Hassle & Headaches with Automated Customer Support Systems

Automated customer service teams make it difficult for government buyers to get the information they need in a timely manner and are cumbersome for customers. 

An automated support system is one method suppliers utilize that provides customer assistance via an automated service such as a help center, chat-bot or artificial intelligence  (AI). Many companies use this method for filtering phone calls. While this may be convenient for large companies with high call volumes, they aren’t always the most efficient from the customer’s perspective. We’ve all experienced it when – you call a company only to be greeted by an automated system, you listen through multiple options and then get transferred to another menu. This can be time consuming and frustrating.   

The problem with these systems is that they don’t always work as they should. Often, they sound and feel unnatural because they are robotic and monotone. These automated customer support systems can be difficult to understand and will often end up transferring you to the incorrect department. Many of these systems listen for key words to transfer the caller to the correct department but easily mistake what the customer says. This leaves the customer being transferred from department to department because of improper voice recognition. Despite voice recognition software becoming more advanced- it cannot be perfected or compared to speaking to an actual human being. We’ve all had the unfortunate experience of being caught in an automated loop where you end up feeling annoyed and unappreciated by the company. Ultimately, this can be off-putting and send current or potential customers away.  

 Although training people can be a little costlier, companies must consider their customers. If  customers have a bad experience they are likely to spread the word which can hurt the company’s reputation and potential customer growth. Having an actual human being can build trust with customers by giving them a friendly voice on the other line who is ready to answer their questions. 

Besides promoting employment opportunities, speaking to a human customer service representative can help build a stronger, more personalized relationship with customers. Customers who receive high quality service are more likely to do repeat business as well as recommend you to others. Having knowledgeable individuals who can communicate effectively can create trust and become a go to advisor for product recommendations. This can have a positive impact by building trust and ensuring the customer’s needs are met as best as possible.  

 Customers can appreciate having a person to talk to whenever they have a question or concern and may even be encouraged to do repeat business. Customers like to have a personalized experience and will make them feel valued. Ultimately, this can contribute to business growth by strengthening the relationship between suppliers and buyers and can be a win-win situation. Who doesn’t like to feel understood and appreciated? Automated systems take away from the human aspect of companies and can create distrust. If customers aren’t happy – they will find a new service provider. Human interaction can lower the risk of losing customers because speaking to someone within the company can be very helpful in create credibility for a company.  

Automated systems are set to be practical but are more time consuming and complicated than they should be. We live in a “I want it now” generation and human interaction is still craved. Customers want to reach a human being and get a response or solution to their issue. For example, if a customer has a quick question about a product or service that a company provides but they are put through an endless automated system – they could hang up and become disinterested quickly.  Having a human customer service experience can be more enjoyable because it encourages customers to state their opinions, get recommendations and find effective solutions to get their job done. Customers want to feel heard – even if there is no resolution to their problem for the time being. Automated systems cannot provide that empathy or assurance that customers seek. 

If everything is automated, customers may feel flustered and lose interest. Companies can gain engagement, credibility, trust and loyalty by providing better customer service. Human interaction is fundamental for building stronger relationships and personable support is the gateway between customer and service providers. Besides promoting job security, a knowledgeable employee can provide peace of mind for customers looking for quick information. Customers benefit from better experiences and engagement in real-time solutions. In an AI-powered world, it is comforting to find human interaction and a friendly voice on the other end of the phone.