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When Caller ID is a Good Thing: Automated Customer Service Phone Systems

This week I had the pleasure of calling my cable company to report an service outage. In the past I've dreaded this because they have routinely practiced what I consider the Number One Irritation with Customer Service Call Centers. The automated system asks you to enter your phone number before connecting you to a human agent who starts by asking for your phone number. Arghhh!

Caller ID to the rescue. Today's systems can readily detect a caller's phone number and pull information from a database before a call is even answered. Yes, there are times when customers call from phone numbers other than those in their customer records but those are the only callers that need to be prompted for their identifying info. Why aggravate all callers to find those few.

Caller ID can also help automated systems have better customer intuition. By identifying customers from prospects different automated choices can be offered to each individual caller. Customers with open orders can receive options for order tracking, returns, status, etc. While new prospects, those numbers not already in the customer database, can hear options for additional product information, free offers, promotions, etc. The bottom line is that technology is allowing the intuition of the entrepreneur to scale.

As an entrepreneur you answered the phone and dealt with each caller depending on the needs you perceived that they had. Now the business has grown beyond the ability for you to answer all the calls. There's no money to staff a human call center so automation is a must. Be sure your systems are as responsive and intuitive as possible. The October issue of Inc Magazine has some insight into automated telephone system vendors. Check out the small business and enterprise offerings at Angel.com

By the way, similar things can be done with email responses to your email newsletters. Email rules can be set up to automate responses and forward messages to the right people in your organization.

Inc. Magazine: What's Next: Service with a Smile. Really.

Related:
Do You Have Rules for Your Email

Building Customer Intuition Archive

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October 14, 2005 in award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Web/Tech | Permalink

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