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Wow a Real Voice. It Freaked Me Out.

I was calling the other day to set up some travel and when I dialed I got a real voice versus an IVR. The funny thing was, I checked to make sure I dialed the right number.

 

Now how funny is that. We are so accustomed to getting a recording (you have reached...) or a support line, (please enter your account #) that when we actually get someone it makes us feel like we did something wrong.

 

The reason I bring this up is if we who are in the business of sales or delivering a service are accustomed to this, so are our customers. My question is, is your business focused on the customers or your convenience?

 

Do you let all calls go into a loop, or support line or IVR so people are already frustrated by the time they speak to someone? If they ever really do? Or if I called you during business hours would I get someone to help me right away?

 

I have heard all the arguments for IVR and call routing and the economies of scale, but if your business is trying to differentiate itself today, going back to a human connection will do that.

 

Sounds funny saying that but as Gary Vaynerchuk said at a recent conference,(paraphrase) "Your grandparents are better suited to do business today than you are. They understood relationships and common courtesies and focused on people first, not selling products." 

 

Sometimes going back to what worked before all the technological wizardry we have today is the right way to do business.

 

I know I want my customers to reach people when they have a question. What about yours?

 

Let me know your thoughts.


Glenn Pasch

COO PCG Digital Marketing

Join Me on   Google +

Views: 360

Tags: Automotive, Customer, Digital, Glenn, Internet, Marketing, Moment, Online, PCG, Pasch, More…Reputation, Service, Training, Truth, Zero, of

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Comment by Glenn Pasch on March 27, 2012 at 7:07pm

Tom

Funny you say that. My heat went off and I had to call the utility company. But i have to say that the person said a manager would call to discuss any opening they had earlier than my appointment and they did within 20 minutes. My biggest frustration with IVR is you give them your information and then have to repeat it to the person anyway. what a waste

Thanks for comments

Comment by Glenn Pasch on March 27, 2012 at 7:06pm

Darrin, 

 Yes I agree. I end up playing the game of "hit 0" maybe that will jump the line. in the end, people want to talk to people. We forget the simple things sometimes in order to save a little cost.

thanks for comments.

Comment by Tom Gorham on March 27, 2012 at 6:59pm

Thank you Glenn!  Have you ever called a utility company and not have any of their automated scenarios fit why you called?  It's an endless loop.  You just know an actual person would understand what you called about, but... 

Of course they don't care about customer relations... but we do.  We're in the business of happy customers.  In fact, we're in the business of "Wowed" customers.  You can only wow a customer with real people showing real concern for their problems and desires.

Comment by Darrin Smith on March 27, 2012 at 6:32pm

Very true to the mark with the paraphrased grand parents scenario.

In my first-life-after-college job I worked for a professional graphics lab (early '90s) and they had decided to opt for an IVR. Ironically my company liked my voice and opted to use me as the "voice" for the company. By day two of the IVR roll out I got a personal call from a client stating "If you do not want to be the most hated voice in the Capital Region... get yourself off that machine!!!"; needless to say they turned it off; answered calls in person; and are successful still today...

At my dad's dealership we switched phone systems in the late 90s and toyed with the idea of having IVR; using my voice AGAIN; but opted to turn it off after customers calling for service got "lost" in the queue after just one day.

At Dad's store we did keep the after hours attendant on and customers who called then could reach the appropriate person; but during the day... all day... you got a live body.

Now as a vendor; when I call stores with auto attendants I'm thankful I know the extension of whom I'm trying to reach. When I call stores with an actual person answering the phone I get the same reaction as you.. "did I do something wrong?"...then I get screened as if I'm a telemarketer even though I'm returning a call.

It's important to realize that if a customer WANTS to get information about you or from you; they can, with no phone call, just by simply going online.

If they're calling.... they need something, want something, have something (i.e. money) to give you, and you better answer that call; because they are serious when they call.

It's also important that those who answer the phones are properly trained to be professional and pleasant. The IVR system eliminates that part of the equation but at what cost?

If you can have a few top-notch phone people give good voice... I would expect a dealer's customer retention, sales, and net profit would stay above the curve.

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