Live Phone Agent vs. Automated System: Which Converts More?

Posted on January 3, 2017

While automation and virtual assistants may save money and time, it is one of the customer service methods that actual consumers complain about the most. When a person needs an answer to a question or help with a problem, they want an answer or a solution as quickly as possible. In some cases, an automatic response provides the needed information, but many businesses agree that a live phone agent can do more to convert leads and shoppers into lifelong customers better than the alternative.

What Can an Automated System Do For Your Company?

The technological limitations of automated phone systems may be expanding rapidly, but they still deliver set responses to inquiries or button pushes that need to be performed precisely by the caller. For example, everyone has had the experience of calling a business and having a robotic voice say something like “Press 2 for information about regular hours of operation. Press 3 to learn about our holiday schedule.”

If the caller is interested in those pieces of information, the automated system functions well. However, if the person has a complaint about an order or wants to find out if a particular product comes in a different color or size, the automated system fails to satisfy their needs.

Besides giving basic information, automated systems can also take messages. Answering machines and voice mail have been around for decades. People understand that they can leave a message after the tone and someone will get back to them shortly. What they do not know is how soon that will be or if the message will even reach a person who can help them.

What Benefits Does a Live Phone Engine Have Over Automation?

Besides the obvious ability to answer specific questions or give information that cannot be programmed into an automated system, having personable and professional phone agents sets a certain tone for your company. When consumers speak with a live person first time they call, they may instantly feel like their phone call matters more.

Even if the agent is only taking a message, the caller can feel more confident that they are being heard and that they will get a response. Call centers who use personalized scripts from the company itself can offer additional information that may improve the caller’s trust in the company and even the directly to additional sales.

When asked if a live phone agent or an automated system converts more callers to customers, the correlation may not be direct and obvious. However, a more personal touch is frequently appreciated in these days of increasing mechanization and virtualization of many aspects of commerce. Using an answering service demonstrates your willingness to take care of your customers on a one-to-one basis, and that may very well lead to increased brand loyalty, trust, and small business success down the road.


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