Specific websites exist to provide annoyed customers with direct telephone numbers that will help you avoid automated telephone answering systems where you must consistently listen to menu options, click a number and wait for the next request. Fortunately, sufficient potential customers have complained so much about these types of systems, that technological advances have now developed interactive voice response systems.
What Was Good About Automated Answering Systems?
Although they were not necessarily invented to replace telephone operatives, that was one of the outcomes for most businesses who upgraded from a personal answering of the telephone to an automated option. They were supposed to make a business operate more efficiently and were designed to help the customer receive a quicker and more effective service.
The idea was that automated answering would enable more customers to get through to the person or department that they required, while offering the organization the opportunity to deliver an advertising message while the customer waited. The alternative of mindless elevator music still exists within many current automated answering systems.
To bring telephone answering systems in line with modern technology, interactive voice response systems have been designed to give the customer the opportunity to speak naturally and have a computer direct that person to the best destination.
Disadvantages of Automated Answering Services
Most callers feel they are being delayed by having to go through a menu system and click the required numbers when prompted. One of the common complaints is that having waited too long to wade through the menu system, many individuals are then left hanging or waiting until the telephone can be answered.
This creates a distance between the caller and the organization who owns the automated answering services. By providing an option for interactive voice response systems, a customer can say exactly what they want and be put through to the correct extension.
When a customer telephones an automated answering service that feels like a computer, the caller fails to be treated as a special individual because they are told exactly what to do and you cannot speak to anyone without going through the menu system first.
The result is that customer complaints increase. They complain about the menu system, but they also complain about the lack of opportunity to make their complaint quickly. By the time they get to speak to a customer service agent, they are already more annoyed than when they started the conversation. By treating customers as human beings, interactive voice response systems allow the customer human interaction and a much quicker overall response.