Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Friday, June 4, 2010

Electronic Voice Customer Service-- BE CAREFUL!

  One of the most frustrating things that I deal with is "Electronic Voice Customer Service".  My telephone service is at best, mediocre!  This causes several calls to the service, trying to resolve customer service issues.  Although many may believe that "Electronic Voice Customer Service" is a cost saving, higher efficiency service, if you look at it from the customer perspective, you will probably find that it is not what it is advertised.
   Before you decide to invest in an "Electronic Secretary", think real hard how your customer's will react to not talking to a live human being.  In most cases, people like to talk to a live human being, who can be helpful and courteous and help resolve customer service problems.  The issue becomes one of cost-- with the electronic secretary, you pay once and the system works 24/7/365 with no need for breaks, vacation, etc.  HOWEVER, the frustration of having to go through multi layers of prompts, questions and repeated information is very, very frustrating for many people.
   Perform a thorough cost analysis before buying an electronic secretary.  The costs of retaining a human being will be more than buying an electronic device--that is for sure.  However, what is much less quantifiable, but equally important is how your customers react.  Our recommendation is to always have a live voice answer the phone and direct the calls.  Our experience is that although this may appear to be a greater cost expense than an electronic secretary, the increased value of customer service along with talking to one of your staff members will return greater dividends than the cost of the electronic switching system.


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