The Cost of Automation

The temptation for businesses to use automated answering machines or voicemail services is understandable. There’s money to be saved with automation, and it could mean that your business can take calls round the clock and deal with them at your convenience. However, is this what your customers want?

Let’s put it this way: whenever a customer calls through to your business with a query, regardless of how urgent it may be, and they’re put through to an automated voicemail they will immediately feel less valued. It sends a message that their problem isn’t important enough to be dealt with by your company directly. Most customers believe that the main reason you use automated phone answering services will be to save money. Therefore, the moment you transfer them they feel less valuable to you. It’s like saying to them “you are not really worth our employee’s time”. As you can imagine, this does not lead to happy clients.

Whilst voicemail services might be saving your business money initially, what is the real cost of automation?

Automated services make your customers feel less valued

The main goal from your customer service should be to make your customers feel important and valued as well as helping with their queries. Yet, that’s exactly the opposite effect that an automated service will have.

Think about that often heard sentence “I want to speak to the manager”. It’s about customers wanting to be treated like they matter and that they are important enough to get to talk to an employee of perceived superior hierarchical value. Talking to real employees, especially a manager or high-ranking employee, matters for customers because they hold a deeper underlying meaning and give them a feeling of importance.

Infuriating and inconvenient

Perhaps the automated systems wouldn’t drive customers away so often if they didn’t take as much time. For example, many supermarket customers might prefer to use a self service checkout option rather than visiting a person at the tills. This is because for a savvy shopper without a lot of shopping the self-service can be much quicker.

However, customers who are being forced to deal with automated phone systems can expect longer hold times when seeking customer service. Let alone the time consuming process of entering long numbers using your phone’s keypad.

No opportunity to upsell

By losing that real-time contact with your clients you lose the ability to utilise your knowledge and experience. This means, firstly, the customer won’t be able to get the personalised help they might require, and secondly, you deny yourself the opportunity to upsell appropriate products and services.

If you want to make your client base feel as important as possible then one of the best ways to do that is to direct them to a call centre which takes them seriously, knows about their question and is based in the same country as your business. Everything is about your credibility, making your customer feel important to you and solving their query.

This is why businesses come to us at Message Direct for their telephone answering solutions. We offer a bespoke live phone answering and call handling services round the clock from our call centre.