Think back to a previous experience where you contacted a business telephonically, only to be answered by a robotic voice prompting you to select a range of numbers, depending on the service you required. Sometimes, following the number selection process to talk to a live call attendant, takes longer than the query you’re putting forth – touch wood you don’t push the wrong button, or you’ll have to start over!
Now we’re not talking about massive corporations with thousands of daily calls, because let’s be honest the numbering system is absolutely necessary for them (frustrating, but necessary) and believe it or not, it actually gets us in touch with the right person faster. The reference is pointed more at SME’s who are cutting every corner to save money in the economic downfall, including automating their initial interaction with clients. We don’t disagree, automated virtual assistants are attractive because they are fuss free, easy to use, and cost next to nothing. However, they completely eliminate the human factor – a factor which holds significant importance in the mind of the consumer.
You may ask yourself why customers prefer speaking to a live agent…
Consumers are frustrated by the waiting game. Means of contact such as emails, social media messages and automated answering machines all involve a delay in response from the company. Customers want information and they want it now! A live virtual operator offers a smart solution as they are able to resolve queries with little delay and without sending the caller on a rollercoaster to find the right answer.
Apart from the frustration associated with delays, consumers like to feel valued. Forcing an automated system on them, dumps them all into the same category, without catering for those queries that don’t quite match up with options 1, 2 and 3. Painting all your clients with the same brush is the quickest way to leave a sour taste in their mouth with regards to your company – they need to be recognised individually. By making use of a live virtual receptionist, you are able to avoid negative connotations that stem from an automated system and resolve queries according to the client’s exact specification, resulting in a satisfied caller. Giving the existing or potential customer undivided attention will inspire them to start or continue doing business with your company.
The biggest negative impact that can result from an incorrectly used automated receptionist, is the loss of sales. By implementing an impersonal system such is this one, you give off the impression that you’re all about making money and couldn’t care less about customer satisfaction. A potential customer who feels they are ‘just a number’ in your sales book, are likely to turn their heads in the direction of your competition – a detrimental result of something that can be easily avoided with the use of a live virtual receptionist, who will bring in the cash without breaking your bank.
Yes, we’re all conscious about keeping overheads at a minimum, especially with the current state of the economy, but don’t get so caught up in saving your pennies that you neglect your real money makers. Go virtual, but choose the human virtual receptionist over the automated one. Although much less expensive than an in-house receptionist, a live virtual receptionist will cost a bit more than an automated one, but it’s a worthwhile sacrifice to make. Remember that your customers are people – people who want to speak to people.
Thetha Connect offer premium virtual receptionist services, both live and automated, to suit your requirements. Our virtual receptionists will react to new business calls, record relevant contact details and even return calls to prospects in a timely, professional manner, leaving a good impression in the customer’s mind and promoting organisational growth. Speak to us today about our bespoke service offerings.