The Nightmare Of The Automated Phone Answering System

Now even small businesses are using them ...


When you call a company, more often than not there will be some sort of automated phone answering system you have to navigate; they're just so soulless you want to despair ...

Is this how your customers feel after they navigate your automated phone answering system?

Is this how your customers feel after they navigate your automated phone answering system?

copyright: bowie15 / 123rf stock photo (licensee)

It used to be that only the biggest companies had them. I guess that if you're fielding thousands of calls per hour then it makes sense to stream people into queues ready to speak to the best person.

"But even small companies are
using them now!"

I regularly call a business that really doesn't need an automated phone answering system. As I've visited them, I know that there are only around twenty people in the office and while I was there, the phone wasn't ringing off the hook.

I have to go through several menus to get to the right person and then I have to put in my telephone number so they know who's calling. And guess what? As soon as they pick up the phone, they still ask who I am and what I'm calling about.

"What was the point in
all that then?"

I wonder if the MD is a control freak and is trying to over-engineer some efficiency into his business? On the flip-side of the coin, an over-zealous salesperson could have convinced them that an automated phone answering system is the bee's knees and that getting the caller to enter their phone number can pull up their record from the database. Maybe they just want to seem to be bigger than they are?

Whatever the reason, it's not working. It just annoys me and I'm sure it annoys a lot of other customers too. And what do customers do when they get frustrated with a business? Take their custom elsewhere, of course!

"May I offer a simple solution?"

If it was me, I'd rip out the automated phone answering system and install a real-life human being to answer the calls. A friendly face at the reception desk and a virtual smile on the phone works wonders.

Now ok, you may think that would cost a lot more to hire, train and retain a receptionist than the technology to answer the phones would; and yes it would, but the value it would add is huge.

But as a cost-saving alternative, why not outsource their telephone call handling instead? The Office Genie can sprinkle some magic into their business world. We can deal with enquries, send out information, put callers through to the right people and yes, even take messages and email them on.

Month-by-month, outsourcing to The Office Genie won't be as expensive as hiring a full-time receptionist, and callers will be far happier speaking to a human being rather than dealing with a machine. It really is a win-win for everyone.

So if you'd like to hear the phone answered with a smile, call me right now on 01604 529170 and let's talk about how The Office Genie, an award-winning, five star business can take calls for you rather than using an overly complicated (and totally impersonal) automated phone answering system.

Until next time ...



More about Jacqui Frost ...


I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.

Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!

I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.

Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!


+44 (0) 1604 529170


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