Your Call is Important to Us
When we’re not designing and writing creative stuff for our clients, we Cronins like to have a relaxing dinner in a restaurant now and then. It’s a way to get out of the studio and talk about everything but business. Unfortunately, COVID put the kibosh on all that. So, over the past couple of years, we’ve become to-go afficionados, supporting our favorite eateries and enjoying our takeout food at home.
But lately some of our favorites have adopted a phone mail-only policy. Nobody will pick up the phone, and most refer you to an unwieldy website ordering page or third-party delivery service. Really?
Don’t get me wrong, I love restaurants and I love and utilize technology as much as the next guy. I’m aware of the great things technology does for us and for our computer-based companies. And it can certainly make economic sense to automate parts of everyday commerce. But there are times, many times, when an actual human being is just better for business.
People like to talk to people. If you’ve been dealing with a business for a while and you’re used to communicating with a real person, someone who knows you and all your quirks and preferences, it can be really jarring and disappointing to suddenly lose that connection. And isn’t connecting with customers what it’s all about?
These days simply having a human being answering the phone every time can serve as a market differentiator. For example, Nashville’s Pinnacle Financial Partners makes it company policy and states it right up front on their website. “As always, we commit to answer the phone when our clients call.”
Whether you’re a large financial institution or a small business, people are at the heart of what you do. Customer experience is at the top of today’s list of traits of a successful company, and a seemingly little thing like picking up the phone can make a very big difference to your customers and potential customers.
In the end, I believe we’d all prefer an actual human voice rather than a counterproductive message that says, “your call is important to us.” A bit of friendly advice: If you really want to make me feel important, maybe just pick up the phone!