This week we feature an article by Riley Panko, a Senior Content Developer & Marketer at Clutch. She emphasizes the need for human interaction over the phone in a world of automated response systems. In the age of chatbots, contact forms, and phone menus, consumers still seek human interaction when communicating with a business and […]
This week we feature an article by Riley Panko, a Senior Content Developer & Marketer at Clutch. She emphasizes the need for human interaction over the phone in a world of automated response systems.
In the age of chatbots, contact forms, and phone menus, consumers still seek human interaction when communicating with a business and will grow frustrated if that interaction is delayed or not allowed. New data on phone menus found that businesses should only use phone menus when absolutely necessary, keep the menus short, and always allow the option to speak to a human. Use this article to create a stronger customer service function and develop a phone-based communication system that emphasizes human connection.
A phone menu seems like an ideal solution for businesses looking to reduce the human labor needed for customer communication. In fact, over 70% of people say they encountered a phone menu always or frequently when calling businesses. Yet, businesses should carefully consider whether a phone menu is actually necessary before implementing one. Phone menus work best for businesses with multiple departments, where the menu can potentially connect the customer with the right expertise more efficiently than a human operator. For smaller businesses, though, employees may be able to answer all questions received over the phone. In this case, having a phone menu may be unnecessary, even if it requires employees to spend a little bit more time over the phone. Overall, a phone menu should be used if it will benefit the customer, not just the business’ bottom line.
Businesses may not realize just how short a well-designed phone menu should be. Many businesses may be tempted to develop as many options as they can think for their phone menu, thinking more options will mean more answers for customers. Instead, this approach will just frustrate customers who need to listen to a long menu to find the one answer they want. Businesses can consider other means of shortening the time a customer spends listening to a phone menu. These options can include:
By offering alternative options to customers outside of a phone menu, your business can create a more enjoyable experience for customers and route them to their desired point of contact quickly.
In the end, a phone menu should always easily offer the option to speak to a human. Most people end up speaking to a human by the end of a call with a business anyways; 72% of people always or frequently speak to a human after encountering a phone menu, according to the Clutch survey. When people’s desire to speak to a human is impeded, they’ll attempt a number of actions, including:
Businesses struggling to keep up with their phone-based communication may need more than a phone menu to adequately meet customer service demands. If they don’t have the in-house resources to answer the phones, an outside answering service can potentially assist.
Phone menus can provide an efficient and intuitive path for your customers to resolve an issue or find more information about your company. First, make sure a phone menu is necessary for your company. If your employees have the knowledge to address most, if not all, customer inquiries, it may be better to rely on them to do so. To make sure that customer experiences with your business are informative and user-friendly, you should consider creating a phone menu that presents limited options. Consider complementing your answering service with voice services technology that can direct customers based on issues they specify. Finally, always make sure to include the option to speak to a human representative. Some issues cannot be resolved without human judgment, and some customers only feel comfortable speaking to other people about an issue.
Riley Panko is a Senior Content Developer & Marketer at Clutch, a B2B research firm in Washington, DC. Recently, she has published original content on the voice services, human resources, and accounting industries.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Fraud Is Eroding The Customer Experience
Sign up for instant access to Shep’s research report on customer service and customer experience.
"*" indicates required fields
© 2023 Shepard Presentations, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Legal Information | Sitemap | Site by: digitalONDA
Legal Information | Sitemap Legap
Site by: digitalONDA