Is Your Phone System Driving Customers Away?

Anh Luu
April 5, 2017

Have you experienced an onslaught of incomplete calls, missed calls, or even a string of low-to-average customer experience ratings? We hope such tragedies will never get to see the light of day in your business.

Unfortunately, poor customer experience is still highly prevalent today, especially within the telephone communications department. HelpScout revealed that “for every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent.” What’s even worse, 59% of Americans, even the ones who silently disapproved of the customer service, will turn to a competitor just to find better customer service.

We don’t wish that kind of misery on our worst enemies.

But the good news? You can avoid that altogether, starting now. We’ll provide you with expert tips for free!

If your phone system is committing any of these crimes, it’s time to nip it in the bud before any harm can be done to your customer service reputation. We hope it helps!

Phone System Mistake #1: An IVR with too many options.

Follow Hick’s Law when it comes to giving your customer choices. The law states that the more options a person has, the longer he or she will take to make a decision. When it comes to sales, Hick’s Law warns us that too many options will actually discourage customers from making any decisions at all, lowering our chances of completing a call. With that in mind, your IVR should offer 3-4 options at a time, carefully breaking down the menu for your customers. When you control the menu, you control the choices. When you control the size of the menu, you control the time it takes to make that choice.

Phone System Mistake #2: Your IVR is programmed to terminate calls.

This is the worst case scenario. Terminating calls shouldn’t even be an option in your system. If the customer hasn’t given up on the call yet, there are absolutely no excuses as to why the IVR should terminate the call.

Usually, call termination happens when the IVR doesn’t understand the options being communicated. Different IVRs have different levels of comprehension; Phonexa’s being one of the most advanced in the industry. If you want to avoid annoying customers altogether, opt for a voice recognition system that understands a wide range of vocabulary and accents. We’ll touch up on this later.

Another common reason for call termination stems from an inadequate (or lack of) call routing. With nothing to route to, some IVRs tell the caller to hang up and dial again, which doesn’t happen 75% of the time.

The answer? Get a phone system with advanced call-routing options. Phonexa’s Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) ensures that your customers will get the help they need when they need it. Our ACD integrates beautifully with our speech recognition software and IVR, making it easy for businesses to handle high volume calls in the most efficient way.

Phone System Mistake #3: Your IVR asks too many questions.

Does your IVR ask a ton of personal contact information before it routes the customer to the right department? Each minute that a customer is kept on the phone counts as a silent strike against your customer service. Studies show that people become irritated and hang up at around 12 minutes after not receiving the help they need.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to prevent this. With a detailed analytics software integrated with your phone system, your customer representative will receive all the necessary information he or she needs without wasting more time manually collecting data. A great analytics software will also report to you the detailed demographics of your callers in real-time, making the entire call an effortless experience.

Phone System Mistake #4: Your hold time is way too long.

Hold time is tricky because it all depends on the availability of the customer service rep. However, there are ways to prevent your customer from reaching the 40-second mark, which is usually when he or she will hang up out of frustration.

The first tip is to improve your hold music based on the demographics of your callers. Hold music is meant to induce a feeling of a shorter waiting period, but if your music is too loud, too muffled, or too different than what your callers are used to hearing, then it won’t fulfill its job.

With the detailed reports that you’ll receive from a comprehensive analytics software, you’ll have all the information you need to improve your caller’s hold time.

Phone System Mistake #5: Your speech recognition discriminates.

Speech recognition is capable of discrimination, in the sense that some could only recognize the accent of a native American speaker and not much else. Believe it or not, that excludes a lot of us (even legal Americans who just have speech problems).

The best answer to this problem is to invest in an advanced speech recognition system that’s programmed to service multiple accents. Phonexa’s own VoicePLUS is able to do just that—minimize misunderstandings to improve customer experience.

Conclusion

So, have you recognized any of these mistakes in your current operation? If so, now is the time to make changes. Invest in a comprehensive call platform that will earn you a great customer service reputation. Having such a reputation will do your business wonders.

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