Yesterday’s blog examined how big media recently “uncovered” the many frustrations consumers, and business, face when dealing with customer service – mainly related to call centers, telephony, or online assistance.
But why has the average consumer settled with bad service?
Jordan Furlong explains that “the reason is pretty simple: during the recession…companies slashed customer service because it was little more than a cost center – and customers, always demanding the lowest price, acquiesced.”
Now that customers’ voices are being heard, how are companies responding?
One way to balance price with authentic customer service is through using an IVR system– they are less costly than a live representative, but can properly direct and assist callers, and offer the same aesthetics and professionalism as a live representative.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, “companies say nicer and more-competent sounding voices can prompt fewer callers to speak to a live agent, saving money on staffing. It’s also an inexpensive bid to boost corporate image, and reflects the kind of tweaks some companies are making while still cautions on big investments.”
To combat opting out, “some customers immediately hit ‘0’ before trying out new systems,” companies have enlisted voice actors to record IVR scripts. “Nashville-based insurer Asurion Inc…implemented a new voice on its system…since the change, customer satisfaction with its automated system has increased from 5% to 10% and more customers are using the technology before being transferred to a live agent.”
These IVR systems can also be applied to cell phone messages and greetings, especially with smartphones “mobilizing” business. Instead of on-location business landlines, many individuals use smartphones to connect with clients – it is more personal, and if clients want to leave messages, a “personalized” greeting can be customized to properly direct callers and facilitate message retrieval.