Imagine you’re experiencing an issue with a service or a product and you need to reach the business to ask questions, troubleshoot or even ask for a refund. You call the business and are walked through an automated prompt to reach a certain department. You think you choose the right department, but you didn’t, so you’re bounced back to the menu start or routed to an operator. Wouldn’t it have been much easier to just speak to an operator to begin with?
The problem with IVRs
That’s one of the issues with interactive voice response systems. It’s not necessarily easy, it takes up too much time and there are limitations to who you’re prompted to reach. While the technology allows for adding up to as many extensions a business needs, it’s human error in not understanding that customers may need to reach a variety of people or departments to handle their needs.
The problem with only live chat
Customer support isn’t one size fits all. One customer’s issue may vary wildly from the next. AI-powered live chat can only address broad-brush issues. Even a human-powered live chat presents limitations and if the issue becomes too complicated or there is a communication gap (as is common in text-to-text conversations) that person will eventually be routed to a live operator. A business may think they are being proactive by providing live chat or even IVR, but if a percentage of all calls is still being handled by a live person, then these technological advances are really just extra money spent and extra time spent, when really what was needed all along was live customer support.
Consumers want rapid responses
Additionally, consumers are expecting to have their issues resolved in near real time. They don’t want to wade through menu prompts. They don’t want to slowly diagnose a problem over live chat. They want to have their complaints heard and solutions presented very quickly, otherwise they become incredibly frustrated. Customer support is a huge component of customer experience. And one bad experience with a customer can resonate to potentially harm your business.
Great customer experience is becoming the demand
It’s not enough to provide a great service or product. The way your business treats your customers is no longer something that you can use to wow your customers, it’s an expectation. It’s such a demand now that consumers have shifted away from finding the most bargain deal, whether it be a product or a service, and will actually pay more to do business with a company that treats them well. An having automated customer support just doesn’t fall in line with creating a great customer experience.
Answering services are meeting the demand
Answering services have been around for a long time. The concept is simple. A business forwards its calls to a team of live operators, so that every call is being answered and every caller speaks to a human being. In the rise of the digital world, the power of voice took a backseat in favor of text, email and automation. But in response, consumers are more and more desperate to speak to a live person, rather than a bot or IVR.
If you’re interested in learning more about how an answering service can help your customer’s experience, and ultimately, your bottom line, check out VoiceNation’s, a 24/7 live answering service.