thousands of dollars a month that a full-time assistant requires. Additionally, business owners don’t need to worry about hiring, firing, or recruiting.

Are you ready to ditch the automated phone answering system?

Providing a consistently good customer service experience to your current and potential clients is a must. And it starts with answering the phones when they call.

If you’re convinced that a virtual assistant can help your company level-up it’s customer service experience, get in touch with your local Intelligent Office today. Our small business experts will answer any questions you may have so that you can make the best decision for your company and its staffing needs.