Consumers are tired of being kept on hold. That dull elevator music helps nobody and can turn off customers, chasing them away for good. A recent consumer survey showed 75 percent of participants to be ‘highly annoyed’ when trying to reach an actual person for help through a hotline and failing in doing so. Fifty seven percent of the participants said they were so angry they hung up the phone without a solution being reached. The solution does not lie in sending a caller to voice mail. As Forbes shows, 80 percent of callers ending up in voice mail do not leave messages. Amongst millennials, the majority never go anywhere near voice mail as it is considered obsolete. In order for your business to grow you must work on improving your customer experience. The same survey highlighted consumers still preferring to contact companies through phone with questions or issues. Read below simple steps to ensure your phone menu system builds customer confidence instead of angering them:
- Using caller ID – caller ID allows your phone system to recognize the caller. This means you could provide existing customers a single menu and unknown callers a separate menu. You could program your phone menu to give existing customers the ability to speak with account managers they would’ve interacted with previously.
- Keeping the phone menu system simple – do not allow callers to listen to long recordings filled with multiple options prompting a button press for a specific department. Do your best to keep the options down to three or five. The minute the caller makes a choice, you could present them a second menu which would assist in routing the call in a simpler manner. Do not allow the caller to listen to eight or nine voice menu options but to only listen to another eight or nine choices post making the selections. Program your phone system such that callers are presented with a maximum of two menu levels.
- Allow callers to speak with operators – in order to truly stand out from the competition, ensure the caller has the option to speak with a live operator within the first option on your phone menu. In reality that is what every caller desires – speaking with a human. Providing them that option immediately makes your call center operators busier, however it goes a long way in making your customers happy as well.
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