Technology & Client Service

According to a recent survey, 2/3 of customers who try to get service online give up and use the phone instead. That’s an interesting statistic (Inc. Magazine, October 2005) and what’s more interesting is that the phone’s voice mail isn’t much better. An earlier study concluded that 14 out of 15 automated voice-response systems

The study indicates, further, that a call involving an actual person is 5 times as expensive on average as one handled b an automated, voice-responsive system. Thus, it’s likely that business will continue to use this technology despite the negative impact on their business. The real problem is that unhappy prospects and clients generally do not complain. They just leave and business doesn’t know they’ve lost a client.

Sole practitioners are particularly sensitive to the cost issue, but at what risk? The risk is not achieving the very goal that is so important to them: Getting new clients, increasing revenue!

There are companies such as ClickFox and that are seeking to help companies make the technology more friendly and useful. Until their efforts succeed and are widely used, however, business (including law firms) will continue to lose business.

An immediate and, I think, better solution is to have a live person answer the phone. That person can be in your office or, alternatively, a virtual assistant in his/her office answering the phone with the ability to direct the call. The call can be directed to you, if your available, to your voice mail, if the client selects this option after being asked if that’s their preference, or a message can be taken for you to call back (… what a thought!).


Categorized in: