How Virtual Receptionists Can Boost Your Tech Support Team
Some people would rather get a tooth extracted than make a call to technical support. However, it doesn’t need to be that way. According to a research survey conducted by the Huffington Post, 90 percent of respondents expressed a preference to speak to a live agent rather than a voice recording, concluding that “…individuals still overwhelmingly want to deal with a human beings rather than a machine.”
How did an automated personal assistant like Siri or Alexa fare in the study? Not much better – in fact, even after interacting with a voice-activated assistant or navigating through a complex maze of voice prompts, the overwhelming majority of callers eventually opt to connect with a live individual. That’s exactly how they want it.
People simply trust the human voice more. They believe that live operators are more likely to really listen to their problem and seek a resolution, regardless of what the situation requires.
Give Your Customers Confidence
When a customer calls your support line with a problem, the last thing you want to do is leave them feeling frustrated and alone. Don’t forget—this customer has chosen your product or service above others for a reason and you want them to stick around!
Once the sales process is over, you still need to provide excellent ongoing service to solidify that positive customer experience—and a constructive service or support call is a great way to continue to impress them. Today, every customer has a voice and a consumer community willing to listen, so just one bad service call can earn you a poor review for the entire world to see.
A Lost Opportunity
The problem is that for many companies—who “make do” without a full-time receptionist—the responsibility for answering those all-important customer calls falls through the cracks. Your customer support protocol may go something like this:
- A customer calls in and hears an automated greeting.
- The system sorts the call by category, such as “technical support” or “billing inquiries.”
- The customer waits on hold for a representative, while forced to listen to annoying music or self-serving advertising messages.
- The customer impatiently waits for the rep or hangs up in frustration before his question is answered.
Get Back On Track
This customer had a negative experience with your company’s support team and is not likely to make a return visit any time soon. But what if your customer’s experience went more like this?
- A customer calls in and is greeted by a live operator.
- She listens to the caller’s issue and determines the best route for getting help.
- The operator answers basic inquiries—hours of operation, directions, fax number—on the spot.
- If a specialist does not answer the call promptly, she gets back on the line to provide options for leaving a message.
- The operator recognizes your call as a high priority and either find someone else to take the live call or relays its importance to appropriate staff for immediate attention.
Which of these two approaches is likely to make the best impression on your caller? The live operator is always better because they can detect problems before the issues have time to fester. With a live operator on your side, she can “red flag” those customers that need immediate attention—whether to tend to a serious situation or to deflect one from happening in the future.
Leave No Call Unanswered
Many companies have chosen to forgo live answering services, preferring to try their luck at an automated system, in an effort to save the company money. But there is a middle ground. You can combine the benefits of a live answering service without having to hire someone in-house.
A remote answering service, or virtual receptionist service, can give your organization the feel of a larger corporation, with minimal impact on your budget because you only pay for the level of support you truly need.
The true goal here is for a seamless customer experience—termed “omnichannel support,” which simply means that the customer is getting the same high-level attention and outcome, whether contacting you by phone, email, chat, social media or any other method.
Your virtual receptionist can form the cornerstone of an integrated omnichannel support model that fields each incoming call, message post or email knowledgeably and reliably, to the great satisfaction of your customers.
With the right strategy, implementation, and monitoring, your virtual receptionist can become the glue that holds together your technical support function, providing the personal touch your customers crave. The great thing about a service like Answer 1 is that pricing goes by the minute, so you pay only for the time you actually use—on average, a low two dollars per minute.
Compared to the costs of employing a full-time receptionist—especially when payroll taxes, vacation pay, sick time, health coverage are factored in—you can easily see how these savings can flow right to your bottom line.
Technology is here to stay, but sometimes too much of a good thing—yes, even technology!—is not the best solution. Think about moving your business closer to an omnichannel model, where live interaction across various platforms might just help to preserve your most important customer relationships.