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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Paying for the live voice

This Advertising Age posting makes clear the importance of human contact in customer service. It focuses on consumer rather than business-to-business markets, but at times I wonder if businesses in the name of efficiency (and perhaps some misguided cost savings) have lost a key element in replacing the receptionist with the voice mail tree.
Of course, I risk being seen as speaking two sides out of my mouth -- calls to our office go right to voice mail! In perfect circumstances, you should receive an answer when you hit "O" but in practice I fear some messages find their way into a secondary voice mail trap. This may be fine for some routine things, and may help us to 'screen out' some nuisance calls, but what about clients with legitimate questions needing resolution? We can do better.

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