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Robot Answering Systems SUCK!

Sunday, January 10th, 2010
Posted in Advice by Joel Gross

At first glance, using a robotic answering machine for your business seems like a genius idea.  Pretend your a Wells Fargo business analyst ten years ago.  Let’s say that Wells Fargo at that time had all human tellers answering their phones and taking information.  Doing so took 40,000 man hours a month at $10 per hour, resulting in a cost of $400,000 to Wells Fargo.

Our imaginary business analyst says, “AHA! What if I install an automated system for $10,000 and it gives people their balances & takes their information automatically reducing our man hours to 20,000, thus saving us $190,000 total after paying the $10k!”

He takes this business case to Wells Fargo executives who go “Woohooo! Let’s save $190k”.

A year later the system is implemented. Win for Wells Fargo right? Maybe in the short term….

Over the following years though, customers become increasingly irritated by being forced to deal with an automated system that is difficult to use.  All Wells Fargo did was move the cost of business from themselves to their customers… saving money in the short term, but making their customers hate them and lose trust.  Eventually customers bleed off more and more to competitor banks.  Let’s assume each customer carries an average balance of $10k and Wells Fargo makes $500/ year in profit lending that money.  Ten years later Wells Fargo may have lost 10% of their customers (they have 48 million now, so that would be 4.8 million)….

In this example, Wells Fargo saved $2 million over ten years by using the automated system… but lost hundreds of millions in potential profit by sacrificing their customers interests.

Don’t be like Wells Fargo and try to simply pass your costs of business on to your customers by giving them a hellish automated phone system experience.

USE REAL PEOPLE AS THE FACE OF YOUR BUSINESS AND PROFITS WILL FOLLOW.

2 thoughts on “Robot Answering Systems SUCK!

  1. Most of these companies do not have any consern for the customers who pay them. they use robots to ask the caller to press this button or that, when the could have some live (live) people to take my number and tell me they will call back. I as well as many other people know that a coffee break does not last that long. They try to make us think that they are so busy that if you do-not like it move, that may be the best option. Most of these co’s donot care how long we (the) boss, hold a phone to our ear waiting for the coffee period to be over. Do i think this will go farther than this?? we will see.

  2. these stupid systems are in my opinion the most frusting systems ever invented. they say your call is important to us!!! if so why do these companis not get one massage cd to say, give me your name or acc# and you will be called in the order received, paying for only one! operator. that woud allow us to get on wihh our lives. as you know there are millions of cell phones out here.allowing us to do our thing without listing to dumb music or commercils while we are waiting for someone having a coffee break? your buisness is important to you!! do something good. you do not have to listen to these robots do you ???

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