Do we really need to employ people to answer a phone?

In a digital age where you can find out most information on websites, do we really need to employ people to answer a phone?

The automated response

I think these have their place there is no doubt especially when it comes to banking or simple tasks. Most of the time they are simple questions where you can press a button or speak your response to get to where you need to go. At times, however your question is not answered and sometimes you know that will be the case before you go through the process. That can be frustrating for customers especially when you have spent time pressing multiple options and still not getting what you need. We can’t always pre-empt what a customer needs to know and program that in.

Online pop up boxes

The first time I think any of us encountered these it was quite unnerving. There you are just browsing a website when a box appears saying “How can I help?” Initially I felt obliged to answer out of politeness and then the penny dropped that I wasn’t being rude by not responding. These forms of communication have their place but sometimes you just don’t get the answer you really needed.

Call centres during the pandemic

So many call centres during the COVID-19 pandemic have managed to continue servicing their clients by having the operatives work from home. This has brought its own challenges not least of all the logistics and infrastructure required to bring about this change. The idea of a call centre working from home even two years ago was unthinkable but many businesses have achieved this. The great thing about this is that we have connected with each other on a human level. That sense of camaraderie, that we are all in this together, working in challenging times appreciating the circumstances that each of us are working in.

Conversation connects us

The bottom line is we are human beings and we all have a story. You are not likely to delve into each other’s private lives over the phone but when conversation takes place even in a professional capacity there is a connection. We start to picture that person in some way, even the slightest detail such as a dog barking in the background for example when I was speaking to my mobile phone provider recently, suddenly renders them human. 

The warmth generated when someone uses our first name over the phone can be powerful. You feel cared for, important and that is what good brands do in a call and We Are Frontline can deliver that for your business. Our call handlers have a deep sense of satisfaction when they finish a call and ask, “Is there anything else I can help with?” and the customers responds that they have been most helpful. We know we have done our job because smiles can be heard over the phone and that is something you just don’t get from a website or automated response.