How often do you pick up the phone to call customer service and you have to go through several automated questions before you get to the inevitable dead end? Do you call again and start over, or are you so frustrated about the poor result that you just hang up? Somehow your question was skipped, or too specific, or not even an available choice. You just want someone to answer the phone, ask your question and get your answer without running through various steps and procedures to get to your target goal.
The same goes for anyone specifically looking for health benefits or payroll services. When you are searching for the perfect benefits plan or need to make a change to your payroll immediately, you need human interaction, not a menu full of endless options. A live person gets you the answers faster. They are advisors, fact givers and interactive.
Yes, it is true, automated services do have a few benefits. Here are a few advantages of using an automated service:
- Long-term cost reduction
- Self- service retail kiosks allow for faster checkout processes
- Fewer paid employees means increased revenue
- Higher customer retention
On the contrary, in a study conducted by Stella Service, business.time.com noted in their article, “Customer Service Done Right: When an Actual Human Being Answers the Phone,” that “callers forced to deal with automated phone systems can expect longer hold times when seeking customer service. The average hold time for a customer dealing with an automated system is 1 minute, 51 seconds, according to Stella Service. Customers calling a company that employs live agents to answer the phones, on the other hand, are on hold for an average of just 51 seconds.”
The disadvantages of using an automated system can make a big impact on the way customers or clients view their partner, consultant or retail company. Here is a summary of a few of those disadvantages by listed by Customer Service in their article, “Pros and Cons of Automated Customer Service.”
- Lack of interaction – Customers using an automated service lose a sense of human interaction. There is no emotional tie, good or bad, to a machine. Conversations are limited, directed and minimal. However, as Customer Service mentioned “data provided by Gartner shows that ‘By 2020, the customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human.’”
- Complex – Automated systems are difficult to use for the average consumer. When an individual calls customer service or uses a kiosk, commonly the customer doesn’t know which option to choose to get their answer. With a web of choices, customers often end up in the wrong area having to start the process all over again.
- Challenging Issues – Each person comes with individual requests, specific needs and follow up questions. Automated services cannot help with any of those circumstances. These issues require communication and direction.
- Up-front costs – The most advanced automated systems, the ones more successful in meeting customer needs, cost a lot of money. Even the most basic system is costly to install.
Face-to-face communication, or over the phone with an individual, is invaluable. Customers and clients gather much more detailed, personalized and useful information discussing topics, such as benefits and payroll, with individuals rather than calling an automated service. To learn the benefits of working with a trusted partner who can offer you the interaction and information you need, call on BenefitMall today.