I’ve got to rant for a moment here: I. HATE. AUTO ATTENDANTS!
I know I’m not alone here. I think anyone who has to call up a vendor or get support over the phone gets to enjoy that very specific type of frustration where a machine is telling you how important your call is, while making you feel like the lowest priority in the world.
We Got Rid of Our Auto Attendant
After personally experiencing one too many annoying phone calls with vendors that made me dial my way through long, annoying, confusing phone systems just to talk to a human being, we decided as a company to do away with it for our own business.
We know that if one of our clients calls in, they are more than likely looking to get help with something. There’s no reason for us to put a roadblock in their way and try to prequalify them. Let’s get them straight over to someone who can help!
If it turns out they are actually looking for sales or billing, then we’ll transfer the call and quickly message the team member to give them a heads up. It’s simple, it’s courteous, and it feels much more personable.
We’re Not Alone
In what can be seen as probably the most obvious survey result ever, 90% of people surveyed in 2019 said they’d rather talk to a human when calling a company.
When you have an issue, or you want to learn about a new service, you don’t intend to spend a chunk of that time navigating through a dial-by-name directory or listening to a recording give you your options.
Yes, of course your options have changed, thank you for reminding me!
Despite our frustration with auto attendants, they aren’t always bad, but more often than not, they really just exist to keep you in a queue so the business in question can optimize their support staff. Often, it feels like a business gets a fancy new phone system and is compelled to turn on all the bells and whistles without thinking about how customers are going to react.
Ask yourself, do you really need to segment out different departments, or can one or two people be assigned as the phone dispatchers? Do you need a clunky dial-by-name directory, or are you diligent about giving out extensions to customers who need them?
It’s worth evaluating your phone system and how you communicate with your customers and prospects on a regular basis, and look for ways you can make it easier for them. It’s not as challenging or disruptive to your company as it sounds.
We Wanted to Provide the Fastest, Most Effective IT Support
We think our clients deserve the respect and dignity of picking up the phone and getting to a human being as quickly as possible. While we know that not every business can do this, we see it as an advantage for our clients and something that makes us stand out.
What do you think? Do you appreciate companies that ditch the auto-attendant?