Friday, 17 February 2012

Will Automated Answering Services Replace Live Operators

Communication skills are rated, rightly so, very high in the world. Whether you are running a business, or are applying for a job or are into any kind of transaction whatsoever, the right kind of communication skills helps greatly. One of the biggest public relations avenues exist in the way your front office or customer service personnel deal with people who call your company. Aspects like non- availability of an actual person picking up the telephone, bad communication skills and incomplete or wrong information being imparted can mar your hard earned reputation.

So how can one ensure 24/7 telephone connectivity? One of the ways is by choosing an auto answering service. It might be essential for you to have 24/7 coverage but sometimes it is also simply too expensive a proposition. You can enhance your customer relationship management by choosing an auto answering service company to act as your front office assistant. With such a service, you will be able to get appointment scheduling, interactive voice response services, conference calling facilities and so on. Depending on the level of sophistication required, an auto answering service can help you streamline communications between your company and your clients.

Another effective way of replacing live operators is by using voicemail. To learn about voicemail systems you can do an extensive search online. Here are a few details to get you started on installing or choosing the most effective voicemail option. Typically, to learn about voicemail systems you could look at the simplest definition of the same. This is one of the communications systems that are used by businesses to help in receiving, storing and transmitting messages. Thus, when a caller dials a telephone number, he or she can get to hear a pre- recorded message which can give the caller an interactive guide to knowing more. For instance, when you call a telephone service company, you may be prompted by a voice message asking you to press ‘1’ for English, press ‘2’ to know about your current bill, press ‘3’ for call plans and press ‘4’ to speak to a customer service person and so on. Going through such a voicemail system will help you resolve your problems without even coming into contact with a live operator.

As to the question whether this kind of a system can replace a live operator? Up to a point, the answer is a qualified yes. For a lot of us, it is disconcerting to be in a communication mode with a machine. One would rather speak to a real live operator right away. But for the modern generation, speaking to or getting spoken to by a machine is rather normal.

One area where it is difficult to do away with a live operator could be in the domain of emergency paging systems. It may not be possible for a person going through some crisis to listen to a recorded message, press a series of numbers and then find the right service support.

Emergency paging systems can thus be deployed in accidents, fire break outs, crime, medical emergencies and even distress calls. For instance, if a person about to commit suicide calls a telephone help line, he may be guided back to life with the interaction of a real live operator trained in this area rather than by a machine asking him to press a series of numbers. Similarly, in the panic of a medical emergency, the last thing on a person’s mind is to press more than one number and sometimes, he or she may not be in a physical condition that allows him to even speak. Emergency paging systems thus come into play in more areas than one. There are various devices in the market that allow easy and one- step transmission of emergency messages to a multitude of devices thus helping in timely response to the situation.

Another closely related area is 911 calls. Again, here the services of a live operator cannot be dispensed with. Typically, 911 calls that originate from a land line or fixed line help the operator in getting a fix on your location as well. So in terms of cell phones and 911 do keep in mind that you will have to give them precise instructions to get to you. Connecting cell phones and 911 calls need to follow some protocols and as a cell phone user, it can help for you to keep these pointers in mind. While the 911 operator may get a fair idea of your location thanks to the cell phone tower that may be closest to your location, it is not enough to facilitate rapid response should you need the same.

Cell phones and 911 calls should therefore start with the caller giving his or location details immediately. Also included in the preliminary or first call is the necessity to give them details on what kind of emergency you are facing – medical, automobile accident and so on.

It is thus easy to conclude that live operators cannot be completely replaced by auto answering services.

1 comment:

  1. Most of the time, people prefer talking to a real person so they can immediately receive answers to their inquiries. It is truly different if you have a live operator answering service because the customer will feel that you are reliable. A mix of both systems would be good as well.