30 October 2013

The Disadvantages of Using an Automated Phone Answering System

The disadvantages of using an automated phone answering system may not seem too important compared to the convenience and potential savings they offer; however, lost customers and poor service can be an expensive side effect of automating your phone system. First impressions count and most of us prefer to talk to a friendly human voice when we call a business; a voice who is ready to answer our questions. The cost, however, of paying a friendly person to answer all incoming calls often is prohibitive and inefficient for businesses today (especially when automated phone answering systems are so available and affordable). Before making the jump to the automated world, companies should first  consider the disadvantages of using an automated telephone system for their calls.

Automated Phone Systems Can Alienate Customers
Deserved or not, automated phone systems have gotten a bad rap. Due to bad past experiences, some customers find automated phone systems to be so frustrating that they hang up on the spot and call a competitor. Before you purchase an automated phone system, be sure your company can afford to lose the occasional customer or two.

Automated Phone Systems Can Confuse Customers
Automated phone systems require patience and concentration from your customers as they typically offer a long list of options for customers to choose from. If customers have to wait for too long or listen to too many options before they are prompted to press a number, they can easily become confused.

Automated Phone Systems can Malfunction
Technology is great when it works…but, when it doesn’t, it can be a disaster for a business to handle. If you install an automated phone system at your company, be sure someone on your staff is equipped to handle any issues that come up (especially if your business depends upon the phone in any way).

Automated Phone Systems can be Inefficient
When customers have to wade through a sea of options or wait too long before they get the information they are looking for, it can really slow down service and tie up your phone lines. Before you install an automated phone system, be sure that you have enough phone lines and that your business can handle the delay before connecting with your customers.

The bottom line is that though automated phone systems can save a company money, they can also cost a company priceless customers and time. Another option you may want to consider is to use a call center. Call centers save businesses money while providing the personalized reception that customers want.