Recording vs a Live Person

Posted by David Chism | Mon, Jun 18, 2012

 Recording vs a Live Person
Here is an actu­al quote from a paint­ing cus­tomer of one of my clients after a recent­ly com­plet­ed project.
When­ev­er you call them you always get a per­son, not a machine.”
This is not the first time I’ve read this state­ment while review­ing cus­tomer report cards. This is actu­al­ly a pret­ty com­mon quote. Have you ever heard a con­sumer say, I love being placed on hold!” or I always look for­ward to the music on hold at XYZ com­pa­ny and remem­ber­ing all the num­bers and exten­sions to sched­ule an esti­mate!” I know why the big com­pa­nies have this fea­ture: to save their oper­a­tors time. Just think, if Ver­i­zon had a live per­son answer­ing every sin­gle call the moment the phone rang, our Ver­i­zon bills would be a lot high­er. Their over­head would sky­rock­et. There­fore, the call screen­ing fea­tures are a must for a large com­pa­ny to stay com­pet­i­tive. I also know why the small com­pa­nies have these fea­tures: to save time! Am I right? Think about it: you are work­ing on an esti­mate and do not want to be inter­rupt­ed, yet your phone does­n’t stop ring­ing. How can you get any­thing done? Live Per­son Still Is Best for a Small Business Your cus­tomers will always want to talk to a live per­son. It is just the way we are all wired. If that is what your cus­tomers want, you need to see how you can deliv­er this request. It might seem like a lit­tle thing, but the lit­tle things always mat­ter. I’d rec­om­mend either hav­ing some­one answer your calls in house or use a call cen­ter. I men­tioned a call cen­ter as opposed to an answer­ing ser­vice. There is a dif­fer­ence! An answer­ing ser­vice just takes mes­sages and sends you emails and text mes­sages. A pro­fes­sion­al call cen­ter can actu­al­ly trans­fer calls to you, take mes­sages or even sched­ule appoint­ments. What­ev­er you decide, make sure you are read­i­ly avail­able for your cus­tomers. They are the lifeblood of your busi­ness. One final thing — make sure who­ev­er is answer­ing your phone is also pos­i­tive. I recent­ly lis­tened to a voice­mail record­ing that made me sick. A brand new lead came through, a live per­son answered the phone but had no pos­i­tive emo­tion. She answered the prospec­t’s ques­tions but did not seem hap­py to get a phone call. Guess what hap­pened? The prospect I think sensed the cold voice and end­ed up not sched­ul­ing an esti­mate. So two things to take away from this blog post: 1. Do what you can to answer your phones and 2. Make sure who­ev­er answers is well-trained.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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