You’ve undoubtedly heard the old adage, “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” Yet in today’s Web-driven world, companies are ignoring the customer experience, leaving customers to fend for themselves with online self-help systems and frustrating automated voice mail systems. Your phone system is your direct line to your customers. Using a substandard phone system leads to poor customer service, and that will cost you business.
Bad Service on the Rise
In fact, bad customer service seems to be on the rise. According to a 2012 research report from American Express, one third of customers (32%) think companies are less concerned with customer service (that’s up from 26% in 2011), and two-thirds (66%) are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service. The same report shows that bad customer service clearly leads to lost sales – 55% of those surveyed decided not to make a purchase because of poor customer service. That means to stay competitive you need offer a better customer experience, including reliable telephone support.
Like it or not, the telephone is still an integral part of your customer service infrastructure. For simple inquiries, 16% of consumers said they want to talk to someone on the phone, and 12% are willing to use an automated voice response system. As the queries become more complex, such as dealing with product issues, 38% want to speak with a live representative, and that rises to 46% with really complex questions that can’t be handled through an automated or online system.
If your telephone system is inferior or unreliable, you can bet it’s costing you business. As a San Francisco Bay Area telecommunications provider, we have heard any number of telecom horror stories about failed and failing PBX and telecom systems that have a direct impact on customer service.
Consider the challenge of an agency using an antiquated, analog PBX system and a direct inward dialling system (DID) to handle incoming consumer inquiries. Calls are consistently backed up, with people left on hold or lost in the system. By migrating to a combination fiber/copper infrastructure with a voice over IP (VoIP) system, the agency now can handle more incoming calls with more connected calls and fewer missed or dropped calls. And they have regular reports to highlight trouble spots to improve service based. They estimate a ten-fold or 1000% increase in customer satisfaction. Imagine what those same results could do for your business.
A Proven VoIP Provider
A proven VoIP system offers a number of advantages that improve the quality of customer service. More efficient call management and the ability to set rules for complex call routing mean fewer dropped calls and faster customer response time, and features like find me/follow me routing directs calls to their destination, no matter where the call is going. Call screening, an auto attendant to quickly handle calls without human assistance, instant conferencing, and other features all promote a better customer experience. And VoIP lets you track call usage to identify potential bottlenecks, including network bandwidth issues.
And like our customers, we take customer service very seriously. The same American Express study shows that more customers would rather work with a smaller company that delivers excellent customer service. That’s our goal – to win your loyalty with a superior customer experience. We want to show you how a reliable VoIP system can help you improve your operations, including customer service.
So if you are concerned that your phone system doesn’t deliver the kind of customer experience that reflects your commitment to service, it might be time to consider an upgrade to VoIP.