A friend posted this on Facebook this afternoon:
You know when you call a business and they put you on hold and play the groovy music in the background and say that all of their representatives are busy and keep saying, please continue to hold? What they should say is “Feel free to go to town and run your errands, come home, get a shower, do your laundry, and wash your dishes while you’re waiting.” LOL!
I’m glad she has a sense of humor about it. But really, for the small business owner, comments like these are not funny. They’re the kiss of death for client relations. In fact, in customer satisfaction surveys, the #1 improvement clients ask for, by a factor of 2 to 1, is better “human” service. And, according to another study, we all will spend an average of 43 days on hold in our lifetime! Translation: Patients do not like voice mail!
Great Customer Service is a Strong Marketing Tool
Of course, we all know the temptation. We get busy, or we’re temporarily short-staffed, or we go home for the weekend, and what do we do to care for our clients? We push that button! Let the machine pick up!
But if you have personally experienced the endless loop of beeps and buttons when attempting to reach a human voice with other businesses, you know how frustrating your own system might be to your customers. Whether you’re a veterinarian or a HVAC provider or a medical practitioner or a funeral director, an after-hours call means your customer has already reached a level of discomfort, pain or sorrow. They’re dealing with a sick pet or a malfunctioning air conditioner or a personal health issue or a death – and the sound of that electronic device on the other end of the phone line serves as an instant irritation just when they need your care and understanding most. In assuring your clients of your concern, there is simply no substitute for a living, breathing human being responding to their phone calls.
Telephone Answering Service adds a Human Touch
A good answering service can turn that frustration into customer satisfaction and assurance. Look for a service which offers live voice contact for your clients every time they call. Spot check the service by calling your own number after hours and experiencing for yourself the prompt, reliable, professional courtesy they offer. A service which gives fast, reliable call-back on evenings and weekends will not only yield a more satisfied customer, but can give you and your staff a more relaxing, stress-free time away from the office.
The benefits of an answering service far outweigh—and out pay—the beeping of automated machines, frustrated customers, and lost business. So at the end of the day, put a human voice at the end of the line.
Share your frustrating, funny, or foolish experiences with automated answering machine systems with us in the comments.