5 Consumer Pet Peeves of Automated Phone Systems
Effective customer service is to business as oil is to cars; quality customer service affects the future of one’s entire business. Company reputation, and eventually, sales will be at stake. The front door to many customer service experiences, is your automated announcements. Ineffective call flow can lead to frustrated customers, terrible customer service reviews and eventual loss of business. Here are five customer pet peeves of automated voice systems and some tips on how to avoid them:
1. Repeating Customer Information.
Callers entering and reentering information between an automated system and live representatives is one of the biggest pet peeves for consumers. It elongates the process leaving customers frustrated and unappreciated.
Tip: Have customer service representatives open with a personal statement about the caller. For instance, using the customers’ name and something unique to their client profile, allowing for high levels of conformability and great moods.
2. Pressing zero or saying “REPRESENTATIVE” is usually met with “invalid response”.
Often times, callers try to bypass all of the system options with a shortcut. This method is most times unsuccessful, leaving customers frustrated.
Tip: Setting up an easy to use, simplistic system for your callers ends communication problems. Ease of access to live customer service representatives is the best way to solve this problem. Make their experience within the company’s automated system as easy and seamless as possible.
3. Poor speech recognition.
Being that communication is the largest part of an automated phone system, poor speech recognition can be a huge problem. A system that lacks the capability to correctly understand your customers is more of a company liability then customer service aide.
Tip: Offer a “press or say” option throughout the entire call so nothing is misinterpreted. Be sure to "tune" your IVR at least once a year.
4. Too many options!
Having many options is often times a bad thing. Customers become easily frustrated when they have to hear seven or eight different options to solve their problem. Too many options decreases the efficiency of the phone system, leaving callers without patience by the time they reach a live customer service representative.
Tip: Stick to three, precise options before giving the “speak with a representative” option. Be sure the "press" or "say" option follows the instructions. Callers are listening first for what they need and second for what to do.
5. If a call is disconnected, the process starts all over again.
One of the worst things for a consumer is having to start the process all over. Having to re-input all account, personal, and other information only leads to more frustration for customers.
Tip: Immediately ask for a callback number so the represenative can reach out if disconnected. Some systems can be programmed to automatically call back the customer if the call was terminated prematurely.
Your company’s automated system should be the most effective and efficient part of company to consumer communication. The tips above take your system from a liability to a consumer appreciated asset.