The fact still remained that people want to speak to live human beings that care about their needs and they have do not want to speak to a machine because it will fall upon deaf ears and their needs wont be prioritized and met.
Over the years many businesses have tried to come up with more effective ways of answering their phones, for example, using answering machines, voicemail or even giving out a pager number was once popular. The truth is the low cost for these products did in fact help to greatly reduce the businesses expenditure at the front desk, but when we look a little deeper into what the real cost of using an automated answering system to greet your callers actually is, we can see the negative impact to the bottom line profits. Businesses large and small spend a great deal of money to generate new clients through numerous forms of advertising, Whether it be on-line AD’s through Google, Yahoo, Bing or to the old standard of phone books (and it’s many forms), mailer’s, branded clothing, business cards, signs on trucks and cars not to mention the huge expense of television, radio advertising and roadside billboards come out to. After spending all of this money to generate new customer phone calls now the caller picks up the phone and dials your number and their first impressions are a voicemail trap or “please leave a message and I will get back to you when I can”. This is just an invitation to your potential client to hang up on your business and continue to search to have their needs filled. The client called at that time because they have the time and that moment to fulfill their needs not at your convenience but theirs. What does losing a potential client cost you once a month? Once a week? Once a day?
There are numerous solutions out there to help businesses capture extra business calls. For example you can hire a receptionist to sit at your front desk and take care of the calls, this is a great option but it’s also usually the most expensive one and it limits you to the office hours when your calls can be answered and we are living in a 24 hour world where people call at the strangest times that are good for them, not necessarily us. You can call forward to your cell phone, which was once a popular option, but many business owners are finding that if they have to take every call they are not actually getting any work done and they have to be a slave to the phone. You can hire an answering service, which is what seems to be considered the best option for doctor’s office’s over the last 10 years. This kind of service also helps out all sorts of businesses from your man in a van plumber to large high tech firms. A live outsourced secretary service can provide that human voice option and handle your calls that are so important to a first time caller. They can design a format to handle and screen your customer calls effectively thus only passing on the money making or urgent calls directly to you and e-mailing or screening away bothersome solicitation calls.
The hard truth is that if a business is currently using an automated system handling your calls your competitors would like to thank you because you are spoon feeding them new business. In fact another recent study showed that the number two biggest complaint by consumers was the inability to reach live human being when looking for products or services.