Answering the Phone– The Automatic Answer Machine
Someone called our office the other day and made an observation. This individual works for a large local governmental agency. He tried to call one of the offices in the governmental agency and received the answering machine that said that the call was received after normal business hours. In order to connect with his desired party, he should call back during normal business hours, 8am to 5 pm weekdays.
This individual did that the next day– he called at 8:15 AM, 8:30AM, 8:45AM and each time, received the auto answer, telling him to call back during normal business hours. Now frustrated, he did not know what to do. He waited another day, and called during what was identified as “normal business hours.” He talked to a live human being and she was aghast about what he told her had occurred. This individual wanted to know what our viewpoint was on this matter.
Well, we have addressed the auto answer machine in previous blog posts. Interestingly, this being a governmental agency and not a for profit business, our friend was required to call back 4 different and distinct times in order to reach anyone who could address his question.
If you were selling a product and wanted to make money, you would have lost the opportunity. The caller, your perspective client, would have continued to call competitors until he received an answer and was able to buy whatever he was seeking.
We recognize that occasionally, perhaps 1 time a year, a glitch may occur that allows the automatic answering machine to be on during normal business hours. However, for the other 99.9% of the time, if you are in a for profit business entity, you will want to make sure that the live human voice is able to answer the phone when you identify that someone will be able to assist you. If not, you end up with a high probability of not having any business when someone does answer the phone.